Also On: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
As someone with no real working knowledge of the King’s Quest series, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this new take on the well-loved PC series by developer The Odd Gentlemen. The first episode, released last week on a variety of platforms, focuses on series hero Graham as he recounts a tale to his adventurous granddaughter, showcasing one of Graham’s earliest exploits in the land of Daventry.
Yes, it’s an episodic adventure game, and a bit pricey when compared to the popular Telltale Games titles, but there’s a fair amount of gameplay here. It’s also decidedly different than the narrative focused Telltale formula, which helps set King’s Quest apart as a unique call-back to the series that spawned it. The dialogue and story are humor-driven, and there’s a hefty amount of puzzle solving and exploration throughout this first chapter. Even some of the humorous death sequences found in previous King’s Quest titles return here.
That said, for modern players, sometimes the backtracking gets to be a bit tedious. Loading isn’t a huge issue, but it’s noticeable even on PC at times (on a non-SSD at least). Also, some areas get repeated throughout this first chapter, but the sequences that feature the same area are at least wildly different from one another, and make a bit of sense from a story perspective.
On the PC side, controls are pretty much fine across the board. I preferred a controller for analog movement, but the game is perfectly playable with mouse and keyboard. Also, King’s Quest looks solid on a moderate PC build, and I really enjoyed the choice of animated art-style for the various characters here. I do think some environments are a bit drab by comparison, but all in all, this first episode of King’s Quest is a solid-looking game.
I’m definitely on board for the remaining chapters, in addition to now being more curious about the titles that preceded this. Even without prior knowledge of the series, I think it’s pretty clear that The Odd Gentlemen want to honor the basics of the series, and have taken care to bring things up to date with modern standards while attempting to stay true to its classic adventure gaming roots. The first episode shows a whole lot of promise, and I’m very curious to see how this adventure ends up.