When Medieval Moves was first revealed, there was a collective "meh" around the world, as it looked like a very simplistic action adventure that might not even have given the player full control of the character.
Having played it at Gamescom this week, I can confirm that it most certainly does not give the player full control of the character -- but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. If anything, the fast-paced gameplay, which consists of moving from "hot spot" to "hot spot" and completing whatever task awaits there, is strongly reminiscent of light-gun shooters such as Namco's own Time Crisis series, albeit with swords and bows rather than big guns.
It's not just about killing things, though -- the player has access to a selection of moves, all of which are impressively motion-tracked using the Move controller. Slashing with your sword in different directions can attack different parts of enemies -- something which becomes necessary when fighting those with large shields. Making a motion like pulling an arrow out of a quiver behind you while holding the trigger button draws an arrow and prepares your bow to fire -- releasing the button fires it. Holding the Move button and moving the controller in front of your face causes your shield to block incoming blows and projectiles. Holding the trigger button and making a "throwing" movement tosses throwing stars. And "drawing" the Move controller out of an imaginary holster pulls out a hookshot, necessary for traversing certain situations. Each of these moves are required for completing each "hot spot" -- some by killing enemies, others by solving simple puzzles.
The game is resolutely linear, at least in the extract I played from early in the game. There are a few secrets in the form of breakable objects which conceal items and bonuses, but there doesn't appear to be any means of choosing a specific path to follow. Perhaps this will follow later in the game.
As it is, Medieval Moves could prove to be a fun game for younger players, but those reared on a diet of Zelda and Darksiders will probably come away wanting something a little more.
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Gamescom: Medieval Moves -- Time Crisis with Swords?