Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: PS4 (Pro unit)
Cast: Jason Wilson, Paul Darrow, Lani Minella, Helen Lederer, Helen Smith
Developer: Other Ocean Emeryville
Design Director: Glen McKnight
Lead Engineer: Ian Sherman
Art Director: Nick Bruty
Most kids in my age group grew up playing Mario on Nintendo, or Crash Bandicoot and Spyro on PlayStation, but for my household, there was one other game series that got as much as play as the former PlayStation mascots, if not more, and that was MediEvil and its sequel both starring Sir Daniel Fortesque. As a massive fan of the series, diving back into the realm of Gallowmere on a mission to stop Zarok was the most nostalgia I’ve felt for any of these recent remakes and I’m very happy to report that MediEvil fans will be very pleased with this remake from Other Ocean Emeryville, a game that that feels like a labour of love from the team.
MediEvil introduced me to Tim Burton before I knew the name, with the game’s obvious inspirations from Burton’s look and feel, particularly A Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s this same design of characters, villains, the world and fantastic music that makes MediEvil still stand out as a release in 2019. The game features an exuberant amount of enemy types that range from a-typical zombies to sky-pirates and demons. The levels each feel uniquely different as you journey as Sir Dan through his horror-inspired graveyard home, a haunting village and up through a dragon’s home inside a crystal cave. The original game’s art-direction remains intact and is only more beautiful, eerie and oozing with the character with the new and updated 4K visuals fully realising the intent of the original game.
Developer Other Ocean Emeryville has left as much of the original game as was designed and only extended detail to fit our widescreen displays and 4K televisions. This means there are often new things in the background or off to the sides of a level that didn’t exist before, but it’s all just an extension of the original game and nothing is drastically changed in the levels’ look or feel.
Sir Dan is still the muttering smart-ass, on a mission he doesn’t want to be on, and although his lines were re-recorded by Jason Wilson — who did the voice in the original game as well as being one of the lead developers — the rest of the game’s voice-over work is recycled from the original game and it sounds great. All the characters in the Hall of Heroes sound just as good here as they did in the original as does the wizard villain, Zarok.
Much like the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro collections, MediEvil hasn’t overhauled the game’s core gameplay or camera work and although this leads to a few fights with the game’s camera at times, it helps keep the experience that fans remember intact. Sir Dan moves fast and the combat when slashing your sword around through the air in front of you to take down enemies feels fast-paced just like the original game.
Boss fights were a big part of the original game as the inspirations from Zelda crept in, and they’re just as much fun here. They’re definitely not the challenge they were for me as a kid anymore but taking down the game’s first boss, The Stained-Glass Demon, still felt like an epic moment and a step into the game’s bigger world.