A long time ago, Sierra ruled the adventure realm with its King's Quest series, which first made its debut on the market back in 1990. Many adventures followed since, but then the series went dormant, following the company's reshuffling in 1999. However, as with most great games in this market, there's always room for a return – and later this month, King's Quest will once again take the throne for PC and game consoles alike.
Originally created by Roberta and Ken Williams, the series has been revived by the team at The Odd Gentlemen, who actually got the consent of the pair to work on this beloved franchise. Don't worry, though – based on what we've seen thus far, it's in good hands.
The story revolves around King Graham, an old but likable ruler voiced by Christopher Lloyd of Back To the Future fame. He gets into a conversation with his granddaughter Gwendolyn about his adventures of old. He reflects upon decisions that are made over the course of his journey, which can lead to one of three different endings in the game overall, with a variety of interactive options along the way. Will Graham make friends with a somewhat shady knight, or should a different route be taken? That's entirely up to you.
As with previous games in the series, control is limited to exploring around the area and interacting with items by walking up to them. This includes talking to characters (including friendly shopkeepers and knights that seem to be bothered by your hero's common-hood) and interacting with items that you can use to solve puzzles. These are how previous games played in the past, so fans should feel right at home.
However, The Odd Gentlemen have implemented a great sense of humor throughout King's Quest, right about on the same level as older games (but with a contemporary twist). We saw a good example of this with a prolonged demo.
After stumbling down a mountainside, the producer attempted to go in a certain direction, only for Lloyd to keep insisting that he was supposed to go east – before a gust of wind actually forces the player to do so. (That's where the next part of the stage is anyway, so don't feel frustrated by this limitation.)
From there, Graham's character finds himself in quite a predicament, coming across a group of stubborn knights that are trying to get across a moat, since the bridge has collapsed. The player experiments with different items – a tree, a rope, even a beehive – in an effort to get across, only for a comical event to emerge, whether it's the knights getting bothered by bees, or someone else jumping in the way of his progress.
Along the way, Graham is able to meet a variety of characters, including that somewhat shady knight (voiced by Wallace Shawn of The Princess Bride fame) and a shopkeeper that has plenty of snacks on hand, even though some, sadly, are reserved for other customers. It's this kind of exploration – and seeing how things play into effect over the course of Graham's adventures, even something as useless-looking as a rotted pumpkin) that players will come to appreciate, whether they're veterans of Quest's world or just getting started for the first time.
With a number of decisions that can lead to various results, humorous interactions and characters, and puzzles that require a good amount of time to solve (thankfully, more than one solution is present in most situations), King's Quest looks to recapture all the fun of the original games, while providing a new art style and voice cast to make it a contemporary model. Plus, it'll be broken down into five episodes, with the first one, A Knight To Remember, launching later this month for consoles and PC. Adventure is definitely back – and under the Sierra banner, no less.
Check out the gameplay trailer below to get a better idea of what kind of gameplay you can expect from this epic Quest.