The 'historical adventure' game that lets you ground pound an ogre is free on GOG

The First Templar screenshot - the templar faces an ogre
(Image credit: Haemimont Games)

"The First Templar trailer ground-pounds an ogre" is a headline we wrote back in 2011 and you better believe that the moment I stumbled upon it, I immediately wanted to know more. The good news for me (and for you, if you have even the slightest sense of functioning curiosity) is that The First Templar is also now free on GOG.

That trailer has since been deleted—13 years is a long time—but this, I believe, is it:

Trailer - THE FIRST TEMPLAR Gamescom 2010 Trailer - YouTube Trailer - THE FIRST TEMPLAR Gamescom 2010 Trailer - YouTube
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The First Templar is "an expansive historical adventure" about a French Templar travelling with a noblewoman who's been declared a heretic. You can probably sense some issues arising from that partnership pretty much immediately, but the focus isn't on that potentially sticky situation: Instead, players "must uncover the mysteries behind the Templar Order, play a role in a grand conspiracy, and discover the secret of the Holy Grail," all while dealing with enemies including the Inquisition, King Philip IV of France, and "Sacracen," which I assume is a misspelling of Saracens.

(If it is in fact the proper name of the ogre you go MMA style with, then I apologize for the confusion. For what it's worth, the back cover of the boxed edition of The First Templar, viewable on Mobygames, makes specific reference to the Saracens, so I'm reasonably confident it's a typo.)

In any event, it seems like a pretty okay game. We didn't review it but it's got a 3.75/5 rating on GOG and "mostly positive" user reviews on Steam, and while the 57% aggregate score on Metacritic isn't great, I will remind you again that it's free. That's worth at least another 15 points on the scale as far as I'm concerned.

The First Templar: Special Edition is free on GOG until July 6 as part of the site's ongoing summer sale, which has some pretty sweet deals to dig through—the sale runs until July 10.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.