Cross of the Dutchman

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Cross of the Dutchman on Steam

MSRP: $8.99

Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux

Release: 9/10/15


Cross of the Dutchman starts out from a good place – it’s a playable version of an old Saxon folk tale about Pier Donia, a simple farmer who took up arms and rallied the farm folks against an oppressive regime. It’s not the kind of thing you see, well, pretty much ever. While I admire the uniqueness of concept, it feels like the developers knew that they had a damn cool idea, but didn’t have the slightest notion of how to proceed, so they wrapped it up in cartoon graphics, and really really basic hack and slash combat, and called it a day.

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A mistake was made in there somewhere – there either needed to be more focus on story, or more focus on the mechanics of good play.  As it stands, neither aspect of the game is terrible, but there’s also nothing remarkable enough in either category to justify spending too much time with the game.  Which you’re unlikely to do anyway, as it’s very very linear, and even completionists will struggle to get more than three hours out of it.

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There’s no traditional loot, but you will need to break barrels and boxes for gold (and make no mistake, you will need gold).  Actual combat is barely more dynamic than wreaking havoc on inanimate objects; Pier will clumsily punch his way to victory early on with nothing more than a flurry of left-click player input.

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For me, the art in the cutscenes was probably the best part of the whole experience. There’s nothing in Cross of the Dutchman so abhorrent that you will want to warn others off of it, but there’s very little here that’s memorable, or quite honestly, all that enjoyable. It’s not a terrible game, but it’s also not a very good one, and is unlikely to satisfy story-based gamers or hack and slash aficionados.

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