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MediEvil: New Hands-on Impressions, PS1 to PS4 Comparison Gallery

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MediEvil: New Hands-on Impressions, PS1 to PS4 Comparison Gallery

Returning voice cast, comparison images, and more revealed in new hands-on from Gamescom.

I’m fresh from an enjoyable hands-on session with MediEvil, the 1998 PlayStation classic that’s been given a new lease on life with a full PS4 remake.

The Gamescom demo had me battle my way through the remake’s opening levels, tackling the undead across cemeteries and exploring the Hilltop Mausoleum. My time resulted in a few surprising discoveries that will please newcomers and veteran adventurers.

Here’s what you need to know about this new-look MediEvil.

Left: Original game // Right: PS4 remake


What newcomers need to know

1. It’s got a hint of Dark Souls in its design

One of the biggest surprises is how MediEvil feels like Dark Souls… despite it releasing over a decade before From Software’s challenging fantasy epic.

Realization dawns once you’re past the tutorial-like crypt and its surrounding graveyard. For one, MediEvil’s levels are compact labyrinths packed with secrets and shortcuts.Secondly,the game is tough. This is no brainless hack and slash romp: single enemies can do considerable damage, while mobs can quickly send the unwary back to the grave.

Comparisons continue the further you explore. You need to discover or unlock new weapons first to expand your arsenal. Some of these will degrade and break in time (such as shields and clubs) or be in limited supply (throwing daggers, crossbow arrows). Combine that with some seriously challenging level design, such as a taxing climb up to Hilltop Mausoleum dodging mammoth boulders (or blocking them with a shield) and elaborate, oversized boss fights and you can’t help but be reminded of Dark Souls. Though Dark Souls was never this irreverent.

For From Software fans or even anyone curious about gaming’s often knotted genealogy, MediEvil presents a unique opportunity to experience an early, alternative take on a now-revered game design style.

Left: Original game // Right: PS4 remake

2. You play a resurrected legendary knight with a score to settle…

The game’s backstory is the same in 2019 as it was in 1998. You play as the newly-resurrected Sir Dan Fortesque, formerly a noble knight who, after 100 years resting in his crypt, is little more than a skeleton in a suit of armour. But with a strong sword arm and a growing arsenal of weapons, he sets forth to battle evil and save his kingdom once more.

Left: Original game // Right: PS4 remake

3. …but you’re not the hero your legend makes you out to be

History remembers Sir Dan Fortesque as the legendary knight who defeated the evil sorcerer Lord Zarok a hundred years ago. The reality is less impressive: Dan was arrow fodder, the first slain during a charge across the battlefield.

As a result, Dan was never able to ascend to the Hall of Heroes (MediEvil’s version of Vahalla). His surprise resurrection is a chance to live up to his legend and secure a spot amongst Gallowmere’s greats.

Left: Original game // Right: PS4 remake

What series veterans need to know

1. Much of the original game remains intact

The rebuild leaves the undead heart of the 1998 original – with its melee-heavy combat, secret-packed levels and macabre humor – intact.

Instead, the focus for Other Ocean, the studio charged with resurrecting the third person action adventure for modern day audiences, has been mostly cosmetic.

This PS4 remake overhauls the horror-themed visual style but retains its Tim Burton-esque personality. It rightly refuses to tinker with the original level design, yet isn’t afraid to add the occasional, but welcome, flourish. The world map has a new look, for example, while the Hall of Heroes, a hub world in which Sir Dan is bequeathed weapon upgrades from Gallowmere’s other legendary warriors, has been furnished with additional lore.

Left: Original game // Right: PS4 remake

2. The voice work is a mix of returning heroes, classic takes and new voices

It’s tough to chinwag when you’ve no jaw. But Jason Wilson (who also penned MediEvil’s story) admirably managed to capture the ragged rasps of a mouthless Sir Dan Forteseque, making it fun rather than horrible. So there is no-one better to capture Dan’s personality for this PS4 remake, with Wilson re-recording all his dialogue.

