by Blackened Beans
reviewed on PSP
The game's combat is only broken up by sections where you have to command your zombies to break something down or possibly turn into a bridge for you to traverse a gap. But because these sections are as easy as aiming at an object and watching your zombies destroy it, the game designers tried to add difficulty by throwing in more respawning enemies. It makes them needlessly frustrating since you can't move or attack while commanding your horde. Since your zombies are too dumb to work without you telling them to, you will likely die several times at these sections trying to get your zombies to cooperate while also trying to stay alive.
Another issue with the gameplay happens when you try to grab a knight to turn him into a zombie, but because your horde is surrounding him, you will accidentally grab one of them instead. It sounds like a nitpick, but when you are in the heat of battle and being smacked around from all sides, it becomes a major frustration. Especially since you sometimes have to wait for soldiers to transform into zombies, leaving you defenseless. The camera in the game is also, inevitably, a problem. You have to control it with the directional buttons, which in the middle of a battle is practically impossible. It is hard to get it exactly where you want it, and trying to strafe with the L button can be difficult when your character won't aim where he is supposed to. Other than these problems the controls work pretty well, with responsive attacks, nice hit detection and decent battle controls overall.
Graphically the game isn't especially good looking. The dark gothic style is like a cross between Devil May Cry and the PlayStation 1 game MediEvil. The levels are dark, foggy and grey and the knights all look demonic. The game's art direction is pretty generic overall, though, with uninspired knights, repeating enemies and bad level designs. Not to mention the fact that the three main characters are way too Japanese to be starring in a gothic medieval hack-n-slash about zombies. The zombies themselves, by the way, almost always look the same. The ability to cut off their limbs is kind of a nice touch, but in the middle of the game's over-crowded battles, it is hard to care.
The sound is quite annoying as well. Romulus' voice is appropriately badass, but like the rest of the game, it is generic. Remus and Sylvia both have extremely annoying voices, especially Remus, who sounds like a whiny emo teenager going through puberty. The music is heavy metal all the way through, but incredibly loud and annoying, not to mention repetitive. It doesn't fit the game's gothic style, and it definitely doesn't work with the medieval setting. The sound effects are decent, and they make slashing up enemies feel more satisfying than it might be otherwise.
Unless you are a huge fan of zombies, knights and all things goth, then it is difficult to recommend Undead Knights as anything more than a rental. The gameplay, while fun at times, is extremely uninspired, as is the rest of the game. After all the beautiful, fun and creative PSP games before it, it feels like a shallow and inferior experience, and if you pay full retail price for it, you will likely start feeling buyer's remorse after your first hour with the game.
Controls work pretty well, with responsive attacks, nice hit detection and decent battle controls overall.
Boring combat and bad graphics.