Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader is an action role-playing game, developed for the PC by Reflexive Entertainment, and released on August 13, 2003. The game is viewed from a 3/4 isometric camera angle (as is common in many third-person role-playing games, such as the Diablo series). It focuses on a protagonist, controlled by the player, as he travels on a quest that constitutes the central focus of the game. The plot stipulates a rift in reality that drastically altered medieval history by allowing demons and other similar beings to enter the mortal realm. During the game, the protagonist encounters and interacts with numerous historical figures such as Joan of Arc, who are represented as non-player characters.
Lionheart utilizes the SPECIAL role-playing system, which was first used in the Fallout series, and in this game functions primarily in adding points to specific skills in separate trees to strengthen a character's "Spiritkind," which has a personality and nature chosen by the player at the start of the game.
Lionheart met a lukewarm response by critics, only achieving a ranking of 64% on Game Rankings and 57/100 at MetaCritic.
As Lionheart implements the SPECIAL system, the character creation is inherently similar to the Fallout series. A player begins by setting the values of his or her character's strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility and luck, and selecting "traits," which alter a character's inherent abilities for either better or worse, for the duration of the game. In addition, the player must distribute points to "skills" - abilities which a character uses to achieve various effects. One skill, "diplomacy," allows the player to talk their way out of situations gone awry, while another, "sneak," allows the player to move undetected by enemies. Unlike the Fallout series, Lionheart also allows the player to select magical skills - an example being "discord," which turns hostile enemies against one another.
A player also selects "perks" during the course of the game – abilities similar to traits, which affect a character's abilities in some form; for example, the ability "Superior Senses" grants the player character a +1 bonus to his or her perception and +15 skill points in the "find traps/secret doors" skill.
Another element newly introduced by Lionheart is the player's selection of a "Spiritkind" for their character, which is done during the "character generation" at the game's start. A "Spiritkind" is a spirit, which is either demonic, elemental or bestial, that resides in the player character and occasionally rouses to explain happenings or gameplay mechanics, or advance the plot.
Notably, the character generated by the player is the only character a player has direct control over, and though characters will occasionally join a player's adventuring party, they are AI-controlled without exception.