There are no reviews for this game.
Our Users Say
||The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting).
||How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be
||How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.)
||The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines
||How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes
|Sound / Music
||The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition
|Story / Presentation
||The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
|Overall User Score (4 votes)
MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here
for more information about MobyRank.
Overall, if you enjoy hack-and-slash games, you will enjoy Circle of Doom. If you’re not sure what hack-and-slash is all about, then go rent Dynasty Warriors or Diablo II. Circle of Doom is a healthy mix of those two games — actually, it feels sort of like an MMORPG on a much smaller scale, like Phantasy Star. If you aren’t a fan of these types of games, however, Circle of Doom probably isn’t going to change your mind.
Official XBox Magazine
Though the combat grows repetitive, the game manages to look lovely while you slap around your foes. If you're a fan of large-scale battle games a la Dynasty Warriors but prefer to play solely as one character, Circle of Doom makes for a great after-holiday snack.
Xbox World (Germany)
Die Animationen eurer Helden sind gut in Szene gesetzt mit samt den Kampfeffekten. Aber auch die Wasserspieglungen sowie den Lichtspielerreihen in den Levels können einen überzeugen. Doch der Gesamteindruck wird mit einzelnen Zeilenverschiebungen und den etwas lieblosen Innenabschnitten getrübt. Doch mal abgesehen von den kleineren übel bekommt ihr für euer Geld ein gutes Action-Rollenspiel, welches aber nur im 60 Hz läuft.
Cheat Code Central
With six characters ready for battle, there's certainly plenty of play packed into Circle of Doom. Playing through with just one hero could take upwards of twenty hours, and 4-player online co-op stretches the fantasy fun even further. If you're a fan of the tried-and-true action-RPG formula, then this one won't disappoint. However, if you've never understood the satisfaction of slogging through demon-filled dungeons or, more importantly, never stayed up until the sun creeps through the cracks of your drawn blinds in hopes of seeing "Level Up" pop-up on the screen just one more time, then this may not be your cup of mead.
Simple controls, linear gameplay, a basic (yet confusing storyline) equates to an experience that may please the casual hack and slash gamer. Playing online with up to three friends adds a nice dynamic but does little to change the actual gameplay. Some might find it even more challenging when you have multiple players fighting to stock up on health potions during the adventure. Despite the number of warriors you could choose from, the repetitive battle scheme and lack of variety will not make it worth your while to complete this game more than once. Ultimately Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom doesn’t offer anything more than what it advertises; a hack and slash/action RPG adventure that you’ve likely played before, this time on a next-gen console.
Nonostante si presenti davvero bene, la mancanza d'innovazione non lo rende godibile al 100%. Da avere se siete amanti del premo-un-tasto-e-finisco-tutto-o-quasi (a.k.a.: Hack'n'Slash); da non avere se non amate questo genere di giochi oppure quelli non troppo immediati.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
While Circle of Doom took some getting used to, I found it a challenging and very enjoyable experience. The sights, sounds, magic and storyline of this alien dimension far outweigh any combat drawbacks. I’ll be venturing back to complete my quest and compete with others online.
The latest iteration of the Kingdom Under Fire series sees a complete genre shift. The previous console games were tactical combat balanced with RPG-lite progression, whereas Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom takes us down the road of action adventure with a bigger focus on level progression and item upgrades.
Unless you are hard up for a four-player cooperative play game or are just a dungeon-crawler fanatic that loves slaughtering thousands of enemies for loot to pimp out your character, this game is probably going to seem as painful and unwelcome as a root canal. But for those that love the genre, it's a decent entry and the synthesis system will let you get as obsessive about customizing your character and gear as you can handle. Only the truly hardcore need apply. Everyone else, proceed directly to Marvel Ultimate Alliance instead.
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is still a great game in the classic series, but die-hard fans might find the lack of strategy in favor of all-out slashing too much of a change to enjoy. While the visuals and story offer some truly exciting moments, the change in how battles are performed leave more to be desired and hopefully developer Blueside can deliver the perfect blend for the next installment.
CoD is een babystapje van console RPG’s in de richting van het MMO genre. Dat is prijzenswaardig, maar het blijft een babystapje. Door de repetitieve aard van de gameplay wordt het nooit echt spannend, maar het opbouwen van een personage en deze online mee op stap nemen is best leuk voer voor RPG nerds.
