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Crusader: Adventure Out of Time

aka: Croisades. Conspiration au Royaume d'Orient , Crusader: A Conspiracy in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Crusader: Kreuzz├╝ge - Verschw├Ârung im K├Ânigreich des Orients, Cruzadas: Conspiraci├│n en el Reino de Jerusalen, Cruzadas: Conspiraci├│n en el Reino de Oriente, Ritter Arthaud - Abenteuer im Heiligen Land
Moby ID: 17838
Windows Specs

Description official description

An historical adventure game set in the Middle Ages at the time that the Franks were beginning to be driven out of Jerusalem. The player follows the adventure of Artaud, a disgraceful French Lord, who is sent to redeem himself by traveling to the Holy Lands to escort the True Cross back to safety. This is done through a series of scenes, with narration. The player has to complete certain tasks before Artaud can progress to the next scene. These tasks are generally of an educational nature, such as learning how sieges on castles were carried out, or who the main forces in the Holy Lands were at the time. Whilst Artaud's quest is fictional (with some added supernatural events), the setting is quite real, with actual locations visited and use of historic figures.

Artaud's quest will see his home in Dun-le-Roy wasted in a siege, travel across the Mediterranean to the port of Acre, and eventually to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Along the way historical information is provided on events and lifestyles of the period.

The game's style has a 3rd-person perspective and uses digital footage of real actors again photo-realistic (for the time) backdrops, which are partially animated. Intertwined with the scenes is an encyclopaedia, which it is necessary to interact with in order to complete the tasks and fully understand the narrative. The structure of most of the tasks involves collecting items from the scenes and the encyclopaedia by dragging them into your inventory, and then re-arranging them on to the task screen. The game is very similar in style to 1998's Vikings.

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Credits (Windows version)

83 People (78 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Production
based on an original idea by
Conception and production of sets and animations
Original music
With the participation of
  • the Centre National de la Cin├ęmatographie
This program has received the support
  • of the European Community
Project Manager
Original scenario
Publishing Director
Directors of production
Author of dialogues and adaptation into Old French
Writers of documents
Graphical interface design
3D-animation design
Programming
Iconography
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 6 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 2 ratings with 1 reviews)

A fairly successful attempt at fusing adventure and education

The Good
The ambience created by the game is great as it makes the user feels that they are both in the scene and studying it, feeling like a truly involving textbook (in a good way!). The use of real actors against a photo realistic backgrounds is well chosen to lend the game an authentic feel of historical reality. The Storyline is great, and actually feels like a proper narrative unfolding with subplots and depth all handily delivered by a narrator, which in itself provides a surprise twist later on in the game. The research put into the game clearly shows and it benefits from being placed in the context of the crusades with the Christian/Muslim tensions of the time. This political and religious backdrop is well explained and used to present a story that is fairly credible throughout (until the end). The integral encyclopaedia is mostly well written and thorough, allowing the player to browse through most topics. The main plus for this game is that it made me fascinated to learn more about the subject and helped me learn through the game play and the encyclopaedia. It encouraged me to change the pace of my game play to a more relaxed inquisitive style, and hooked me in.

The Bad
The play style is not obvious when you start the game, it involves collecting items from the screen in order to solve a problem, which is fairly easy, however it is not clear that sometimes items must be also collected from the encyclopaedia, causing some struggle at the start of the game. Whilst undoubtedly useful the encyclopaedia does seem to be strangely laid out and sometimes difficult to navigate through. The format clearly borrows from Encarta, yet not enough care was taken when inserting hyperlinks causing confusion when trying to find the correct entry to solve a puzzle. Whilst the game has been mostly successful in translation there were some areas that were overlooked, mainly in installing a French version of QuickTime on my system against my wishes. I did have a problem with the events towards the end of the game. The next few lines contain a minor spoiler. Whilst most of the game is grounded in historical accuracy and the fictional story is believable, toward the end the game introduces supernatural elements. This grated with me as it did not fully reflect the multi-faith approach much of the game had, showing spirits appearing. I understand this was done to make not just the historical facts, but the historical beliefs come to life (as in their later Vikings game). However, it seemed 'tacked - on' to me.

The Bottom Line
Crusader attempts to bridge the gap between education and adventure, mixing a fictional story into a factual setting. Drawing on the era of the Crusades, and steeped in the myths of the holy relics, it displays a well-rounded view of the opposing forces. Following the hapless Artaud, the player is not impelled to empathise with him, rather view him as a helpless pawn prey to the powers of the time. In this it presents a different style of game to most, as the player is moving the story along by solving puzzles that can directly or indirectly progress the game. The game graphically shows its age, and looks like it hails from an older age of multimedia, with attempts at photo realistic 2D backdrops (with varying degrees of success) with videoed actors. I would not classify this as a game, more of an interactive experience.

Windows · by RussS (807) · 2005

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  • MobyGames ID: 17838
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by RussS.

Macintosh added by Dragom. Windows 3.x added by Macs Black.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, lobo rojo, Scaryfun, marley0001, Jon South.

Game added May 27, 2005. Last modified June 25, 2023.