There was a time where vampires were seen as strictly the product of evil, bearing nothing but ill will and harm upon the human race with their slicked-back hair and their comically over-sized fangs. Immortal Souls: Dark Crusade is the sequel to the original Immortal Souls, bringing you the same turn-based battling action but with a more modern-day vampire twist. This isn’t a strictly turn-based action game however – it borrows from multiple genres, possessing RPG elements as well as a Bejewelled-like mechanic for choosing the nature of your individual attacks. Playing as John Turner – a street-racer by day and a heroic vampire vigilante by night – it’s your job to rid the world of evil using your powers and skills.
The whole idea of Dark Crusade is that you’re ridding the world of the evils that reside there. To do so, you assume control of protagonist John Turner, who just so happens to be a vampire. Along with the female protagonist of the game, you’ll enter into some seriously well-presented action. It’s turn-based battles all the way here, with an attack interface that’s’ more Bejewelled or Puzzle Quest-esque than it is Total War.
Once you’ve navigated through what is a rather impressive interface (for a flash game, anyhow), you’ll find yourself at the main crux of the entertainment: the battles against all manner of evil and undead characters. There’s a tutorial battle to get you accustomed to the unique style of battle that’s at play here, too. It teaches you that you stand across from your opponent, taking it in turns to initiate attacks. Rather than just click on your attacks, however, you work your way through a 4 x 3 tile grid, with each tile representing a move or attack. It’s up to you to select which attack/move types you want, but the more tiles of the same type you can select for one attack, the more powerful it will be.
To augment the battle mechanics, different enemies are also vulnerable to certain attack types. Therefore, it’s up to you to try and find the best combination and type of attacks work best against which enemies; it’s another level of tactics that only serves to make things all the more interesting.
The intriguing battle interface would be impressive enough taken on its own, but this flash game has RPG elements designed to further enhance the complexity of this game’s appeal. At the outset, for example, you can choose a character class: Warrior, Scoundrel, or Manipulator. The former increases your damage by 5% and makes you an offense-based character, whilst the latter gives you bonuses for using chain attacks. Scoundrel, on the other hand, is geared towards increasing your luck in the random-chance events in the game such as dice throws.
Classic RPG elements are also present in this game. You’ll find that you can build up your character with skill points earned along the way, as well as adding items to your inventory. These items can be equipped to increased your various stats and improve your performance during battles. There are even power-ups that let you utilise icons in the 4 x 3 battle grid that aren’t of the same colour, thus leading to even more devastating attacks.
A World of Undead
One of the most striking features of Dark Crusade is its presentation. The developers have done a substantially impressive job with this game’s design. The animations in particular are incredibly well-executed for a dark horror based flash game, with the 3D perspective being utilised frequently, with seriously impressive results. This has to up there with one of the most impressively-presented undead games in the world of flash gaming in general. It creates its own fictional world full of evil and creatures with ill-intent.
The music is also nicely dramatic without being annoying, and the designs of your opponents are also very well thought-out. Clearly the graphics aren’t going to be of the highest quality, but for a flash game, Dark Crusade is up there with the best of the undead games you’ll find on the internet.
So it’s quite clear from even a few battles that Immortal Souls: Dark Crusade is an absolute winner, and better yet, there are vampires acting as the protagonists throughout. There are a few bugs that could have been addressed by now (exiting battles, un-equipping items), but this game still comes out on top in the end.