Langeweile im Fantasy-Reich: Anstatt den gelungenen Echtzeitstrategie-Actionmix der Vorgänger zu verbessern, tischt uns Blueside einen inspirationsarmen Hack’n’Slay-Klon im ’Diablo’-Stil auf, dem es an allen Ecken und Enden an Raffinesse fehlt. Vor allem Kampf-Engine und KI sind schlicht zu schwach für ein gutes Spiel. Die überzeugenden Aspekte wie die Vielfalt der Gegenstände, das Synthetisierungsfeature, der Koop-Modus und die stimmige Inszenierung machen ’Circle of Doom’ aber für Genre-Fans interessant.
All in all Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is not one to race out and buy as soon as it appears on the shelves. It’s a mediocre Action/RPG hack n’ slash that looks nice on the surface but doesn’t stand up to too much scrutiny. If you can find three others with Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom for co-op play, you’re likely to stick at it longer, and get more out of it, than if you play the game solo. But I think it’ll be a bit of a task to find three others with the game.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is certainly a bold step for the franchise, though it’s where the game doesn’t make the bold step that it falls apart. The additions such as randomized dungeons and synthesizing are good, the links to previous games is good for fans and it is a game with its own character. That, and playing through with each of the six characters and hunting all the Xbox 360 achievements could take as much as 100 hours. However, as a single-player action RPG, it’s really only passable in the grand scheme of things. Unless you’ve got some friends for co-op action, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom will likely leave you wanting.
Circle of Doom is a risky entry to the series, but the payoff isn’t as good as it could be due to the complete exorcizing of the strategy elements. Without them, the game stands out less against the current crop of hack-and-slash action titles and feels repetitive. Let’s hope the developers bring them back for the next one.
As so often, you friends bring rescue. If you succeed to find up to three other gamers with Circle of Doom in their Xbox360, you can kill the overload of freaks together through Xbox Live. These co-op possibilities are just about the life-saving feature of this game as also graphically you won't be using it to show off your new HDTV. The design does deserve praise for its colorful, with some beautyful and nicely filled surroundings (this is how the woods look nice) and enjoyable special effects.
Kenelle KUF:ia sitten voi suositella? Jos mielestäsi WoW:n parasta antia ovat tasojen 1-3 tehtävät ja sinulla on kolme Livettävää kaveria, joilla on samanlaisia ambitioita, peliä saattaa kannattaa kokeilla. Yksinpelinä Circle of Doom soveltuu lähinnä unettomuuden hoitoon ja huonoksi case-esimerkiksi käytettävyystutkimuksiin. Ainoa piirre, joka voisi nostaa pelin täydellisestä unohduksen suosta, voisi olla grafiikka - taisteluissa nimittäin on oikeasti parhaimmillaan satoja vihollisia ja raivokasta meininkiä. Valitettavasti ruudunpäivitys putoilee vastaavasti välillä niin alas, ettei nylkyttämistä jaksa kauaa katsella.
Los seguidores del género sin duda pasarán buenos ratos con este juego ya que además de ofrecer un gran número de horas de juego offline con los seis personajes disponibles ha sido un gran acierto el incluir un cooperativo online, modalidad muy divertida e interesante que le suma bastantes enteros al juego. A nivel gráfico tampoco convence, diseños muy parecidos dentro de un conjunto algo anticuado técnicamente. En conclusión, un título destinado a los seguidores del género, si antes tenías buena imagen de la saga puede que llegues a odiar este juego.
Kingdom Under Fire is definitively a niche title. A large amount of customization options and a ton of replay value across six different characters will keep gamers looking for an in-depth experience interested, but gameplay flaws, unintuitive elements and generally mindless gameplay will serve to keep everyone else away. What is here is not for everyone, but if you’re the sort of person who can overlook the flaws and enjoy the strengths contained herein, you’ll be glad to spend your time with this. A rental should be able to tell you if this is the game for you, but unless you’re certain, buying this might not be advisable. Caveat emptor.
Malgré les critiques que nous avons pu émettre, Kingdom Under Fire : Circle Of Doom ravira les fans de Hack’n Slash sur console, ainsi que les personnes n’ayant pas peur de la linéarité et de la répétitivité de l’action. Le soft se pose comme étant quasiment le seul dans le genre très peu représenté du « je tape et ne réfléchis pas » et remplit donc parfaitement son rôle de défouloir. Le nombre de personnages jouables vous permettra par ailleurs de revivre l’aventure sous un autre angle scénaristique et d’augmenter ainsi la durée de vie du soft. C’est un plus, étant donné le prix d’un jeu à l’heure actuelle.
