King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale – Solid, reliable fun

A few weeks ago, I picked up King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale since I saw a few good reviews for the title, and I’m rather fond of turn-based strategy games.

I was pleasantly surprised with the experience it offered because, at first glance, it looked like yet another tired retelling of Arthurian legend.

As a result, when I looked at the game’s cover, with its grim fellow in a dark helm and saw gameplay with knights hacking away at each other, I assumed you’d be playing as King Arthur and following his struggles – albeit in a slightly darker setting.

However, when I loaded the first cutscene, I was informed that the player’s characterwas not King Arthur but instead Sir Mordred.

Of course, if you read the game’s synopsis on its Steam page, it clarifies that you’ll be playing as the chief antagonist of the legends, but who really bothers with reading these days anyway.

The Story

The game starts directly after the grand conclusion of the legend of King Arthur, which involved Sir Mordred and Arthur killing each other.

However, despite being run through and dying on the field of battle, Sir Mordred awakens inside a chapel and learns that he, along with all the other notable figures from the legend, is now on the legendary isle of Avalon.

Their resurrection resulted from the Lady of the Lake’s intervention to ensure the return of the Once and Future King.

But things didn’t quite go according to her plan, and rather than resurrect as the noble man he was in life, Arthur returned as a twisted monster, his ideals replaced with rage and cruelty.

Facing the corrupting power of the new, evil Arthur and having exhausted herself, the Lady brings Sir Mordred back to repeat his destined purpose: killing Arthur Pendragon.

What follows is the amusing adventure of Mordred as he pursues and attempts to kill King Arthur again, and includes recruiting and interacting with the Knights of the Roundtable – from Sir Lancelot to the Red Knight.

It’s similar enough to the original legend to be familiar and engaging but introduces enough new elements to be interesting.

It won’t win any awards for its dialogue and plot, but it’s still an entertaining experience.


In King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale, your experience will be neatly divided between two gameplay elements: Combat missions and management.

When not conducting a mission or fighting, your time is spent managing and upgrading Camelot, levelling up your Knights and resolving events that require you to make choices that affect your morality chart.

Indeed, despite being Sir Mordred, the evil man who killed his father, the game allows you to chart your own path, with each decision influencing your position on a morality chart divided between four attributes.

These attributes are Christian, Old Faith, Tyrant and Righteous.

As you play, you’ll develop into a combination of these, such as a Tyrannical Christian ruler or a Righteous follower of the Old Faith.

Not only will this unlock certain perks and passive effects, but it will also influence how your knights interact with you. Stray too far from their ideals, and they may leave, while those that have aligning views with yours will gain benefits in combat.

For combat, you’ll take a squad of four knights into a small map where you’ll have turn-based combat encounters.

Each knight has a unique move set and abilities they can unlock, and by choosing the knights that fit your playstyle, you can craft your ideal fighting force.

A Knight’s Tale’s turn-based system is also more akin to XCOM than Divinity Original sin, with your whole team taking their actions and before the enemies respond.

It requires you to carefully plan out your moves and think ahead of how the enemy might respond. If you don’t, you can quickly find your knights losing health and becoming injured or even dying.

This is a problem as when a knight falls in battle, they are permanently dead, and you lose that character.

This is a feature that is nothing new to anyone who has played games like XCOM but it is something to keep in mind if you’re new to the genre.

The game can and will be challenging, even on normal difficulty.


Matching its dark setting, the design of A Knight’s Tale is suitably dim, with most things cast in shades of grey and black that lean into its grim setting.

While some may find the muted tones undesirable, I found little issue with it.

Most of the game’s dialogue is entertaining and solid for the characters, and the voice acting sounds suitable for the setting.

Mordred has a deep and forboding voice, the Lady of the Lake is self-superior but wise sounding, and the various knights you meet are suitably jaded or noble.

Overall, for a game from a smaller studio, A Knight’s Tale does an excellent job of providing a degree of authenticity to characters that are now household names.


King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale isn’t going to win Game of the Year but is still well worth its modest price tag.

Its combat is challenging and engaging with memorable characters and an exciting plotline that, while not demanding, is still entertaining.

If you’re looking to sink 20-30hrs into a turn-based strategy game like a medieval setting or Arthurian legend, then A Knight’s Tale is a definite buy.

Read: Studio behind Dying Light to develop new fantasy RPG


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King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale – Solid, reliable fun

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