I’ve played enough “Quest for Infamy” over the last 48 hours to get through the first 3 out of 59 achievements (taking the Brigand route). So, I have a few hours under my belt and though I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface of the game’s story, I think I have a good feel for the game play. (There’ll be a small spoiler / hint regarding the first brigand quest below)
The Setup –
Testing on a Win7 x64 based system with 12 GB ram, i7 cpu (firstname.lastname@example.org GHz) video is ATI Radeon HD 5700 -and I used the Steam version (they offer GOG too)
Entertainment Value – 4/5
For $19.99 you’re going to get hours of entertainment from this kickstarted game. This is a much higher return on your entertainment dollar than a couple tickets to a movie but I have to caution the potential buyer about the sense of humor and the language in the game. Having only completed what I assume is a small percentage of the game, I’m only drawing on a small sample size of game interaction but I did hear/read a couple curse words (stuff you can’t say on network TV). The irreverent main character makes several off color remarks and there’s a lot of sexual innuendo so if you’re easily offended maybe this isn’t for you. However, if you’re the more easy going type who can laugh at juvenile humor and you love adventure games, try it out. So, besides potentially offensive content, the story is fun to play. Plus it’s not just a straight line – you have some choices to make (playing as brigand, rogue or sorcerer) – so you could play it through at least 3 times and see 3 different story lines.
Ease of Use – 4/5
I have to say that most of the controls are very easy to pick up. I was immediately able to figure out the mouse usage without having to look up any help or reference materials. If you scroll to the top, you see a dropdown ‘menu.’ If you right click you scroll through different interaction modes (like a big eyeball to look at things, a finger to pick up or touch or steal stuff, a sword to attack, etc). If you move your mouse to pathways on the edges of the screen, and you have your walk, sneak or run mouse icon selected, you’ll walk, sneak or run off the screen to the next scene. The main issue I have with the interface is that it’s easy to get turned around – if you go off the screen in one direction (like off to the left) you may enter the next screen from the bottom. This is not totally intuitive at times and so it’s possible to get a bit turned around. Also, it’s not just the screen edges that will take you to other locations, some times the next location can be accessed by a pathway down the middle. You can’t always readily tell, so having some kind of highlight when your mouse is over a valid path would be really nice.
Also, the battle mode leaves a bit to be desired. I find myself just clicking a just as fast as I can, or a soon as the buttons are enabled, to make my attack. There’s probably a rhyme or reason for when to click which attack type but I’ve not really tried to figure it out. The mode seems to not really require any skill per se and so, the only thing I enjoy about it is winning and getting the in-game currency from the defeated foe. That could get old and may end up just being a means to an end and not really a fun part of the game.
I love that you can click through the dialog. If you don’t want to listen to any of the messages, you can just click through the dialog to get to the next one. This is huge since you may end up accidentally starting up the same conversation with the same folks and not get new info. Being able to click through is huge. You can also adjust the game speed – I can be a bit impatient (how many times to I really need to watch my character walk through the town over and over?), so being able to speed up the the game is a really nice benefit.
Saving and restoring is also a really nice feature. Again, easy to understand and quite handy as you experiment with different problem solving techniques through the story. I accidentally died a few times (messing with the gargoyles outside the magic shop, kicking in Raymond’s door, stealing the blacksmith’s horse) and these are the type of deaths where you have to reload. There are other ‘deaths’ – from battle – where you just get knocked out and wake up. This is handy because when you’re early on in the game, your character is pretty weak and fighting the undead in the grave yard ends up in far more defeats than victories.
Likelihood of Reuse – 4/5
Despite small misgivings above about the humor and language (mostly i just click through them anyway), I’d like to get through the full game and I’d really like to see the differences in the story based on the different hero types. I will admit to being a bit frustrated during the first quest because I simply could not see one of the items I needed to pick up. It was night time and I could not see the helmet I was supposed to pick up. I don’t mind having to solve a puzzle but when I have to spend an hour just clicking around random screens, well I just don’t have the time for that. As more info (hints, to which I may contribute) become available in forums (http://www.infamous-quests.com/forum/index.php) – these types of challenges will be a bit easier to over come because someone else will likely have written about it.
Graphics and Sound – 4/5*
*If you’re looking for a graphics intense, smoothly rendered, 3d beast of a game, this is not it. You’ll be looking at “retro-style” graphics and though I assume the original art looked very nice, the rendering of the final results is expectedly pixelated. The makers are not trying to sell you anything else and the look is done on purpose, so all is good.
Other than the background music at the Inn reminding me of the backgroud music in some videos we used to help teach our children sign language, I thought the accompanying music and sound effects were effective. By that I mean they did not stand out as being annoying or disruptive but they worked with the story.
Overall – 4/5
This is a fun throwback type of game with a sense of humor and purposefully retro-graphics. It has a few quirks here and there but overall seems like a lot of fun.
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