A Quest for Peace
Knightcore Universal is a strategy RPG that brings action to the centerfold. The newest game from Taiwan’s Marscat Studio takes a decidedly “more is more” approach in this action adventure. A diverse cast of heroes and plentiful customization options allow players to build powerful squads to defend the land of Camelot.
We meet the story’s main cast as the player character, a trainee in the Knight training program, rises through the ranks. Knight teams consist of three hero-class warriors from among the game’s King Knights, as well as your hero and four supporters. The former group acts independently, while the player controls and customizes the latter. Pick from a list of upgradeable skills and equip Knights with the spoils of your hard-fought battles. Powering up in Knightcore is slow at first, but becomes easier as players acquire access to more sources of rewards.
As players level up, they gain access to repeatable activities and other sources of loot. One feature this reviewer appreciated was Patrol quests. The player sends a group of their Knights out for an amount of real-world time to complete a task. What’s nice is that the Knights sent out remain available for regular missions. Also, the Patrol timer does not require you to play Knightcore Universal actively to elapse time. It’s a nice built-in way to collect resources when you otherwise might not have time to play.
As the story progresses, your fights become harder. Over time, the player gets access to additional stronger heroes at the Tavern. This largely entails plowing through the game’s several chapters of Story Mode, where things get a little uneven.
More is More…Right?
From the tight combat and impressive graphics, it’s clear that Marscat spent a lot of time on Knightcore Universal. While the gameplay is solid and the aesthetic pleasing, it falls short in personality. There are plenty of colorful characters in Knightcore, but they don’t properly shine because of the choppy writing. The dialogue often relies on tired devices and stock design. Localization logistics aside, you too often feel forced into story options that are less than exciting.
What is more frustrating is the way the game presents dialogue. Anything exceeding a certain word limit is cut off. I originally thought my character was just being interrupted by a series of increasingly rude NPC’s. Then I realized the game abbreviates sentences to compensate for its button size. Since I couldn’t read the full sentence, it felt like mood mattered more than content. Much of the dialogue is essentially reduced to the either an earnest or shy phrase, for example.
The game’s 50+ chapters of story and missions feel especially tedious in this context. Since certain activities and team-building features aren’t available until later in the story, there’s no way around it. At one point, a character labelled Mysterious Figure introduces themself by saying “Hey, I am a Mysterious Figure.” It’s only deflating because otherwise, Knightcore Universal has some decent things going for it. The gameplay is smooth and visually appealing. And, the King is a cat! It would be great to see Marscat make further content additions in these areas. As is, the game is good enough to occupy some downtime, but far from an essential gaming experience.
Is It Hardcore?
Knightcore Universal leans on its tropes instead of its strong characters, making for a glossy yet forgettable experience.