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Preview: The First Templar

1:18 PM on 10.29.2010 // Chris Morris
  @Azereki


The First Templar is a cooperative action adventure title being developed by Haemimont Games, the same studio that brought us Tropico 3 and Absolute Power. Set in the late 13th century, the game follows a French Templar and his companion, a female noble who has been declared a heretic by the church.

The player is tasked with uncovering the mysteries behind the Templar Order, all the while getting wrapped up in a grand conspiracy surrounding the secret of the Holy Grail. Although no one ever expects the Inquisition, they (along with many others) will play a role in attempting to thwart your progress along the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJRvlGUMBaw
The First Templar is a cooperative action adventure title being developed by Haemimont Games, the same studio that brought us Tropico 3 and Absolute Power. Set in the late 13th century, the game follows a French Templar and his companion, a female noble who has been declared a heretic by the church.

The player is tasked with uncovering the mysteries behind the Templar Order, all the while getting wrapped up in a grand conspiracy surrounding the secret of the Holy Grail. Although no one ever expects the Inquisition, they (along with many others) will play a role in attempting to thwart your progress along the way.

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The First Templar (Xbox 360, PC)
Developer: Haemimont Games
Publisher: Kalypso
To be released: Spring 2011

The game is built from the ground up with cooperative play in mind. Featuring drop-in/drop-out co-op, players will be able jump into either character and play through the entire story or simply hop in to assist with critical moments in the game. If you don't have a second player, the AI will take control of whichever character is not currently in use. This allows you to switch between either character to take advantage of their unique skills and abilities.

As you progress through the game, exploring and completing missions, your characters too will advance. Although you don't have to worry about fine-tuning your stats or seeking out that epic weapon, you are allowed a bit of freedom in how you decide to play the game. By unlocking various abilities and skill trees, you can place points in each character according to your preferred combat style. While Templar is still firmly rooted in the action-adventure genre, the character advancement does give it a sort of RPG-lite feel.

Surprisingly enough, the game is running on Haemimont's own Tropico 3 engine. Considering that Tropico was an economic sim and played primarily at a bird's-eye view, it still managed to display some pretty amazing visual quality. High resolution textures, fantastic lighting, shadows, and water effects and you have a pretty solid graphics engine for almost any type of game. Fortunately, they were able to leverage this technology for Templar extremely well, especially considering that it is a third-person action game. You might even be able to argue that it looks quite a bit better than Tropico.

The rich and diverse history, culture, and architecture of 13th century Europe provides a fantastic backdrop for the story and level design in The First Templar. Haemimont has painstakingly recreated 20 historically accurate locations to explore throughout the game. Everything ranging from dark and eerie dungeons and swamps to bright and sunny villages and castles. While the game is not what you might consider high-fantasy, it certainly captures the magic of the time period and portrays it extremely well.

If you are looking for some solid co-op adventure, Templar should definitely be on your radar this spring!



Chris Morris,
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