Namco Bandai has announced the development of a new third-person fantasy horror game, called Knights Contract.

It's for the Xbox 360 and PS3, and is due out in North America in 2011.

Namco Bandai, the company behind fighting games Tekken and SoulCalibur, describes the game as action adventure.

It's got swordsmen and magic and "stylised over-the-top" action, according to the official blurb. Oh, and "an astonishing visual appeal while keeping players at the edge of their seats".

Set in the days when a healthy paranoia about witches was considered normal, Knights Contract follows the tale of Heinrich, an immortal executioner, and Gretchen, a resurrected witch. Once the victim of Heinrich's blade by the order of the game's antagonist, Dr. Faust, Gretchen now has him under her control as the two must work together to rid the land of the supernatural foes who are cursing its people with the black spell of death.

Armed with a razor sharp scythe and explosive witchcraft, players will use these tools with spectacular effects in order to return civility to the land. As players succeed in their journey, they can deal tremendous damage to their on-comers or unleash a gruesome finisher by coordinating the efforts of Heinrich and Gretchen. However, players must also keep a close eye on Gretchen as her mortality is the key to the duo's survival as Heinrich can never be vanquished.

Check out the first screens here.