La MediEvil review gives us the opportunity to think about the meaning of two words that we have often heard in recent years: remaster e remake. The first indicates an operation in which you take a game and adapt it to current standards only in terms of resolution, sometimes improving some effect, with a work by the developers that is limited to changing some parameters of the code and a final check that everything is working properly. A recent example could be the Shenmue I & II collection.
The conception of the remake, on the other hand, is different and more multifaceted, which depends mainly on the intentions of those who make it: the game remains structurally the same, but all the graphic elements are redesigned from scratch and changes are often made to the gameplay to smooth the inevitable edges. Without wishing to bother with the magnificent work done by Capcom with Resident Evil 2, we can mention the collections dedicated to Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, or Shadow of the Colossus to stay at Sony.
Ordunque, MediEvil was advertised as a remake and is being sold for the price of a remake, but ultimately it is not a remake; not in the conception to which Sony itself has accustomed us, at least.
Other Ocean has carried out a complete technical review of the game, recreating all the assets from scratch with a view to a work that on the one hand is respectful of the original style, on the other hand tries to put his own to further enhance the atmosphere. The point is that, however, the gameplay has remained practically identical to that of 1998, and if this can represent an added value for the incurable nostalgics and purists, alas it ends up cutting out those who expect certain things from a video game of 2019.
History, characters, strengths
The new narrator of MediEvil, the only unpublished graft within the dubbing original in Spanish, once again introduces us to the story of Sir Daniel Fortesque, an unblemished knight who sacrifices his life to defend the borders of Gallowmere from the attack of the evil sorcerer Zarok. A century later the necromancer returns with his army of undead, but black magic ends up awakening even Sir Daniel, who despite the features of a skeleton does not give up fighting for his kingdom.
After completing a very short tutorial inside the crypt where the knight's body was placed, we will have to try our hand at almost twenty levels to eliminate the evil that has once again invaded the territories of Gallowmere and confront Zarok for one last time.
The original atmospheres appear intact, even enhanced in this remake: thanks to the extraordinary colonna sonora that accompanies the action, but also of a stylistic approach that leaves room for very few blunders, when it is considered from an exquisitely artistic point of view.
- scenery they appear very varied and well differentiated, leading us to explore cemeteries, dungeons, labyrinths, villages and forests inhabited by always different creatures, which are distinguished by unique patterns of attack and movement. The bestiary of the game still looks very rich today and includes zombies, goblins, scarecrows, anthropomorphic pumpkins, mummies, demons and various boss.
Getting the better of these opponents won't be easy, unless you take the time to search for items and secrets, in the context of a formula that makes the completitionist approach not only desirable but even necessary so that we can have the resources to get to the bottom of the adventure.
In fact, it is necessary to scrutinize every corner of the settings to find the health-enhancing bottles of life available to the protagonist, providing us with an important help to smooth out the effect of very chaotic melees, in which we end up irreparably suffering extensive damage.
As well as to unlock the scopes chalices, which "materialize" when all enemies and they are valid for Sir Daniel to enter the Hall of Heroes, where the knight can receive weaponry much more effective than his blunt sword: a crossbow, a war hammer, an ax, various types of bow, more or less magical swords, shields and even armor.
After about eight hours (game over permitting: every time you die the stage must be faced from the beginning and times can expand) you will find yourself witnessing one of the two possible final and to unlock missions extras added for the occasion, in a sort of further tribute to the replayability of a title that has always focused on this factor, making it a fundamental element of its design and making it a real distinctive feature.
MediEvil includes a series of extra contents that aim to underline the nostalgic value of the production, in this case a digital artbook that highlights in a very interesting way the work carried out on the various assets, the soundtrack and an animated comic starring Sir Daniel Fortesque, nice but frankly ugly to see.
