Extras

Tom Recommends: Castle Crashers

Each week, Tom Evans will provide insight into a PC game that could be a great addition to your collection. From old AAA titles that you never took a risk on to delving into the thriving PC Indie scene, Tom Recommends will feature games from all over the spectrum. If you’re looking for a new game to play, or for something to put on your wishlist for that perfect flash sale, hopefully this feature will cover something helpful.

Originally released for Xbox 360 in August 2008, Castle Crashers Steam has more than a few traces of old timey games. The 2.5D sidescrolling hack and slash is classic arcade beat ‘em up and the story follows the antiquated damsels in distress plotline. On top of these aspects however, The Behemoth have applied whole new layers of sheen.

“The controls are solid and satisfying to use, but gameplay can sometimes feel grindingly repetitive if alone, unfamiliar with the game or against beefier late game foes”

Combat options are various, with your hero having access to melee and ranged weapons, as well as magic individual to each character. The multiple ways to slay your way through waves of minions make the action engaging and enjoyable. The controls are solid and satisfying to use, but gameplay can sometimes feel grindingly repetitive if alone, unfamiliar with the game or against beefier late game foes.

Character customisation is another bonus. Starting from four knights, unlocking characters through the game creates a huge playable roster. There is also a huge list of weapons to be found in the game, each unique in appearance and buffing certain attributes. There are some light RPG elements, allowing points investment into skills as you level up. Lastly are the animal companions, which can buff your character or help out in interesting ways.

Vibrant colours and a charming art style make for a very pleasing aesthetic. Your quest will take you through many cliché fantasy environments but all are brought to life fantastically or have an interesting twist put on them. Likewise enemy factions and bosses are familiar but with an interesting twist, such as ninja pirates.

“Levels are filled with a passive humour unlikely to split everyone’s sides, but make the game that much more enjoyable”

A couple of extra game modes are included, one however brings very little extra value. Light PvP also features as inside and outside of the story. DLC comes in the form of two unique characters, with their own magic and weapon sets, each £0.89. Not only is the content a fantastic addition to the game, 100% of DLC proceeds go to various charities. Fans of other The Behemoth game Battleblock Theater, will be thrilled to know Hatty Hattington is playable should you own Battleblock Theater on the same platform.

Travelling through the world of Castle Crashers is casual, light hearted fun. Levels are filled with a passive humour unlikely to split everyone’s sides, but make the game that much more enjoyable. The cheerful tone and manageable difficulty of this game make it an extremely enjoyable way to spend a few hours with friends. It is currently £9.99 full price on Steam, but often goes for extremely cheap during sales.

Tom Evans

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