Fancy some more King?
If you read my review on the first chapter of Kings Quest, you’d take one thing away from that piece. I absolutely loved it, and it was a huge surprise for me. It had humor, adventure, action, and multiple outcomes/ways to solve puzzles. I was taken aback by just how much I enjoyed it, and I eagerly awaited the release of episode 2. Which I have to say right now, is a pretty big disappointment. It has some saving graces but it’s far from the first entry.
The king is once again telling his stories to his grandchildren, but this time he is actually a king in his story, crown and all. My mind began wondering what sort of adventure the king would get into for chapter 2, and sadly it’s a rather short lived experience that simple can’t compete with what was offered prior. While lots of characters and their voice actors return, gone are the vast locations to explore. The King has been taken away to an underground lair with some rocky troll-like enemies, and he must find a way to escape.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC, 360, PS3
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
How long to beat: Three hours
Where is the adventure?
Graphically it keeps the same style that made the franchise look colorful and almost as if an animated feature film was brought to life on players consoles. Sadly, it’s hardly taken advantage of here, as players find themselves underground and with little variation throughout. It’s a stark contrast to what was offered prior, with bright and colorful areas to explore. It feels as if the story for this chapter was going for a darker style, but it still felt almost as if the developers didn’t have the budget for this chapter as they had prior. This is not only apparent via the location variation but in the length, which comes up much shorter than the 5 to 7 hours chapter 1 gave players. That’s not to say everything is bad though.
The most interesting aspect of this chapter is the time element and strength. The king is stuck in prison and each day he receives some food; if he eats it, he gets stronger, and in order to open certain doors or complete certain actions, he needs his strength. Of course, once he is at max strength, he no longer has to worry about his wellbeing, but that doesn’t take the focus off the other prisoners underground. This is where some of the various characters from chapter 1 you met prior appear and are stuck imprisoned like the king, needing help to get out, which requires thinking and puzzles of course.
Replay value can come into play on trying to rescue everyone, as it’s possible but appears to be very specific in how accomplished, as I’ve still not been able to get it down just right between balancing who gets food and what order to complete puzzles in.
Bring out your dead and wait for the next episode.
I completed Kings Quest Chapter 2 and I muttered to myself “That’s it?” It’s not a horrible chapter, but it’s a far cry from the way the game started out. It makes me a bit apprehensive to see how the other episodes pan out. It’s not as long, not as memorable, not as funny, and just not as endearing or charming as the first chapter was, and that’s a complete and utter shame. I had high hopes for this entire episodic series and I still do, but let’s hope chapter 2 is the worst out of them all because, it’s a fall from grace in almost every way.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.