The two Kingdom Under Fire games released only on Xbox have always had a reputation for being difficult real time strategy games that often have gamers stumped at certain points. KUF The Crusaders is the sequel to Kingdom Under Fire: A War of Heroes, a 2001 PC game, which has since changed and altered due to its console status. Developed in 2004 by Phantagram, KUF:TC combined strategic war elements on and off the field with personal hack and slash fighting should your unit come across enemies. In its time it made use of Xbox Live's multiplayer capabilities, which has since been made defunct, to fight against other players troops and characters. PEGI recommends it for persons over the age of 12, despite an abundance of fantasy gore (mostly blood spray, burning and deaths) and the odd expletive in some heated discussions.
PLOT & SETTING
Set on the continent of Bersia, the races and nations of humans, elves, dwarves and orcs are at odds for taking over the land and in some cases locating, chasing, understanding and/or destroying a sacred artifact known as the 'Ancient Heart'. The standard humans are based in Hironeiden, with loyalty to the king and a standard, christian-like religion. Ecclesia is home to more extreme religious humans, blindly swearing loyalty to the Patriarch, a madman twisted in his fixation with the Ancient Heart. The dwarves and high elves however remain rather unknown but are considered comrades to the human alliance. The Dark Legion consist of several orc and ogre tribes in Hexter, led by war-chiefs, these are mostly brainless stooges who only care for their land but pledge allegiance to the darker forces. The dark elves are stationed in Vellond, under rule of vampires and their subjects (half vampires). This union however, is just as unstable as the humans and their religious squabbles, as the elves strive for independence. The map or Bersia consists of several unique locations, some relevant to species, others contested land like 'The Holy Ground'. Most battle fields are overgrown forest areas but some are barron deserts, harsh winter mountainside and the odd castle siege.
Only 4 playable characters to choose from in the beginning (2 at first with the others unlockable) you get half and half for the human alliance and dark legion with 2 humans, a dark elf and an immortal, each with their own unique move set, weapons, armour and story. To start, only two are available as the game requires you to play through a introductory story first rated easy or normal whilst the other two are secretly dubbed hard.
Gerald - (Easy)
A hardcore general of Hironeiden. Dons a feathered set of armour with a cape and equips a one handed straight-sword to adequately dispose of his foes. His campaign is extremely straight forward and more like a tutorial to the game with simple battles and less focus on troop customization. Also accompanied by fellow allies Ellen and Rupert who would later appear in KUF:Heroes. Probably the dullest voice acting among the playable characters with a low, standard, accent-less droning voice which only becomes realistic at one stage when he completely looses his head in a bloody orgy, slaughtering orcs - "Choke on your own dark bubbling blood!