NeocoreGames, the developers of Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor and the Incredible Adventure of Van Helsing trilogy, have unveiled their next game on Kickstarter, which focuses on the dark side of King Arthur’s legend. King Arthur: Knight’s Tale reimagines the Arthurian legend as a turn-based strategy RPG in the vein of other strategy games like XCOM, while also injecting hardcore elements from roguelike games.
In development for over a year, the tactics-RPG creators have debuted the game on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to bring the studio’s vision to life. The story of Knight’s Tale occurs during the turbulent final days of the Arthurian era, which sees both Sir Mordred and King Arthur himself fall in battle. You play as Sir Mordred, a recurring antagonist to King Arthur throughout legend, who returns to life as an undead warrior and in a more chaotic world. With guidance from The Lady of the Lake, Sir Mordred builds his own Knights of the Round Table to face off against King Arthur once again–who has also taken a more sinister form.
Just before its debut on Kickstarter, we had the chance to get an early look at the game, while also speaking with developers Patrik Csornyei and Gergely Vas about their vision for Knight’s Tale. According to the developers, their interpretation of a turn-based strategy RPG carries many influences from XCOM. Instead of waging a campaign against invading aliens, you’ll fight against monsters, sorcerers, and other corrupted knights who have spread across the land. But just like XCOM, there’s a steep penalty for failure in your campaign.
“This game is a twist on the traditional stories that focused on chivalry, where everything has turned upside down,” said Vas. “All of our previous games were focused on the narrative, and we want to continue that in Knight’s Tale, but we have a dark and exciting twist with the roguelike elements. Death will always be final in Knight’s Tale, and any party members who die battle will be gone for good. There are diseases and other injuries that temporarily remove members from your party, but death will always be final. So with your knights of the round table, you always have to plan ahead before each fight.”
While the concept of permadeath isn’t new in strategy games, the developers wanted to tie this closer to a narrative that focuses on rebirth and death. Throughout your campaign, you’ll amass more members of your army and be confronted with some moral choices with individual members. During the presentation, the creators stated that some hard choices have to be made to continue with your adventure to battle King Arthur.
Just like with XCOM, you control a squad with varying skills and abilities, and you can move them across the battlefield to engage with enemies via turn-based combat. From the brief gameplay we saw, experienced players of other turn-based tactics games will feel familiar with how Knight’s Tale is structured. According to the developers, the proposed game will have a set campaign with 20 story missions, a range of side-quests, and other series of diverse battlefields and locales to travel through.
With a proposed launch for Q1 2021, the developers also plan to release a beta for Kickstarter supporters, which is set to release sometime in November. While there’s no word about releasing the game on consoles, the developers have confirmed that the game will launch first on PC via Steam.