MediEvil (PS4) Review – Better Off Dead
MediEvil has many dedicated fans who fondly remember playing the game on PS1. And that’s where MediEvil should have stayed; in the rose-tinted memories of players’ nostalgia. While many games have been remade or remastered, not all of them have aged particularly well or hold up as a contemporary video game. MediEvil is one such title.
Dated gameplay, poor mechanics, basic combat and exploration and THE WORST camera in a video game this year make MediEvil a remake strictly for die-hard fans.
Even then, it’s a slog.
MediEvil (PS4) Review
When it was first released, I played a little of MediEvil but I can’t say that it left a lasting impression on me. Thus, I have no fond memories of the game to fall back on or colour my impressions of the MediEvil PS4 remake. So, my opinion of this game is based solely on this version and how it performs as a video game in 2019.
And honestly, it’s not very good.
Everything about MediEvil feels dated. Players control the skeletal Sir Daniel Fortesque through a series of (tiny) levels on a quest to put a stop to the evil sorcerer Zarok.
Aside from being incredibly small by today’s standards, the levels aren’t all that well designed and often frustrate the player with incessant traipsing back and forth, instant death mechanics and a camera that simply refuses to cooperate. The levels often feel quite cramped too which may explain why the camera performs so poorly.
In some cases, the action feels so close to the screen as to be completely offputting.
As Sir Daniel, players begin with only his detached arm as a weapon and gradually increase their collection to include a bunch of melee and ranged weapons. Sadly, none of them feels that much different from one another. Dan may swing a hammer differently to a sword and fire a crossbow slightly faster than a longbow but overall it basically doesn’t make much of a difference.
Combat consists of nothing but button mashing anyway, so changing weapons is more of a visual change than anything else. Sure, you can press Square for attack and hold Circle for a charged/alternate attack but there’s never any reason to do so. Mashing Square gets you through every mob and encounter and the charged attacks are too slow to be worth the (slightly) extra damage.
Released in 1998, MediEvil was a game that was part of the platformer craze of the day. As such, Dan jumps when you press X but again, the level design, camera and jumping mechanics conspire to make platforming an absolute chore. Every time I’d come to one of the game’s numerous platforming sections I’d dread the next few minutes of gameplay.
While I wouldn’t call MediEvil on PS4 ugly, it’s certainly not pretty either. The visuals are representative of how they appeared on PS1, filtered through a modern lens. Unfortunately, the art-style is yet another facet of MediEvil that hasn’t aged well at all.
The overall aesthetic feels tired and despite the power of the PS4/PS4 Pro nothing in MediEvil caught my eye. Thankfully, the audio does sound great and the voice acting, in particular, is fun and pretty funny.
For me, MediEvil is a shockingly dated game that would have been much better left in the past where it belongs. Fans will get a kick out of seeing the update but everyone else would be better off giving this one a miss altogether.
MediEvil was reviewed on PS4 using a digital code provided by PlayStation.
Game title: MediEvil
Dated Gameplay - 5/10
Atrocious Camera - 3/10
Hasn't Ages Well - 5/10
For Hardcore Fans Only - 6/10
Doesn't Take Advantage of Being on PS4 - 4/10
Some moments of fun and decent humour - 6/10