You start the game choosing from one of the five characters available, though a sixth can be unlocked later in the game. The story for each is a little bit different, but generally the same, and mostly incomprehensible. Between battles in dungeons, youll find idols that will allow you to rest and will provide you with equipment. While you rest, you enter a dream world, where you receive quests and the story is supposed to be explained, but it is disjointed from the rest of the occurrences in the game, and there are never any cutscenes to explain whats going on.
Despite not having a very good idea why it is youre running around slaughtering the denizens of this world, its nice that there are so many different enemies available to kill. The game has a ton of different varieties spread out through all the different dungeons. While massacring your way through their masses offers a certain visceral enjoyment, it gets pretty repetitive pretty fast.
One of the reasons that it becomes so annoyingly repetitious is that you spend so much time revisiting dungeons. The special skills that are able to be learned throughout the game are delivered in a rather unique way. In the dream world, you are given particular tasks to accomplish while you adventure. These are generally such things as killing a certain number of a certain type of creature.
When you complete it, you return to the dream world, and are rewarded with a new skill. The only problem is that you dont know what creatures you need to focus on when youre in a dungeon, the mission to kill that particular type usually comes a couple of dungeons down the road. So, a large part of progressing is backtracking, which is a tough thing to do when you have as much power as you do in any hack-and-slash game.
While there is something to be said for playing through the game by yourself, its likely to be a lot more fun playing with up to three other people. This can only be done over the Xbox Live service, however, and there is no capacity to play with multiple people on one machine. It is one issue that takes away from what the game could have offered, but at least the online experience has solid gameplay.
Overall, what Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom brings to gamers is a traditional hack-and-slash system that is better at providing players with the standards of the genre than it is at pushing the boundaries that are out there.