Elsewhere, the game retains the original high-res audio of its supporting cast. For example, the numerous stone gargoyles creakingly intone advice to the curious just as they did back in 1998. But there are also fresh additions to the voice cast, such as the game’s new narrator, portrayed by voice actress Lani Minella. (Soul Calibur VI, God of War, XCOM 2)

Left: Original game // Right: PS4 remake

3. The original soundtrack has been lovingly re-recorded

Rightly, the classic score hasn’t been tampered with. Instead, it’s been enriched. The PS4 remake replaces the orchestral synth sound of the original with the real thing, with the Danny Elfman-inspired score re-recorded by the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Overseeing its production? Composer duo Bob&Barn, who wrote and produced the original soundtrack.


Regardless of whether you missed MediEvil when it first released on the original PlayStation, or you’ve fond memories of playing hero saving Gallowmere from the clutches of an evil sorcerer, there are plenty of reasons to pick up your controller and enjoy the upcoming PS4 remake of the returning action adventure this Halloween.

Want more? Don’t miss this at how the game was created!

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15 Comments

  • Any chance that us folks who preordered the game (via PSN) could get a demo? Please :)

    • iamtylerdurden1

      Looks awesome, but i’m buying it physical and i’d like to have the avatar for PSN. I’m willing to buy the avatar(s). Please make Medievil avatars available via PSN rather than just a preorder bonus for digital.

  • You priced the game perfectly at $30. Looks interesting enough for that price.

  • excuse me, but every single gameplay Trailer that i saw, didn’t have ANY designs of “DarkSouls” games! even they didn’t have ANY Challenging…
    i m pretty wanted to saw some Challenge but there wasn’t anything!

    • Astroking112

      Having played the original MediEvil, I thought that comment was very strange. It’s a difficult game in the sense that it’s from the PS1 era (think more along the lines of how Crash Bandicoot is just naturally more difficult than games today, although not to the same extent).

      Outside of tone and the slightly darker MediEvil style, I’d say that the connection is shaky at best (and even then, the tone’s still wildly different).

  • *Demon’s Souls
    “It has a hint of ‘Demon’s Souls’(not Dark)”
    Demons souls came first, therefore it is appropriate to say out of respect of the origin of design.

  • flinflanfloon

    This was the 3rd game I ever bought for PlayStation back in the day and it was one of my favorites! A serious relationship breakup five years later and the game was somehow lost forever. This was before the digital era and I couldn’t find it for sale anywhere! In 2006 I found it in a store in Denmark and couldn’t wait to get back to the US to play it again. Then I learned the hard lesson of you can’t play European games on an American console! Complete Bummer! Anyway I gave up looking and put it in the back of my mind and now that I found out it’s coming back out I’m stoked! It’s a great game and it’s definitely a treat for this Halloween unless this is another trick! Haha!

    • iamtylerdurden1

      No trick, just Treat. Halloween is going to be awesome with Medievil. I love the October 25th release date, literally perfect.

      October 8th to November 8th has 3 PS4 exclusives i’m very excited about. Concrete Genie, Medievil, Death Stranding. It’s gonna be a great autumn season!!

    • MediEvil and Luigi’s Mansion 3.

  • Emerald_Swords

    Looking forward to this one :)

  • Never played the original. Definitely getting it day 1.

  • I never got to play the original just the demo back in the day. Can’t wait to pick this up on 10-25.

  • Astroking112

    Glad to see that the game is only $30. It definitely doesn’t look like it has the same polish as other remasters such as the N. Sane Trilogy (I really hope that the lack of an idle animation for enemies when they’re within range of Sir Dan was fixed, because that looked very cheap).

    I’m disappointed to hear that the original level design or gameplay of the game doesn’t seem like it was updated. Unlike simpler platformers, I think that MediEvil is very much a game that could’ve used more modern design elements to reach a newer audience, much like how Ratchet & Clank 2016 didn’t use the same gameplay from the early 2000s. Hopefully it aged better than I remember.

  • princegroove

    I’m really enjoying this charming horror game on my Vita, if it’s as good as the original I’ll be replaying it again, and again.

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