The MediEvil remake sees the beloved Sir Daniel Fortesque accidentally brought back to the land of the living as a reanimated skeleton with a smile larger than life. You awaken, find your trusty small sword and the adventure within Gallowmere truly begins.
First off let me say that this game is graphically stunning. The visuals of zombie enemies popping out of the ground, the tension created by a neon green fog and the way Sir Dan himself moves is animated beautifully. He is a very active model, as in if you leave him idle long enough he will stretch, he will turn his head at a 360 angle or he will scowl at nearby enemies with his one remaining eye, it’s all very comical and automatically makes him a very likeable character indeed. Pardon the pun but it makes him appear more ‘alive’.
Each level oozes atmosphere and they all do a really good job at drawing you in to explore every corner. You may even come across hidden areas in which you will be showered in rewards. Certain enemies in a level will have a soul in which you can capture upon killing them. Collect 100% of the souls and it will fill up a chalice hidden somewhere in the level. Once found it will be transported safely to the ‘Hall Of Heroes’. Also in each level are certain elemental runes, such as earth, moon, chaos. These must be found in order to proceed onwards. A stretched out hand on a gate or doorway will require a certain rune before it allows you to pass. A lovely feature too is that enemies change their appearance depending on what level you’re on, for example, Scarecrow Fields, the enemy zombies will be sporting farming attire and wielding a pitch fork. Looks awesome! The music in each level is as equally eerie and again really fits into the spooky theme which MediEvil portrays perfectly. The colour schemes are cartoon and fun, the overall animations are fun to watch and honestly I found myself replaying levels to find all the secrets and treasures. Oh and the gargoyle merchants, they are simply charming.
Speaking of treasures, Sir Daniel can wield multiple weapons, some you find while exploring the varied levels, and some in which you are gifted by the other fallen heroes from the great battle against the evil sorcerer Tarok. Some of these weapons include a sturdy wooden club which you can also set on fire to cause more damage to your enemies, throwing knives which are perfect for launching long range and a crossbow which again like the throwing knives are amazing for shooting enemies from a safe distance away. Oh and of course you can use your own arm as a weapon… Yep that’s right.. Daniel can rip off his own arm and beat zombies back into the ground, it’s a right laugh watching Daniel flail around with one arm let me tell you that.
The control system is simple, as is the on screen HUD, but they are both super effective. The HUD displays Sir Dan’s health and life jar quantity’s, his shield stamina and which weapons you currently have equipped. You have 2 weapons equipped at a time, primary and secondary which you can easily shift between by pressing triangle. Don’t be fooled though.. simple controls do not mean simple gameplay. Enemies are unrelenting and they will find you even if you are attempting to hide.. especially the animated scarecrows, they are genuinely terrifying and if Sir Dan finds himself trapped in a corner with a scarecrow violently spinning towards him, he might as well just accept he is going back to the land of the dead. While on your treck through Gallowmere, you will also encounter Boss enemies. They tend to appear in a small arena area which can at times cause a slight issue with the camera clipping on the environment.
Speaking of camera, it is over shoulder, and by pressing R2 you can go into “Daniel Mode” in which it zooms right in behind him and gives the player a better look at the surrounding environments, even sometimes revealing hidden routes. As mentioned above though the camera does sometimes lock so that the player is unable to move it with the right analog stick, but in doing so it can make going through door ways or hallways tricky. Honestly it doesn’t take anything away from the enjoyment of the gameplay, if anything it’s just a minor frustration.
MediEvil 2019 wonderfully embodies the classically challenging feel of the PS1 original, revamped with gorgeous graphics, beautiful musical scores and captivating level designs. The characters themselves are all amazingly created and animated, especially Sir Daniel. Even with him being a mostly silent protagonist (I mean, he is missing his lower jaw) you will still instantly fall in love with him. He is definitely a likeable character and I enjoyed every second with him. Overall if you are a MediEvil veteran or this is your first time, you will be well and truly captivated and I really hope this remake is as well received as Crash and Spyro as Sir Daniel really does deserve it, I mean come on… He was killed in battle then brought back to life again for a second chance, what’s not to look up to?! Besides a few niggling camera issues, the game plays beautifully and it feels compelling to kill enemies and get 100% souls to get your wonderful Chalice.