Corrupted takes the typical story of a knight saving a princess on its ear, literally making the players goal to capture princesses. As the magical slave of a mysterious hooded fiend, it's the player's job to mow down innocent villagers, pillage castles and bring their master the local princess. Princess blood, as it turns out, is a pretty hot commodity among evil warlocks. It's a cute premise that lends itself to amusing dialogue, though it really only serves as a good backdrop for slaughtering enemies.
Players can perform both melee and ranged attacks, chaining them together to build a combo multiplier and, eventually, filling a meter to unleash a devastating special attack. Again, it sounds like standard fair at first blush. Layered on top of the basic attacks, however, is the corruption system. As enemies are killed, their souls are harvested and funneled into the corruption meter. This meter allows players to infuse their attacks with fire or ice.
Fire attacks have a chance to set enemies ablaze, causing them to take more damage and run away (possibly setting other enemies on fire in the process). Ice, as one would expect, can freeze enemies, causing them to slow and take more damage. The elemental attacks apply to both ranged and melee combat, opening up plenty of strategic options. You'll need them too, because Corrupted routinely throws a lot of enemies on screen.
On top of all this, Corrupted employs a robust leveling system that allows players to customize their (evil) knight as they see fit. Gold earned throughout each level can be spent to upgrade stats in various categories. Players can add more attacks to their melee combinations, increase the number of arrows fired per shot, add hit points or level up their elemental damage, among other things. Thus far I've focused on advancing my melee skills -- I can land a five hit combo now -- though a recent clobbering by a boss has me rethinking my strategy.
Corrupted includes 4-player local co-op, persistent character building (i.e. characters are saved between sessions), a lengthy campaign and two separate mini-games. Grab your Castle Crashers crew and give it a try.
Want to try out Corrupted? You can queue the trial version for download here on Xbox.com! The full version is 240 MS Points ($3). If you've discovered (or created) an outstanding Xbox Live Indie Game and think it deserves some more visibility, email Richard aat joystiq dawt com, subject line "Xbox Live Indie Gems."