Jeux Vidéo Network
Malgré la volonté d’atteindre les joueurs moyens, Circle of Doom pèche par son système de jeu assez peu accessible. Reste un titre divertissant pour peu qu’on accroche, mais sans plus.
"Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom" parece um retrocesso para a franquia, mas deve ser encarado com cuidado, como um capítulo à parte, uma boa experiência para agradar ao nicho de jogadores que só se importa com ação desenfreada. Só não funciona fora deste espectro, já que para um público casual irá parecer limitado e repetitivo em relação aos padrões atuais.
Being a fan of the first two games, followers of the franchise are going to want to discard Circle of Doom from their memories. If you’re new to the Kingdom then you might find some joy in the hack n’ slash action, if you accept the game for what it is. In a strange way, Circle of Doom has it own charm appeal and can be addictive if you don’t mind shutting down you mind and hitting the “X” and “A” buttons for hours. However, even though I had some admitted fun with the new Kingdom Under Fire, I can not recommend it for anything more than a rental. If Blueside wants to build a new Kingdom, I hope they can find the motivation to rebuild the franchise into the groundbreaking and creative game it can be.
As a single-player experience then, there are clearly not enough quality elements here to recommend above most other titles in this genre. Co-op play does lend life to the experience, and running around with friends can be a lot of fun, easing the levelling experience along the way. Story missions can also be completed in this mode, which again is a considerable bonus to progression. Overall though, CoD just doesn't make the grade on either front. As an action game, the clunky combat under-delivers and soon becomes repetitive to the point of boredom, and as an RPG it's severely limited by some nonsensical storytelling mechanics. Combining the two makes an interesting diversion for a little while, but certainly not something that will drive the experience forward. Disappointing on all counts then.
With the success Sony has had with God of War there's a real gap on Microsoft's console for an easy to get into hack 'n' slash that's polished to perfection. Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom isn't that game, falling way short of the thrills offered by God of War and nowhere near the depth required of a full RPG. Played with friends Circle of Doom is mildly entertaining for a short time, but it's unquestionably one of the most disappointing games Microsoft has released for the Xbox 360.
If you think that Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is a typical RPG then you will probably be disappointed, while it does have some of the tradition elements associated with the genre included, most of the time you will just find yourself hacking through enemy after enemy without any element of strategy at all, this game really could have been so much better and while it is quite impressive in places, somehow I feel quite let down.
Totally Gaming Network
Lastly to one of KUF’s more interesting game modes, co-operative play. It’s possible to play through the entire quest mode and main game with the aid of a friend. Rather than just one of you tackling the baddies, you can team up and cut a swathe through the hordes in no time at all. There is the added caveat that you will both be scrapping for the same spoils of war though so make sure you pick someone who isn’t going to pocket all the gold and replenishing potions leaving you with the scraps. Playing alongside a random online type (as very few people on my friends list have even heard of the game let alone having a copy) proved a bit fruitless but when you can link up with three other players who play as a team, it can add quite a bit of satisfaction to the game.
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom would disappoint many fans of the series because of how big the change to previous games is. It has its issues that I think if given a chance and a new game could easily be fixed. All is not lost though online play has potential and if you like continually hacking your way through monsters, demons and the like you'll love this.
In short spurts, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom can be reasonably amusing, though even the most resolute hack-and-slash enthusiasts will likely grow tired of the nebulous story and monotonous battles before reaching the final boss. Considering the number of character-specific quests and multiple story threads, the campaign is obviously meant to benefit from multiple play-throughs. The problem is that the actual act of playing it isn't very rewarding, so while there are some good ideas at work, these erudite ideas are overshadowed by a good number of design flaws that keep Circle of Doom from delivering any dependable sense of fun.
Had Blueside gotten a little more creative with the AI and asked gamers to be a bit more conscious of their button presses—more like what Too Human is shaping up to be perhaps—we would probably be digging this one a great deal more. We can see the potential, so maybe it will take the follow-up action/RPG and its yet-to-be-announced action/strategy title for us to be starry eyed for this franchise once again. Until then, we’ll play The Crusaders, backwards-compatible style, and patiently wait until Blueside rekindles our love affair with this interesting IP.
Although it does a few things well, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom seems to punish you at every turn for trying to progress. In an attempt to give gamers more bang for their buck, the developers have managed to cut off their noses to spite their faces because instead of a quick and good game, you get a drawn-out game that stops being fun after a few hours. If I wanted to drink the Kool-Aid at the MMO camp, I would have done it a long time ago, rather than wait for one that's masquerading as a hack-and-slash title.
