A Valiant Effort – Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition
Cross-platform game engines like Unity and Unreal are a wonderful thing, allowing developers to more easily deploy games across a multitude of devices, portable or otherwise. Recently, this has seen a number of games make the jump from PC to mobile, but what about the games that do the opposite and jump from mobile to PC? We have learned to be dubious of many such games, with their in-app purchases in tow, but sometimes you strike gold. Meltdown, for example is a perfect example of a mobile to PC port done right. It’s fun and well optimised. Sometimes though, a game can hit all the right notes but still feel underwhelming; such is the tale of Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition
Let’s wind it back a bit though. Last Night: Rogue Rider Edition started out life on iOS as Rogue Rider. It’s your typical runner game, but with some nice twists. For one, it actually features a story,, even if it is only decoration to tie the game together. You play as a wannabe knight who has been sent on a quest to find the King’s gold, and rescue his daughter. You’ll traverse the kingdom on your trusty steed and joust your way to the end, knocking anything that dares to stand in your way on its ass.
Rogue Rider plays like any other runner game; you’ll always be moving forward, but you are able to move left and right, as well as jump to dodge obstacles. A quick click of the left mouse button will raise your lance to take out enemies or blast through certain obstacles. The control scheme is simple and fairly intuitive, as you’d expect from the genre.
Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition features a lot of content. In addition to its story mode there’s the obligatory endless mode, and Rogue Rider Adventure mode. Story mode follows your character on his path from a wannabe to a fully fledged knight. Over the short, two-hour runtime you’ll visit different parts of the kingdom on your quest to retrieve the king’s gold. Gameplay is pretty standard, tasking you with dodging obstacles and defeating enemies. Obstacles range from brick walls, trees, explosive mines, to toads with tongues that would make Gene Simmons envious.
On occasion you’ll use your lance to knock other knights off of their horses, or to punch bats right in the chops. If you manage to land a direct hit on an enemy you’ll be rewarded with a nice, if distracting, slow-mo shot of them falling to the ground. Though, sometimes slow motion will kick in at a pivotal moment and you’ll be left unable to see, hurling towards an obstacle and unable to react.
And that’s about all there is to story mode; you’ll ride your horse relentlessly, jump over obstacles, collect gold and kill enemies. Rinse and repeat until the end credits roll. After story mode is complete you can keep yourself occupied with the game’s other modes.
Endless mode, as you may have guessed, puts you on a never-ending journey across the kingdom, challenging you to travel as far as you possibly can. This is your typical mobile game fodder, and while fun, it doesn’t nearly have as much appeal when sitting in front of a desktop computer.
Rogue Rider Adventure Mode is slightly different though. You’ll still be galloping endlessly across the land, but this time RPG elements and loot collection act as incentives to keep you playing. You’ll also be able to unlock new characters and horses to play as. occasionally, characters from the main story will offer you quests that will reward you with rare items and gold. Rogue Rider mode also offers players a choice of which path they would like to take through the kingdom. These additions are nice, but they are clearly an attempt to add meat to a game with a fundamental problem – it’s a game designed to be played in short bursts, on PC.
Aside from a few issues with getting stuck on scenery, and a totally unforgivable boss battle that introduces new mechanics right at the end, there’s not much to dislike about Last Knight. Its stylised medieval world is undeniably pretty and highly detailed; a genuinely nice surprise given its mobile roots. Controls are intuitive and responsive, and it runs smoothly on a modest rig. We can’t help feel a little bit indifferent towards the game, though.
Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition is undeniably a mobile phone game, and there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. The thing about most mobile phone games, though, is that they are meant to be played in short bursts. Blowing a mobile game up to the big PC screen can sometimes reveal deficiencies that might not otherwise be noticeable on the smaller screen, especially when you are only playing for a few minutes at a time. Simply put, Last Knight doesn’t stand up well to extended periods of play. Its feature set is so bare that you could quite easily become bored within your first hour of play. That’s not to say it’s a bad game; it isn’t. It’s beautifully presented and well put together, with a variety of different modes. But you won’t want to play for more than a few minutes at a time, lest you become bored. It’s admirable that Toco Games have attempted to rectify this issue by adding new content, but the changes you can make to any runner game are inherently limited in scope
On the flip side, kids will have no problems with looking past the game’s glaring issues that we adults might not. Pick Last Knight up on PC for the little ones and, if you are a runner fan yourself, download the mobile version, it’s much more at home there..