The only other areas of note in King Arthur are its two-player co-op functionality and its character upgrade system. The co-op play is simply a choice you make at the beginning of the game. So if you pick two players, you and a friend can just play through the story as if it were only single-player. This makes sense, since every mission involves two characters, but in a single-player game, the other character is computer-controlled. The one boon to playing co-op is that it tends to be a little easier, because the autonomous characters aren't superhelpful, and because enemies seem to naturally gravitate to your character instead of your artificially intelligent compadre. Otherwise, co-op is exactly the same...so it's still not all that exciting.
The character upgrade system is seemingly kind of an afterthought. At the end of each level, you are graded in a number of categories and then given experience points based on your performance. You can use these points to upgrade your strength, defense, melee attacks, and so on. These upgrades spread across all characters, so it's not like you'll have to spend any time upgrading each character. The trouble is that there isn't much difference in how each character plays through the upgrades. You earn some new combo attacks, which are nice, and the strength and defense upgrades do add a little more oomph to your attacks and to your ability to block, respectively, but the upgrades on offer here aren't like the typical action RPG-styled level systems, where you get big bonuses for making your characters stronger. If anything, all it does is help balance the difficulty of the later levels ever so slightly.
You'll find more to like about King Arthur's presentation than you will about its gameplay, which sort of goes back to the earlier point about the game's solid translation of the film's story in that it also captures the look and feel of the film pretty well with its graphics engine. The character models are smallish and are not highly detailed, but they look enough like their film counterparts, and they do animate decently enough. However, they aren't the best part of the visuals, because the environments definitely take that title. Though, again, not highly detailed, the levels in King Arthur nicely capture the sort of rain-soaked, dreary vibe of ancient Britain, and there's always a fair amount of activity onscreen, which ranges from hordes of enemy warriors running at you to cute forest animals scampering about in the background. The game's camera is occasionally annoying in that it's purely cinematic and can sometimes leave oncoming enemies offscreen until it's too late. But otherwise, the game performs well enough technically, and you won't ever find any glitches or frame rate problems.
Wait... It's based on that lousy Antoine Fuqua movie? Dang.
The sound category is the area where King Arthur excels. Most of the voice work is taken straight from the movie, and it's used well here. What isn't taken directly from the film is also mostly good, though some of the cries of fallen enemies can get pretty repetitious and grating after a while. The soundtrack is simply brilliant, though, and unlike the voice, the music was created specifically for the game. The score is used extremely well, and the flow of the music is perfectly suited to each battle situation. King Arthur's assorted sound effects also work quite well. The wisps of air as arrows fly and the sounds of swords clashing and hacking through foes all sound great. And if, by some chance, you find yourself playing the Xbox version of the game, it supports Dolby Digital 5.1 extremely well, though this is really the only difference between any of the three versions of the game. Ultimately, its great sound isn't enough to make the game recommendable on any platform.
Perhaps it's only fitting that a game based on a generally uninteresting movie is generally uninteresting itself. However, this doesn't make King Arthur any less of a disappointment. The story of King Arthur, no matter which way you opt to tell it, certainly has the potential to be an enjoyable sort of hack-and-slash action game. However, despite the fact that Krome Studios was able to translate the story, look, and feel of the film well enough into its offering, the gameplay is simply too lifeless and frustrating to hold your attention the entire way through. There's just not enough here to please any but the most dedicated fans of the movie, and even those fans would probably just be better off waiting for the film's DVD release, thereby passing up King Arthur the game.