Technisch durchaus okay, hat das Entwicklerteam sich bei Fragen hinsichtlich der Spielmechanik mit nahezu zielsicherer Genauigkeit immer für die falschen Antworten entschieden. Wieso gibt es keine offene Welt, sondern nur Levelschläuche? Wieso sind die Sonderfähigkeiten zwar prinzipiell interessant, aber faktisch nahezu nutzlos? Wieso ist die Gegenstandsverbesserung derart undurchschaubar und scheinbar zufällig? Wieso sind selbst Bosskämpfe fast vollkommen spannungsfrei? Fragen über Fragen, die deutlich machen, dass sich Blue Side mit Circle of Doom letztlich nicht nur übernommen, sondern hinsichtlich der wichtigen Spannungsmomente fast schon schlampig versagt hat. Selbst wenn mich das Jagen und Sammeln kurzfristig immer wieder mal ans Pad gelockt hat, bleibt immer ein sehr schales Gefühl zurück. Selbst ich als eingefleischter Monstermetzler konnte auf lange Sicht einfach keinen Gefallen an diesem unausgereiften, viel zu linearen und erzählerisch belanglosen Abenteuerversuch finden.
It's unfortunate really. While one could argue that the Kingdom Under Fire series was more in need of some improved play mechanics than a total reboot, there's entertaining gameplay to be found at the core of Circle of Doom. Sadly, the differently flavored action-RPG experience is overwhelmed by too much repetition, poorly explained mechanics and a non-existent narrative. And for any fun there is to be had, it's tough not to wonder what BlueSide was thinking in calling this a Kingdom Under Fire game.
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is not a terrible game, in fact there is a small sect of dungeon crawling gamers that will find it enjoyable, but the nausea that was induced by slamming the same buttons repeatedly, fighting the same dim-witted enemies was just too much for me to stand. It might have been more acceptable if the storyline made a lick of sense or was engrossing in the slightest bit, but most of the time you'll feel like you're running around without a true purpose other than slaying nimrod after mindless nimrod. For those few that do enjoy it, there's plenty to play thanks to over 40 hours of gameplay and a level cap of 120, but anyone who makes it that far into Circle of Doom deserves a medal for valor.
Game Informer Magazine
The fairly straightforward formula of an action/RPG seems lost and forgotten in Circle of Doom. Core design issues plague the entire experience from beginning to end. No basic block or dodge option? Normal attacks that drain the equivalent of your mana bar? And who thought that randomized dungeons were going to help this sprawling and lifeless level design? Even the extensive ability upgrade system is ludicrously clumsy and misguided.
All in all, Circle of Doom’s hack and slash formula feels out of place alongside the other games of the series, and more appropriate next to Gauntlet. Frilly-collared warrior needs food badly!
Circle of Doom sees the Kingdom Under Fire series complete the transition from being an RTS to being an action RPG. All of the RTS elements that were blended so well in Heroes have been tossed out of the window and what we are left with is a game that is nowhere near as impressive as the Kingdom Under Fire games that appeared on the original Xbox console. What we have in Circle of Doom is a decent action RPG that has solid battle mechanics and a decent multiplayer experience but as a single-player experience it takes all of twenty minutes to become tedious. There’s no quality storyline here and no real reason to keep on ploughing through the masses of enemies you’ll encounter from the game’s beginning to its end. It’s just one long level-grinding experience that’s difficult to stomach for more than short durations, especially if you’re playing solo.
If you're the type of person who can get hours of enjoyment out of even a mediocre dungeon crawler, or if you're still to this day playing Diablo's single player on your PC, then Kingdom Under Fire is the game for you. For everyone else, it's a game marred by repetitive combat featuring little else to actually do. The online co-op via Xbox Live makes the game a blast to play with friends, but the complete lack of an offline co-op feature is perplexing. With Kingdom of Fire: Circle of Doom, Blueside was looking to bring in a new generation of Kingdom Under Fire fans. They may have done so, but in the process they likely alienated those dedicated gamers who have loved the franchise since the first game came out on the original Xbox.