Gameplay and criticality
Anyone who was twenty in 1998 (any autobiographical reference is purely coincidental) will certainly remember that the original MediEvil had its beautiful flaws in terms of gameplay, deriving from the fact that we were in the midst of an epochal change: the transition from the graphics raster to polygonal in action games. The developers did not know exactly how to handle the third dimension and for a few years it went a bit groping, experimenting with various solutions until someone (Capcom) did not find the square.
Reproposing that type of mechanics today, without smoothing the obvious edges, represents a controversial choice that will inevitably turn up the nose of those who, as mentioned, legitimately expected a production along the lines of Shadow of the Colossus.
Controller in hand, the remake of MediEvil is terribly slippery, completely lacks impact performance, suffers from significant problems with the camera and he stumbles often and willingly when it comes to interacting with the scenario.
In comparison with individual opponents, the shield proves to be a useful tool where the attack movement is intercepted to parry it and then sink, but the slashes seem to move in the air even when they hit and the thing is accentuated during the numerous, chaotic melees in which you have to move quickly to avoid taking too much damage and keep pressing the attack button in the hope that some move will hit.
Using ranged weapons thus becomes a necessity when you have little energy and don't want to risk the game over (which, as mentioned, forces you to start the level all over again with the same level of health, without being restored) , but with some tools the lock-on fails and there are times when the potential target is not even considered by the aiming system.
The simple gesture of moving an object becomes problematic because the character avoids hooking and his movements are too wide, but it is above all the adjustment of the view to create difficulties: the structures in the foreground do not become transparent and when you find yourself in a corner it may happen that you no longer see anything. To this is added some glitch annoying enough, in our case it happened that the character got stuck in a lever or could not complete a puzzle.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
The 39 MediEvil Trophies are obtained by completing the game's campaign, but also by dedicating the right time to exploring the scenarios, collecting coins and discovering secrets. There is even an achievement that is unlocked by trying to insert one of the old cheats of the original MediEvil: a nice touch of class from the developers.
As mentioned at the beginning, the guys from Other Ocean have redesigned all the assets of the original MediEvil, taking great care to respect the vision and style of the work. Cambridge Studio. The result is excellent from the point of atmospheres and feeling in general, which is in no way distorted and indeed is enhanced in many elements.
The soundtrack is also magnificent: a sequence of orchestral pieces that accompany the action as best it could not, at least partially remedying an aspect that unfortunately appears decidedly less happy, namely the dubbing in Spanish. It is basically that of 1998, when the first steps were taken on the front of audio localization, with results generally very far from those we are lucky enough to hear today. Maybe you remembered it better, as often happens, but it's really bad and doing it from scratch would certainly not have been a scandal or a lack of respect.
Moving on to a purely technical analysis, the feeling is that of being faced with a project born on PlayStation 3 and then ported to PS4. By now bothering the repeated remake of Shadow of the Colossus seems excessive, we think it has been understood that MediEvil is a substantially less ambitious production, but the invoice of the polygonal models, of the settings and of the effects appears very dated. The original limitations obviously don't help, but the fact that up PlayStation 4 Pro il frame rate (generally stable on 60 fps) has evident drops in the initial phases of the campaign and in moments of greater chaos it helps to get a not exactly positive idea of the optimization work carried out by the Californian team.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Price 27,90 € Resources4Gaming.com
MediEvil is a game that is very difficult to evaluate, a remake that beyond the technical aspect (even there with a whole series of limitations) is stubborn in re-proposing the original 1998 gameplay without smoothing its very evident edges. Will nostalgics and purists be happy with the choice made by Sony and Other Ocean? It is possible, but at the same time those who legitimately expected improvements in terms of mechanics, hitboxes and visual management, as happened in several other remakes for PS4, will be disappointed. Our advice is to try the demo before proceeding with the purchase: despite everything, wearing Sir Daniel Fortesque's armor again could represent a dream come true for you.
- Great atmosfera
- Outstanding soundtrack
- Many enemies, scenarios and secrets
- Slippery and rough gameplay
- Management of the problematic view
- Technically dated