It’s only taken 162 years for Alexandre Dumas’ famous story of the Musketeers to become a computer game — but now you can step into the shoes of Porthos, the heroic swashbuckler from the early 17th century, who vows to save his kidnapped brethren from the evil Count Xavier.
After all, it’s “One for all, and all for one!,” remember?
In video game speak, The Three Musketeers is referred to as a “platformer” game, where the protagonist runs from the left hand-side of the screen to the right, jumping over obstacles, collecting items such as coins, and battling baddies who stand in your way. Think of the game as a classic Mario-like adventure set in the Three Musketeers world – but with a modern graphical twist (more on this in a moment!).
As such, the sword-wielding Porthos must take on the king’s henchmen, avoid archers’ arrows and falling axes and jump over rolling barrels and deep chasms. Here’s an example of a scenario fairly early on in the game: Porthos runs along wooden platforms near a castle wall, breaks open crates to collect the coins within, and slashes his sword at the Count’s faithful soldiers (parents, don’t worry – these baddies simply disappear). At times, Porthos must climb ladders or stand on crates to reach high areas, duck under nasty spiders and collect keys that will open locked doors.
Environments range from lush forests and castles to trap-filled dungeons and other underground caverns. In total, the game features more than 200 areas spread across 10 large levels. Every few levels, a non-interactive animated sequence plays, in place to push the amusing story along. Depending on your decisions and performance, the game features three unique endings.
One of the game’s greatest assets is its graphics. While the platformer game-play may very retro, and it is, The Three Muskateers adds two visual elements to give it a fresh and modern look: One is 3-D, so the main character and most of the environment has some nice depth to it, and the other is “cel-shaded” effect, a graphical style that makes the game look like a Saturday morning cartoon (other games with this look include Viewtiful Joe and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker). Plus, depending on your PC’s power, players can opt for extra visual bells and whistles that really make this fictional adventure come alive.
The game, which is incredibly easy to play – the arrow keys to move, spacebar to jump and X to attack – can also be played with a game pad, if desired.
The Three Musketeers is a refreshing change from the many downloadable puzzlers available today, but on the flipside, this arcade-like game-play – which demands fast reflexes — may not appeal to as wide of an audience as the more mainstream puzzle games.
That said, Legendo has done a fantastic job by fusing together a familiar universe with classic game-play and modern graphics, all rolled into one, resulting in a memorable quest for players of all ages.