Gretchen, who is bent on bringing down the
mad Dr. Faust.
The protection mechanic works well to add some urgency to the game and
it certainly helps that it's protection rather than babysitting.
Gretchen is the source of Heinrich's magic attacks and if Heinrich
carries Gretchen around, his health bar replenishes faster than when
left to refill on its own. Gretchen can take care of herself for the
most part but becomes much more vulnerable if Heinrich dies, sometimes
in brutal fashion. Hammering on the A-button brings Heinrich back to
life -- death is only a temporary condition for Heinrich but if Gretchen
dies, it's back to the nearest checkpoint.
While the combat and whacked-out character designs are probably Knight's
Contract strongest features, boss fights can be very frustrating. It
follows a familiar formula. Damage the creature a bit, get mixed up in a
quicktime event which are much too easy to flub, then repeat until
creature dies, preferably while screaming.
It's not that Knight's Contract is
unimaginative in its approach. it's the fact the boss fights are so
easily lost with a mis-timed button press. And the game seems to
actively try to get the player to press the button at the wrong time!
It's only with trial and error that the button presses can be hit
The rest of the game doesn't sway me one way or the other. Okay combat,
some neat spell effects, okay levels, a protection mechanic that works,
upgradeable powers, spells and special items, and protracted cutscenes
that revel in being overly dramatic (that's a positive in my book), make
Knight's Contract utterly unremarkable.