-Estimated trophy difficulty: 3 (personal estimate; there are only 3 votes in the poll so far)
-Offline: 4 8 30
-Approximate amount of time to : 15-20 hours
-Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 2
-Number of missable trophies: 0 (chapter select)
-Glitched trophies: 0
-Does difficulty affect trophies?: Yes (the game must be completed on Nightmare difficulty)
-Do cheat codes disable trophies?: No cheats.
Welcome to the "bro-mance" that is The Cursed Crusade: players follow Denz de Bayle and Esteban Noviembre as they hack'n'slash their way across Europe and the Middle East at the end of the twelfth century in pursuit of the secrets behind the hereditary curse that plagues them both; perhaps Denz's missing father holds the answer...
The player takes the role of Denz, and the game offers co-op play with either a human or AI-controlled partner in the role of Esteban; gameplay is based around melee combat with some supernatural elements thrown into the mix.
Step One: play through the game on Crusader difficulty and find all collectibles
The hardest difficulty - Nightmare - is locked from the start; Crusader is the easiest difficulty, but completing the game on this difficulty will unlock Nightmare. Once the game has been completed on Crusader, simply choose to replay all chapters via chapter select on Nightmare.
There is a reason to play the game on the easiest available difficulty rather than the hardest available difficulty in order to get prepared for Nightmare, and that reason is that the game has very few checkpoints, and it becomes frustrating enough on Crusader to feel like a challenge. You're going to want to find all the collectibles during this playthrough, and you're going to take some time getting used to the very stodgy controls; you're also going to find several parts of the game - primarily some boss fights - to be quite infuriating even on the easiest difficulty until you figure out a few tricks; doing all of these things while playing on a harder difficulty is very quickly going to feel like a chore, so I highly recommend saving yourself the grief and playing on easy.
During your first playthrough you will unlock all trophies except One-Man Army (and one of the related trophies for upgrading character statistics) and The Cursed Templar.
Step Two: complete the game on Nightmare difficulty
The game on Nightmare difficulty will actually - and perversely - be easier than your first playthrough on Crusader. There are two reasons for this: the first reason is that all of your upgrades - to your character's personal statistics and weapon techniques - carry over to a second playthrough via chapter select; the second reason is that your cohort, Esteban, when controlled as an AI, is practically invulnerable: if The Cursed Crusade were a shooter, Esteban would be what is known as a "bullet-sponge" - it is nearly impossible for him to go down, and this fact makes him an invaluable resource.
It is therefore highly recommended - due to Esteban's near invulnerability as an AI - that if you want to play the game with another person that you do so on your first playthrough; playing through Nightmare with two human players is going to be a fast-track to frustration.
A word about Victory Points
Each mission of the game automatically rewards you with 4 Victory Points upon completion; 1 of these Victory Points is allotted towards your character statistics, while the other three are allotted towards your weapon techniques; these points can then be spent in the upgrade menu that follows each mission. Additionally, finding all of the collectibles in a level will give you 1 extra point per collectible type, and these extra points (between 1-3) are only allotted for weapon techniques.
The upgrades unlock new combos for the variety of weapons that you wield in the game, and also upgrade your character's statistics like Constitution (health), Armor Mastery (increases the amount of armour you wear, and therefore the amount of damage you can take before your health is affected by attacks), etc. All of these upgrades can be carried over to your Nightmare playthrough, and Victory Points can only be earned on your first playthrough (on whichever difficulty) and your Nightmare playthrough.
A word about tactics
Here are the basic rules of the game: hit an enemy with a weapon; the more you use the weapon the quicker it deteriorates until finally it breaks; armoured enemies cause more wear and tear on your weapons; a broken weapon can still be used to attack but not for anything else (like blocking, finishing moves, etc.). Got all that? With those basic rules in mind, there is a very straightforward way of quickly and easily progressing through most enemy encounters, especially on Nightmare difficulty...
Whenever a fight is about to start, follow these basic steps: wait for the enemy to attack, parry the attack (), activate your curse ( - the curse makes you move faster, inflict more damage, and increases the odds of successfully activating a finishing move), and get a fast combo in against the enemy. What you're trying to do is to activate a finishing move which will trigger an animation that cannot be interrupted; if you trigger such a move, immediately deactivate your curse ( again), wait for the animation to end, then repeat the same process: parry, activate curse, quick counter-strikes, finishing animation, deactivate curse during the animation. This makes quick work of enemies and keeps your curse meter constantly charged. With all weapon techniques fully unlocked and your character's statistics completely buffed, this process will make short work of almost all regular encounters on Nightmare.
And before ending the roadmap, I'll just say a brief word about tactics relating to bosses: quite simply, DO NOT do what the game wants you to do! During almost every boss fight the game will prompt you to employ a co-op attack that will quickly become the bane of your existence - it does little damage, it leaves you vulnerable to attack, and successful attacks against you will interrupt it; it's frankly close to useless. The solution? Physical attacks. Every single boss in the game can be taken out (even on Nightmare difficulty) by simply getting behind him (the boss) and relentlessly pummeling him with physical attacks; I spent up to 15 minutes at a stretch not defeating certain bosses using the tactics the game prompted me to use, while simply attacking the boss melee-style ended almost all boss fights in only a minute or two. Again: unless you have no choice (there are some instances where bosses must first be attacked from afar in order to be able to physically attack them), do not use the co-op attacks against bosses.
Well, that's about it for the Roadmap. For tips on a couple of "trouble spots" that have no trophies related to them, please see the first post following the guide, "A word about trouble spots". Good luck...
[PS3T Would Like to Thank Mitsuru Kirijo for this Roadmap]