For those not in the know, Kingdom Under Fire Crusaders was an Original Xbox exclusive hybrid of hack and slash and real time strategy gameplay. It's basically what you'd get if a Total War game let you choose to take control of your general to bust some heads. It's an RTS first and foremost, but some manual hacking and slashing can certainly help. On top of all that there's also a whole layer of RPG systems and unit upgrades. There are broadly 2 factions you play: the good fantasy people (humans, dwarves, elves) and bad fantasy people (orcs, vampires, dark elves, big scorpions, those huge things from The Mist) and no shared units between them, so there's a ton of variety in the content. All in all it's really quite an ambitious game for the console.
It's story is actually somewhat interesting, since there are 4 campaigns each told from a different side of the war with a completely unique playable commander, but none of the campaigns actually provide a full view of what's going on individually. It's actually a sequel to a more traditional RTS from 2001, Kingdom Under Fire: A War of Heroes , but I've never played that so really, you don't need to know the details from it, Crusaders explains itself well enough.
Oh, and as the title said, the game is metal as hell, here's music that plays when you're selecting a mission:
The entire soundtrack is like that. Even the calmest moments of the game have some crunchy guitar riffs going on.
Anyway, don't let me tell you how good it is, here's Brad Shoemaker's review: https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/kingdom-under-fire-the-crusaders-review/1900-6110734/
There has been no way to buy or play this game since it came out unless you have an original disk and an original Xbox or 360. In my mind it's the most significant xbox game that needed a re-release, especially given how shakey original xbox emulation is.
In that Gematsu article there are some minor details about the port, most interesting of which, to me at least, is that it's a complete faithful re-release. The resolution of the game has been brought up to modern standards, but there have reportedly been no changes to gameplay, audio, textures or models. While a full remaster would have been nice, I actually appreciate releasing the game as is from a preservation standpoint. Games only released with changes like Bioshock or Deus Ex Human Revolution have soured me somewhat on the idea if it means losing easy access to the original. Not every game has the budget for a full Halo Master Chief Collection style toggle between new and old. They haven't said anything about multiplayer, so I wonder if it will be there or if it's just a faithful re-release of the campaign. The story mode is what made me fall in love with the game, but the versus mode had it's fans and it would be nice if it returned as well.
Overall I really hope the port is good, runs well and doesn't crash. That's often the downfall of these things, but I'm just happy that this game is going to be more accessible. If it goes well, I'd love to get a re-release of Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes, the prequel game that's basically just the exact same game with more missions and characters. It has a really good campaign that fits right alongside the 4 from Crusaders. Also, Kingdom Under Fire 2 came out on Steam a little bit ago, though I don't think it's handled by the original devs. Sadly I don't have a good enough PC to check it out, but I've heard it went in a more typical MMO direction and perhaps underplays the RTS aspects.
Anyway, that's my spiel about this somewhat forgotten Xbox exclusive, go check it out if you like RTS games, hack and slash games, dark fantasy stuff or metal. It's coming vaguely Q1 2020, so it's pretty soon. I'd also be interesting to here where people come down on the "barebones, 1 to 1 re-release, no changes" vs "remaster it, make it look pretty" side of things.