|In the good old days of the 386 and 486,
the Quest For Glory series was one of the best adventure game series on the market,
bringing eminently fun gameplay, decent graphics, and great humor to the gaming market.
One of the best things about the series was that it let you choose between 3 or 4
different character classes, giving it a much more RPG-like feel than adventure games like
Kings Quest. In fact, I can honestly say that QFG 2: Trial By Fire was one of my
all-time favorite games, and the latest installment of the QFG series takes all the good
of the previous series and spices it up with better graphics and a new interface.
The first thing I noticed when installing QFG 5 was that the maximum install took about 1.06 gigabytes (yes, you read right)--the largest install Ive seen yet next to Baldurs Gate (2.5 gigs). I knew at this point, that the game was going to be much larger in terms of map and gameplay than the previous four games. The game installed just fine, with no hitches, and even set up my 3-D card properly. Even though I opted for the 430 meg install, the game runs quite smoothly, especially considering I only have a 12X CD-ROM.
When I got the game installed, I sat down and decided what character class to choose. There are four character classes to choose from: The Fighter, The Wizard, The Thief, and the Paladin. If you played any of the previous QFG series as a Paladin, you are able to import your character from the old games. If you dont have a Paladin from the old series, a file with a Paladin character is provided on the CD for you. I chose to go with the wizard because I usually enjoy playing games as a magic user. When I got my character set up, I found that character creation is quite simple and anyone can create a good solid character in about 5 minutes.
After creating my character, I began to play and watch games story unfold before me. The first thing I noticed about the game is that it is beautifully rendered in 3-D. The environment is rich with detail, and special attention was paid to the color scheme, making scenes look very realistic. One of the great things about the visual detail in this game is that it helps you out by providing visual clues of what you should do next. The only real complaint I had about the graphics in Q4G5 was that the characters faces could have been better done and some of the magical effects could have been cooler.
The sound in QFG5 is very good. It really helps gameplay when you can hear where your enemy is coming from. The sound is compatible with direct sound so any good Windows-compatible soundcard should work. The music in Q4G5 is some of the best music Ive heard in a game yet. It goes along with the game perfectly, and does a fine job of setting the games mood.
The gameplay in QFG5 is excellent indeed. The interface is very easy to learn and improves the playability of the game in general. The designers of Q4G5 use a belt system similar to Diablos to utilize quick spells and quick items, while other items can be accessed from a little button on the right of the screen. Compared to QFG4, this games interface is a dream. The gameplay itself is a lot of fun. The combat system is good, but sometimes the camera angle can make it a little difficult, and I wish the game had a rotate camera angle button for certain areas in the game. Acquiring money and items in QFG5 is pretty easy, and its nice to see that you dont have to spend four hours hunting and hoarding gold to buy one item needed to get somewhere in the game. Fighting in the game is simple--just click on your sword or spell, then click on the person or monster you wish to attack. The series still has its honor system intact, and you can still steal and pick locks as in the previous QFG games. The story in QFG is also very good, has great cutscenes for plot development, and kept me involved throughout the game.
The complaints I had about QFG5 were few, but they are ones that should have been addressed before the games release. The first major complaint I had with QFG5 is that it crashes randomly, especially when casting spells. The second complaint I had was that theres no way to turn off some of the extended-use spells like levitate, especially if you use it in the wrong place. Third and last, the people at Sierra needed to allow importing of all types of characters, not just Paladins. I personally would have liked to see my mage from QFG3 imported into QFG5. I hate to say this, but this is a game where they seem to think that thorough play testing and de-bugging isnt required before the release. I would really like to see fewer buggy releases from Sierra.
Overall, QFG5 is a very good adventure game. It offers a lot of gameplay, good graphics, great sound/music, and excellent cutscenes and story. This game does sport some crash problems but if you save often they usually arent a problem. Overall, I would recommend this game to anyone who likes a good adventure game or even gamers from other genres looking to tide themselves over until the next Half-Life or Baldurs Gate hits the market.