Ahh, point-and-click adventure games. LucasArts, Sierra, and the old classics with their ancient graphics and rudimentary gameplay rounded out by (mostly) superb writing.
Quest for Infamy will look and feel familiar to anyone who experienced those glory days of adventure gaming – frustration and all. While Quest for Infamy is definitely a solid title it lacks some polish that could have otherwise made it… infamous.
If you missed Twinfinite’s preview, Quest for Infamy is an adventure game styled after those of old with a twist: you play as Roehm, a rascal and scoundrel who will never be remembered for his heroic deeds.
Roehm arrives in Volksville after barely escaping a baron walking in on him about to deflower his daughter. Fresh off the run and eager to get on his way, Roehm finds himself stranded in town while the bridge he needs to make good his escape is under repair.
Thus beginneth Roehm’s infamous deeds. Quest for Infamy uses a point-and-click interface that falls just short of infuriating. The various actions Roehm can take are cycled through with the right-mouse button, unless the player memorizes the keyboard shortcuts. As a saving grace, no matter what eyeball, hand, sword, or walk icon the cursor is, a little blue star will clearly mark where the ‘point is.”
That’s fortunate, because it’s the only clear thing about navigation through the world of Quest for Infamy. Moving from area to area is too often an experiment on what pixel to click, though at least each area takes up the whole screen; no scrolling to add to the mix.
Once moving about the village and countryside has been learned, Quest for Infamy starts being fun. Roehm hits town just as an execution is about to take place, giving him the mandatory opportunity to talk to everyone of import in town. And dialogue is Quest’s easy highlight.
Witty and sassy, sharp and funny – and that’s just the NPC’s. Roehm’s not the only one in town armed for a battle of wits, and watching him trade quips with Volksville’s vilest is pleasing. This is in no small part due to the voice acting for important characters, which thankfully is painless – even enjoyable.
The plot of the game is simple enough. After Roehm finds himself a mentor in the ways magical, muscly, or sneaky, he is treated to a roving band of cultists, a fight with a bear-thing, and some questing. And this is where Quest for Infamy sets itself apart – for better and for worse.
Right off the bat, Quest for Infamy is hard. There is zero hand-holding after the preliminaries are over. Riddles are difficult, minigames can be tough to get the hang of, and the exact methods for completing Roehm’s objectives are often anything but obvious. And saving often is a necessity, lest, an accidental permanent death leave the player bereft of some laborious labors.
To that end, however, Quest for Infamy is very open. Not in the sense that there are multiple ways to accomplish every task (there sometimes are), but in the sense that this is a world that is alive and moving. Not everything is going to fall into place for Roehm; sometimes he has to be in the right place at the right time and figuring out the right combination of the two is part of the organic challenge of the adventure.
Which leads to the RPG aspect of this adventure. Roehm’s abilities apart from the path he chooses (Brigand, Rogue, or Sorcerer) are entirely determined by how much time he spends training them. Translation: how many times the player is willing to click in order to get enough +1s to accomplish the required task at hand.
The tedium of this gets old quickly, and while it makes sense from a gameplay perspective that trying to climb makes you better, no one wants to spend time clicking on a wall of vines 6,000 times to raise climb above 70 so Roehm can scale a wall that a child could probably handle.
Combat follows a similar vein, but gets a little spicy with the class-specific items. Taking place in pseudo-real-time, Roehm squares off with enemies with choices of three different attacks, a guard, and items or spells depending on the player’s path. These skills are also raised through use, so be prepared for even more clicking.
At the end of the day Quest for Infamy is a good, fun game. While it gets bogged down by a little too much tedium, the story is fun and the conversations hilarious. With enough choice to make it feel real and human, the player will find no shortage of dastardly deeds and hilarious moments to make playing through to the end worthwhile.