NAMCO BANDAI ended 2010 with three strong titles in Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and the stellar Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.  Hopes were high for KNIGHTS CONTRACT – Namco Bandai’s first big title to ship in 2011.  When we previewed Knights Contract in Oct 2010 we compared the game to Dante’s Inferno or Bayonetta but now believe it stacks up more closer to something like Darksiders from THQ.

Unfortunately our play through Knights Contract didn’t yield much of a rewarding experience.  When the game was shown to us in a ‘hands-off’ demo even the person handling the controls seemed to have difficulty fighting his way through the boss battle.  This poor gameplay mechanic has carried over into the final version of the game.  Simple things like jumping and blocking are missing from the player’s controls.  Tapping the ‘A’ button (on the Xbox 360) to revive yourself after getting slashed in half gets boring rather quickly.

On the positive side – there is much to enjoy in the graphics and the boss battles are huge in scope – so those two things alone might wet the appetite of a hardcore gamer.  Knights Contract features Heinrich as an immortal escorting his companion Gretchen through a dangerous world and is available now on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.