A KNIGHT’S QUEST Review: A Game As Awkward As Rusty The Adventurer

Xbox One code received from Sky 9 Games

Xbox One code received from Sky 9 Games

Inspired by The Legend of Zelda and other classic adventure games, A Knight’s Quest is a quirky action RPG that blends exploration and combat with a unique sense of humor. Developed by Sky 9 Games, this epic journey will follow Rusty as he unintentionally causes the end of the world. What happens next is a quest in which the clumsy adventurer becomes a hero. The open world is filled with memorable characters, a bevy of collectibles, and plenty of monsters to fight. Players will control destructive weapons and elemental powers as Rusty goes from meddlesome teen to mighty hero. The game is out now, so let’s discuss what to expect in A Knight’s Quest.

STORY

In a narrative similar to other open-world adventure games, an unlikely protagonist must rise above adversity to defeat an immense ancient power. The main difference in A Knight’s Quest lies in Rusty’s culpability. He’s the reason why disaster is looming. He awoke the ancient evil—the magical crystalline shard that contains the demonic monster capable of ending all life in Regalia. Therefore, that blame provides the impetus for Rusty’s endeavors to right the wrong. The persistent prodding of his well-informed colleague Valery also helps. But that marks the major distinction between the story of A Knight’s Quest and the classic adventures that were inspirations for Sky 9 Games.

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To restore balance, Rusty must seek out the Spirit Knights and the Divine Weapons. Elemental control of the wind, fire, and ice will help the young adventurer traverse the treacherous parts of the land and defeat the undead and other monsters starting to overrun areas that used to be peaceful. 

Along the way, Rusty will encounter other hapless humans throughout the world, and there are different races of creatures that populate the biomes. Sentient slimes. Flying hockey pucks made of rock. Long-limbed stoner ice bros. Tiki-masked fellows. Skeletons. Lazy-eyed blobs. There are many interesting characters with whom players can interact during their odyssey.

Sky 9 Games does an admirable job injecting humor into their story. Thoroughly doused in sarcasm and silly, the rejoinders might wear on you before the game is over. The juvenile remarks also reference tropes in adventure games with a sly wink. It’s just a matter of taste whether you’ll appreciate the effort or roll your eyes.

GAMEPLAY

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There is a lot to do in A Knight’s Quest. There are collectibles scattered across Regalia that will improve your character and unlock new potential. There are dungeons and side quests and weird NPCs with strange requests. And there is the main storyline that threads through all of that. There is a combat system with blocking and parrying and dodging and attacking and combos. Puzzles and traps and challenges and boss fights. Quippy dialogue and zippy music. All sorts of shenanigans. No lack of content and easily between 30-60 hours of play. The only issue is the quality of what’s there. Once you peel back the superficial layer, these components are relatively shallow.

Regalia is a big place with numerous areas to explore. Except you can’t interact with the map. You can’t zoom in or out. You can’t ping anything. The crystals that promise the act of fast travel are unavailable until much later, which forces players to cross large distances for seemingly no reason.

Inventory size is remarkably small, which means you can’t even hold all of the existing potions or useable items before reaching capacity, which doesn’t leave any room for collecting resources. Upgrading the inventory is possible, but there is no explanation for where to pursue that.

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Dungeons across Regalia all have puzzles and challenges to overcome. One in particular, though, demonstrates the lack of care that went into the design process. Floating platforms that wobble whenever Rusty moves on them have to be traversed to reach the other side of a chasm. The only problem is that all of the platforms had their own timing. This means there were moments when I was just floating and waiting for the platform on which I was standing and the next platform to line up. Wasting time for no reason. Other time-based puzzles and encounters had similar features that detracted from gameplay.

Movement, in dungeons and out, didn’t help either. Rusty moves like an animated crash test dummy. And felt inconsistent when trying to maneuver throughout the world. And this interfered with combat as well. Which became tedious. Even the weakest of monsters can take multiple hits to defeat, which elongates fights and proves troublesome when there is a mob after you. Archers with unerring accuracy, skeletons that would spam elemental shields, and no recovery time between hits were all additional irritations that would add up.

And the ceaseless attempts at humor also meant that conversations were laborious. I never experienced any immersion in the narrative. It rang hollow and was a wasted opportunity for player engagement.

So, yeah, there’s a lot in A Knight’s Quest. But it was quantity over quality. I would have wanted a smaller adventure with more thought directed toward the value of the gameplay.

VISUALS

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The character design and creatures of Regalia look like a 3D rendering of an anime story. It has some charm and young players would enjoy the dorky animation. However, alongside other adventures like Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, as well as third-person narratives like the Uncharted series, this game pales in comparison. It feels a generation behind in terms of graphics. It will depend on the player whether that will affect interest.

REPLAYABILITY

With all of the additional content outside the main quest, you can spend many hours playing A Knight’s Quest to finish all of the other objectives. Having mastered the combat and the world, gamers might also want to attempt a speedrun. That’s another possibility of re-entering the adventure.

WHAT IT COULD HAVE DONE BETTER

Unfortunately, a lot. More playtesting to identify weaknesses and more studying of successful forebears in the genre could have resulted in a more polished game, but A Knight’s Quest falters in key areas that destabilize the overall experience.

VERDICT

Too much of the game needs work and there are other adventures worth your time. I’d pass on this one, and I hope that Sky 9 Games is able to learn from this experience in order to improve the next. A Knight’s Quest is awkward, and the clumsy decisions of Rusty the adventurer are emblematic of the game’s flaws as a whole.

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