|Game: Cross of the Dutchman
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Triangle Studios
Publisher: Triangle Studios
Release Date: Sep 10, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating: 7/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 5/10
Replay Value: 3/10
Cross of the Dutchman is an action RPG based on the “true story of the folk legend” of Pier Gerlofs Donia. Is it historically accurate? I don’t know. Does it follow the legend? I also don’t know, I had not really heard of the tale until I played the game. I do know, however, that the game is rather short. And it couldn’t be otherwise, for as it follows the story of Pier, it has a clear beginning and clear end.
The game has the looks of a rather typical RPG, but it lacks all the extra customization of one. Even comparing it to rather linear games, this one is particularly so. It was clearly geared to tell a somewhat interactive story more than it was to be a full on game. The maps are average, the quests are not atypical of RPGs, even if they do follow the story, and there’s nothing overly challenging in it (except maybe when it lagged on me during mob areas). Was it fun to play? Yes, but it had nothing to make it stand out except that it’s based on that story… There are no skill trees, though you purchase ‘upgrades’ for your skills and switch between them, there are upgrades for health and such, but little else worth mentioning.
The graphics are simple but nice. I wasn’t particularly fond of most of the cartoony art style (though I did like the general art), but it wasn’t bad either, and effort was clearly put into it to portray it as accurately to the time and area as possible. The music and sounds were pleasing enough, and overall the game ran fairly nicely; the only time I encountered problems being during a couple sections in which there were too many enemies and it lagged some on my computer.
Controls are simple (mostly you’ll only be using the mouse), but I found the obstacle-avoidance a bit sketchy. Combat (which is quite basic skill-spamming) was a bit clunky as well, because it’s difficult to aim your hits properly and often times you’d end up hitting air repeatedly. Cross also had some slightly interesting stealth-like areas (though the game doesn’t offer an actual stealth engine); it wasn’t too hard to get through them (but it was annoying to get caught) and made for a bit of a variation, which was rather nice. Just don’t expect it’ll be full on take-cover type of stealth.
The story itself was good, though as I mentioned before I can’t really compare it with the real story/folk legend. The dialogue was rather poor, however, sometimes I felt like it was trying too hard to be funny.
All in all Cross of Dutchman is a nice, simple game. It was easy to grab, play for a bit up to another checkpoint, and then go do something else, so I think it’s a good game for casual players as well as for those who will want to sit through all 4ish hours of gameplay in one go. However, it doesn’t go beyond average, and I don’t think it’ll be satisfactory for people who don’t care about the story, which is the strongest point of the game.
Recommended: Yes, but I wouldn’t expect too much out of it.