MS Xbox World
As it stands KUF:COD is a repetitive hack and slasher that will entertain for short bursts of time, however I feel more action orientated gamers are going to get a little bored rather quickly. A lack of variation in the combat and some poor sound makes the game fall short off the mark. If you are going to copy one of the all time great games of our generation, then make sure you grab the element that made it appealing in the first place and somehow try and improve upon it. What worked years ago doesn't necessarily work in todays action pack markets. Times have changed and I feel there's no place for a game as basic and devoid of features as this one.
Circle Of Doom ne s'intègre à la série des Kingdom Under Fire que parce qu'il en partage l'univers, et nous recommandons tout de même aux fans d'y repenser à deux fois avant de lâcher leurs euros. Les mécanismes de la série, autrefois baignés de stratégie hardcore, ont été délaissés au profit d'un hack'n slash relativement fade et daté. On ne considérera donc cet épisode que comme un interlude décevant, destiné à faire patienter les stratèges qui sommeillent en nous.
Game Informer Magazine
The problems are clear from the outset. Before you are even mindlessly hacking away at mobs of lemming-like enemies, your character is introduced to you via a short, confusing, and poorly scripted cinematic – “short” being the closest thing to a compliment I can give them. Honestly, the story is all but nonexistent. You practically have to hunt it down. At various points in the game you come upon shrines where you can go to sleep and enter a strange astral-like plane. This is where you interact with the one or two other characters who make up the entirety of the game’s cast, but you may as well just sleep through these segments yourself they are so boring.
If you've played any of the previous Kingdom Under Fire games on the Xbox, throw everything you know about them out the window. Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is a completely different game in the series, dropping any elements of strategy and mass unit management in favor of a hack and slash RPG that's much closer to Dynasty Warriors or Diablo.
GNT - Generation Nouvelles Technologies
Kingdom Under Fire : Circle of Doom peine à convaincre malgré une esthétique de qualité. Son scénario efficace, ses environnements variés, sa longue durée de vie et ses divers scénarios auraient pu donner un bon jeu d'action / jeu de rôles. Malheureusement, le gameplay simplifié à l'extrême est créateur d'ennui. Un jeu honnête, sans plus. La suite, plus tactique, devrait changer ce constat.
And so the score at the bottom of this review ticked slowly back up. It had to stop, of course, because, even though the game comes to life online, it is still, essentially, a slightly empty experience. The problem really is that, even online, the only incentive to carry on braving Circle of Doom's tedious environments and simplistic action is to obtain a high-powered character, or a monstrous weapon. Except once you've done that, it renders the game even more tedious and simplistic as you one-hit-kill your way around the same stultifying environments that you've been grinding through. Which, online or offline, eventually gets a bit boring.
This game deserves to be hammered for being a shoddy, stinking pile. But on the other hand, it also has a strange PSO-like allure that beckons you back for just one more loot run. The co-op online mode is actually fairly fun, but a game-breaking voice chat bug dampens that experience somewhat if you aren't in a public game; that said, grinding through Circle of Doom with friends is a much better experience that without. Only those who like phat loot need even try this game, and even then, rent first. If you can stomach the simple (some might call it accessible) gameplay and find something to have fun with here, just know that you're not alone.
So in the final analysis, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom takes a bunch of decently designed aspects and mangles them into an unfun experience. While it's very possible that there's more fun to be had playing with friends, I'm sure that the 360 has many more titles which are a lot more fun than this one. Caveat emptor.
You'll enjoy Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom if you can't get enough of the never-ending minion-killing, but if you have the sort of obsessive personality that enjoys doing the same thing over and over again for digital loot, you'd probably be better served playing an MMORPG. Be sure to give this one a rental before purchase, because the gameplay here is most definitely an acquired taste.
Kingdom Under Fire misses the mark, big time. Circle of Doom is an interesting attempt to give the series new direction, but unfortunately, it's going the wrong way. The innovative enemy design and Xbox Live-supported co-op go to waste in the presence of lame one-note gameplay and an uninvolving quest. It's back to the old drawing board for this Kingdom.
Video Games Daily
Sadly, even this wasn't enough make me feel that my playing this game had any sort of purpose except to anger me into this review. Some will enjoy KUF:COD, but even the most diehard dungeon crawler will appreciate their other dungeon crawling games all the better for having played this. Circle of Doom is at best a miss-match of ideas which do not jell, at worst a brain numbing way to waste your entire life..
