Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire is the fifth installment in the Quest
for Glory series. This game was much awaited for fans of the series
as the fourth game was released five years ago. Quest for Glory 5
lives up to the tradition of the previous titles in this series and it
perfectly blends in adventure and RPG styles of gameplay. Luckily
for us, Sierra has made their Christmas deadline and has pulled
out all stops to bring us a game of exceptional quality.
Quest for Glory 5 is a well-working mix of adventure and RPG. As
most Quest for Glory fans will know, at the beginning you are
given the choice between a fighter, thief, wizard and paladin. If
you played any of the previous games, you have a choice to
import an old character. I have heard there are problems in
importing characters from Quest for Glory 3 and 4, but I'm sure this
problem will be rectified soon. I'm sure only die-hard fans will
have kept their characters from five years ago. Unfortunately, a
multiplayer option was not put in the final version. According to
Sierra's Quest for Glory website there will be a multiplayer patch
released approximately 6-8 weeks after release. It will be
interesting to see how they manage to implement multiplayer
support into an adventure game.
In true RPG style, you gain points according to experience. There
are also ways to increase your various point allocations. For
example, you can run in the treadmill to increase strength and
vitality or you can practise your throwing to increase your throwing
skills points. At most times, there are multiple puzzles to solve and
adventures to complete adding to the variation of gameplay.
Puzzles are solved in a very logical manner and clues are
available from reading books or listening to the townsfolk. Quest
for Glory 5 continues the tradition of the Quest for Glory series in
fine form. You will find strange characters, dialogue containing
many humorous and slapstick jokes, and bizarre locations. Also, if
you played other Quest for Glory games, you will encounter
familiar faces and situations. However, you need not have played
the others to feel at home with this one. Unlike games like Grim
Fandango, your own character does not speak, so you do not gain
as big a personal attachment. There is a noticable difference
between character classes. My "assistant", who played as a
Wizard, has helped me deduce that puzzles are solved in different
ways for different characters.
Interaction with items and other characters is virtually flawless,
except for the few nags I have with the inventory system. Your
inventory belt only allows for a certain amount of items to be
stored, so you will have to constantly manage it for different
situations. For example, when you are headed into a fight, you
will have to place items such as mana and potions into your belt.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a small flaw and hardly
detracts from the gaming experience and most of the game can be
played with just a mouse.
Prior to release, I was disappointed to read that 3DFX support was
to be no longer included. However, I was most impressed at the
use of 16-bit software mode for player characters and backdrops.
The point-of-view is that of classic Sierra adventure games and in
no way hinders gameplay. Landscapes and backdrops are
excellent and add to the feel of being in another world and time.
There are no options to change resolutions, but you can change
the detail level, although I did not notice much difference between
settings. For slower systems, you can run it in a windowed mode,
compared to the default full screen mode. Once again I found the
performance difference was negligible.
There are many touches to the graphics side of the game to make
one impressed. The equipment you wear corresponds with your
character model. The large window in your inventory menu shows
numerous animations for your different spells and items. In large
views, your character may seem too far away and fighting may
become troublesome. Large scenes or areas need not be loaded
in segments as the scenes pan across your screen.
I was most impressed with the sound throughout the game. The
speech is well acted and is of a high quality. The accent of
non-player characters suit their roles perfectly and they all sound
remarkably different. Unlike many games, there are no boring or
repetitive sounds which can annoy. The music is not too ambient
to make it unnoticed, but of a state that helps the atmosphere and
feel of the game. It also changes to suit the situation, such as a
fighting, peaceful, or exciting scene. A fair amount of ambient
sounds are apparent such as water lapping or the weaponsmith at
work. Most inventory items make a different sound which shows
the effort which has gone into development.
You play as a hero who travels to Silmaria, a cosy, bright sea-side
town. Here, you learn of the assassination of the king and the
chance to become king yourself. To do this, you have to compete
in the Rites of Rulership which are an amount of assignments
given to you by the king's advisor. In this time, you learn of a
magical dragon which is soon to be freed once more and wreak
havoc on the towns again. This is all accomplished with the
chance of doing many entertaining sub-quests.
Most games of this genre sometimes do not appeal to certain
people. To satisfy these people there is the element of fighting in a
Diablo-type style. Since I enjoy games of this type, I found it
extremely enjoyable and have already played this game for
uncountable hours. The combination of good graphics, sound,
gameplay and setting give Quest for Glory a gripping atmosphere.
The game is very absorbing and keeps you pushing to find a
solution, even when none is in sight.
This game has failed to make me feel disappointed in any way,
except slightly for the fact that it requires 400 megabytes of hard
disk space. All elements of this game have been incorporated to
make this one of my year's favourite games. In a few words, this
game is truly brilliant and anyone who thinks not, has had their
brain fried by Quake or is on an illegal substance.
Fun Factor: 18/20
Overall Impression: 9/10