Oh dear. They certainly do not seem to treat kings like they used to. Take that Arthur, for instance – ruler of all England, bearer of Excalibur, loved by all... or so you might think. ‘Not so', say Virgin. In fact, his power base has so tenuous that on his death everything fell apart quite rapidly. Lord Constantine was next in line for the throne and armed with a sword and your wits, you play Lord Constantine on a mission to claim your rightful place at Camelot.
Thankfully avoiding the temptation to re-tell the story of King Arthur yet again, Spirit of Excalibur manages to conjure the same atmosphere, use many of the characters from the legend, yet still be fresh and original – no mean feat. Splitting Constantine's story into five sections gives realistic goals to achieve, which range from taking the throne and recruiting knights to tracking down Lancelot and finally defeating Morgan Le Fey. At the same time everything is presented very nicely indeed.
Spirit of Excalibur has so many things going for it. The strategy and role-playing bits work well, and close up action compares with games such as Defender of the Crown, albeit with greater depth. It is just that the whole thing comes across as badly bodged together, the sum not being equal to the parts. A shame.