Au final, Kingdom Under Fire : Circle of Doom se place dans la catégorie des jeux au gameplay complètement dépassé, lourd, répétitif, basique et ennuyeux. A aucun moment un soupçon de fun ne pointera le bout de son nez, l'ennui s'étant déjà bien installé depuis longtemps. C'est pourtant dommage, car la licence avait du potentiel pour faire de ce spin-off un jeu de qualité. Les graphismes sont plutôt réussis, et la durée de vie est vraiment bonne. Mais en définitive on a affaire à un jeu pas totalement mauvais, mais qui pêche par un gameplay vraiment en dessous de ce que l'on est en droit d'attendre de nos jours. Une belle déception.
Artistiquement maîtrisé, tant au niveau des décors que des ennemis, Kingdom Under Fire : Circle Of Doom n’en reste pas moins un jeu ennuyeux, dirigiste et répétitif à souhait. Malgré l’utilisation d’un univers riche et intéressant, la narration est trop mal rythmée, comme la progression globale. L’IA codée avec les pieds, les saccades omniprésentes et les musiques mollassonnes finissent d’achever un titre qui ne manquait pas de bonnes idées, en témoignent la présence de nombreux personnages et une gestion poussée de ceux-ci. Volontairement admis comme un épisode de transition par les créateurs, la seule réelle valeur ajoutée du jeu est son mode en ligne. S’ennuyer entre potes, mwai….bof.
On peut dire que Kingdom Under Fire : Circle of Doom n’est pas la suite du précédent opus tant il s’en éloigne de part son nouveau concept beat’em all saupoudrée d’une pointe de jeu de rôle. Le jeu aurait quand même pu être agréable à jouer si la répétitivité des niveaux et des musiques n’était pas aussi évidente mais hélas, on s’ennuie au bout de quelques heures de pratique. A moins d’être un fan des jeux où on avance sans trop se poser de questions, enchaînant alors les groupes d’ennemis par dizaines dans des niveaux sans grande originalité, le jeu n’est donc pas à conseiller.
Look, I admit that these button mashers are not my favorite entertainment. And Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom is a fine looking game with a rousing soundtrack. Actually, the soundtrack was often the only thing that kept me going with all of that inspirational battle music. If you’re a fan of Dynasty Warriors, or games like it, this is worth a rental. If not, then just stay far away.
The lone bright spot comes in the form of four player cooperative play via Xbox Live, though collectively sharing the disappointment of this game is like tasting a nasty drink then passing it to your buddies to offer them a sip. No matter how you slice it, Circle of Doom just doesn't have any appeal.
G4 TV: X-Play
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom fulfills its obligations but only barely when it comes to visceral carnage. Though you’re given a choice of five characters from the beginning, most of them feel the same and leave very little room to make them your own. Random boards allow for variety, but leaves out those spectacular set pieces that makes you glad you brought a couple of friends with you. Multiplayer action adds as a bit more life to this bare bones game. Coming from a series that understands character progression and massive battles so well, Circle of Doom seems more like a quick way to put out a title instead of a fully developed idea.
You can opt to take the action online as well as swap weapons and items, but with such easy opponents, the incentive is small. Overall, Circle of Doom left me seeking out another key circle: the power button.
Some might find this game entertaining, but a lot won't so it's a really hard game to recommend. I personally wouldn't even give this game a rent...maybe a burial at sea, but a purchase definitely not. Kingdom Under Fire fans will be able to return to what they originally loved when Kingdom Under Fire 2 comes out, which is currently slated for a 2009 release.
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom follows a straight-forward formula, but somehow, it can’t even get that right. Most of the time, it just makes the gameplay too easy, too basic, or too difficult by design. Something is off, something that you can tell just by reading some of the Messages from the Dark Dimension and proverb-filled Fortune Cookies that are dropped by dead enemies: “You are locked in a sterile white room. The pain is unbearable. The tools are at hand. What is your next move?” Hmm…. probably opening the door and walking away from the pain.
Outside of needing an extreme amount of patience to plow through each stage, most are not very challenging. Only Kingdom Under Fire's bosses are much of a challenge and sometimes that is only because certain character builds are less effective against certain bosses. Overall, players who enjoy hack-and-slash games with friends, and who can do so over Xbox Live, might enjoy Kingdom Under Fire. Even that might be a stretch, for bringing nothing new to the genre; offering minimal story, repetitive gameplay, and mediocre presentation; Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom would be more aptly titled Kingdom Under Failure: Circle of Dull. The strategy games in the series might have been decent, but this RPG is not.
In the end, my experience with Circle of Doom can be summed up pretty succinctly: It's never a good sign when I nearly fall asleep while playing a game...multiple times.