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SIERRA      ACTIVISION      The ODD GENTLEMEN      UNREAL TECHNOLOGY    2015

   

At the time of this preview only Quest One: A Knight to Remember, is open to me. When all Quests are open they will be available for separate play, so you can select whichever adventure you wish to play.

The game plays like an animated movie. The animation, artwork, graphics, design, all of the visual effects and especially the amazing vocal talent, pull together to make this a game all lovers of animated adventures will love; there's just nothing not to like about it.  The game has three modes, Bravery, Compassion or Wisdom. I don't think these are actually Difficulty levels but more of how the characters are portrayed. 

The first Quest requires that you, the young (pre-King) Graham, go in search of the famed "magic" mirror which is deep underground in the caverns and depths amongst the treasure pile of the one-eyed Dragon.

The game begins with the old King Graham, looking very Merlin/Gandalf-like, in his bed chamber telling his ancient tale to his grand-daughter Gwendolyn. Everyone in the household, including young cousin Gart, who comes into the story later on, has heard the same old stories time after time and do all they can to escape when Graham begins relating them again; only Gwendolyn loves to hear them over and over.

As the story unfolds we are taken back in time to when old King Graham was just young Graham and we get to play out his adventures to the delight of Gwendolyn. When we force Graham to take a wrong turning or make a wrong move, which leaves the onscreen personna of young Graham either dead or incapacitated, old Graham intervenes with a delightful quip - Christopher Lloyd really has a great hold on the old Graham character, and his vocal talent is totally inline with the animated Graham's moods and actions, brilliant screenplay!

   

So using the basic WASD or the Arrow keys for running movement and direction ( the Shift key reverts movement to walking pace ) you set off on the adventure to obtain the mirror. The game is played as a series of challenges, some obvious, some not so obvious, but all determining whether you move onwards towards the end of the tale; fail the challenge and you begin again at the start of the challenge, thankfully not at the start of the game. There is no physical "save" feature, only autosave, so if you have to turn off the game in mid-play then you will lose whatever the autosave hasn't autosaved.

Young Graham reminded me very much of Guybrush Threepwood though when he gets a selection of answers to choose from when asked a question, they are not in the same comedic style as GTs generally were. 

One of the first things you discover, and I am not going to hint you through the game, that's up to you to play and enjoy for yourselves, is that bds are very useful - enough said.

When you reach the Dragon you can see that he has an arrow sticking out of his left eye which has in fact left him blind-sided; you can take advantage of this occasionally. You have to reach him by a series of fairly simple puzzles and then escape by another series of challenges. There are a few goofs in the production, such as the sleeping Dragon will awake at the short sharp snap of a bone but remains sleeping when a mighty large bridge crashes down; it's quite likely that only role-players would pick up on this though. Most of the controls are via the keyboard but there are occasions when you need to be quick with the mouse itself and the mouse buttons.

   

Once you return with the Mirror the second part (Act 2) of Quest One begins and you are once again sent out on an adventure, this time, to begin with you are riding a mount, though exactly what it is I am not really sure, though I imagine a check on Google will tell me, hold on a moment while I have a quick look - apparently it's a Glorious Hamster - right where were we?  There are many achievements to unlock but I am not going to tell you how, except to perhaps hint that doing something more than once, maybe thrice?, will be a pleasant surprise for you.

Goof of note #2: When you open the tool box nearly all the tools fall out and float down the river .... these include a hammer! (Darn my role-play instincts - wait up, it could have been a magical mystical Elven hammer made of unknown ore and magic wood which thus enabled it to float - see there is always a logical answer!).

I have mentioned the voice talent to be excellent and so it is: Apart from Christopher Lloyd (so good he deserves a second mention), there is Josh Keaton (Green Lantern in the TV animated series plus he is in many other TV shows and movies), Maggie Elizabeth Jones (We Bought A Zoo, Identity Thief), Wallace Shawn (too many things to mention, except to say he is an excellent character actor), Tom Kenny (Sp[ongeBobSquarePants), Zelda Williams (Legend of Korra, TMNT, daughter of Robin Williams) and Michael Gough (it would be easier to name the video games this talented voice actor isn't in)  and so many others...

On the showing of the first Quest my opion is that this is an animated game everyone should own.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015