Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom Xbox 360

Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom Xbox 360
Since 2001, the Kingdom Under Fire series has won adherents for its mix of massive real-time-strategy battles and RPG features. Well, those fans hoping for a now-gen revamp of the Korean franchise got their wish — and a lesson in watching what you wish for. For Circle of Doom, they ditched the strategy side altogether, turning it into an action RPG. But aside from levelling up your powers (with a, um, bar graph) and weapons (with a confusing synthesis system), there isn’t much to do outside of button mashing as you face wave after wave after wave of dull demonic hordes. This dungeon-crawler might have been prettied up for the 360 (albeit not pretty enough) but otherwise it’s decidedly last-gen. The less-than-original story has something to do with a war between the forces of light and dark, which comes off nonsensical and irrelevant. The randomly generated levels are infuriatingly linear, the villains plentiful but retarded, the combat hand-crampingly repetitive and, after the first hour or so, the enjoyment almost non-existent. There is multiplayer, which I guess is good in that friends will help you finish Circle of Doom faster. This hack’n’slash throwback simply has no real place on a system that boasts so many other action RPG games, like Oblivion and Mass Effect, that took the time to evolve. (Blueside/Microsoft)