King’s Quest: Chapter 1 – A Knight to Remember Review
Am I living in the past or have I travelled back in time? I turn on the news and it’s Bush v Clinton for the US presidency, I look at the top grossing movies and Terminator and a Jurassic movie are the top 2 grossing movies for the month and then I turn on my Xbox One and learn that I am reliving my childhood all over again, Kings Quest has returned after 17 years since the last official release by Sierra.
I am a huge fan of the series and Sierra in general; games like Kings Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry dominated my childhood gaming experiences. Instead of disc’s I used disk’s and my console of choice was actually a computer, the Commodore Amiga 500.
Much like the Telltale games, Sierra and The Odd Gentlemen will be releasing a collection of five different chapters, which focuses on tales of King Graham’s past, affectionately retold by an older, much wiser King Graham, voiced by legendary actor, Christopher Lloyd.
A Knight to Remember is the first of the five chapters. You are thrown straight into the thick of things, as Graham needs to make his way to that familiar Well where that familiar dragon lurks and is guarding the Magic Mirror, the key to the throne of Daventry. Without giving too much away, the prologue sets up the story extremely well and introduces a much older and wiser Graham, recounting his achievements to his young granddaughter, Gwendolyn.
The first chapter is extremely faithful to Kings Quest lore and game play, if you aren’t too familiar with this, imagine many different pathways, with many different landscapes and being able to explore it all, whilst I am painting a big picture, it isn’t as cumbersome as you would think. The game play has been modernised to appeal to today’s gamers, whilst tugging at the heartstrings of the older questing purist.
After the aforementioned prologue, you will learn that Gwendolyn is competing in a test of swordsmanship and in order to get her ready, it’s up to Graham to ensure the right message is told, in order for her to understand true moral values. The main part of Graham’s quest is the trials of Knighthood, when King Edward arranged for a tournament to decide who will be his official Knight of the Kingdom of Daventry.
This is where many puzzles await our un-expecting player, Game play ensures that you need to explore, find specific items, talk to specific people or perform a series of QTE events in order to advance your quest, whilst this is particularly easy during the prologue and first part of the main quest, it gets incredibly difficult towards the end, however you are rewarded with humour and a sense of real achievement. There were many times throughout the game, where I laughed out loud at the Monty Pythonesque jokes and humorous actions of Graham and the characters of Daventry.
The animations blend seamlessly to the Kings Quest storyline. They are well polished and suit the series. Beautiful forest landscapes and well-animated characters come to life in the Kingdom.
Whilst Telltale games generally give the player the consequence of choice and heavily rely on that, Kings Quest tends to focus on obtaining the right ingredients to bake the cake and still allowing the player to choose their path to determine the rest of the story.
There were few to little hindrances experienced, on occasion you may see a repeated cut scene that cant be skipped, however most of the time if you are selecting the same line of dialogue or repeating the same action you will receive different humorous responses.
If I refer back to the original Kings Quest series, created by Roberta Williams and Sierra, the series taught me something that I currently use today, typing skills and whilst the keyboard is completely irrelevant in the latest edition to Kings Quest, you can still be taught a valuable lesson, that Adventure games are truly back and are now part of modern day culture, as they once were when I was a boy.
About: Matthew Cawley
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