Quest for Infamy is inspired by Sierra adventure games, and most specifically the Quest for Glory series. It’s developed by Infamous Quests and published by Phoenix Online Publishing (Cognition, Moebius, The Last Door: Collector’s Edition, Face Noir, Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary, Lost Civilization, The Silver Lining). They had a successful Kickstarter in July 2012, which you can check out here.
Watch the trailer:
For this preview, I played through the prologue and part of chapter one.
“Quest For Infamy is a classic point-and-click adventure game, in which you assume the identity of Mister Roehm, a man trying to start over after running away from a shady past. Welcome to the little town of Volksville, only to discover there is so much more going on in the valley than meets the eye! Come along and take a walk on the wild side with Roehm and discover just how infamous you might be.”
There is a lengthy opening cutscene, then you find yourself outside of Volksville. When you start talking to the townspeople, you realize that there’s about to be an execution in the town square, which you’ll be compelled to watch. From there, you can choose your class (brigand, rogue, or sorcerer) by talking to one of three people in town and slaying a beast for them. Once that’s taken care of, a cutscene reveals that a mysterious hooded figure is NOT happy that his beast was killed…and the adventure begins. Out of the four women in the game I’ve met so far, three of them were eye candy for Roehm – he talks about wanting to have sex with them, and their character portraits all show off their cleavage. I’ve included their portraits throughout so you can see for yourself. All of the characters (at least so far) are fairly static, but it annoyed me that the women were sex objects. I was also annoyed by Roehm calling the first man he sees “sissy and feminine.” Great first impression…I know he’s supposed to be “infamous.” But still. The humor in general fell flat for me, but humor is very subjective, so that might not be a factor for you. I found it weird that the game is set in a fantasy world, but there were still references to things like Reddit and Cheech and Chong. It took me out of the world that was being built.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics and sound both invoke Sierra adventure games, but are of a higher quality than back then. I do really like the style of the character portraits – the mouths are a bit funny-looking when they move, but I like when I can get a better idea of a face than pixels will allow. The environmental art is excellent and detailed, even in its retro style. The music is also really good, and there’s a lot of it – I didn’t get tired of any of the various themes throughout the sections I played, and there seems to be something different for almost every area/screen. Voice acting is just okay – no one stood out as particularly good or bad, but there’s a large variety of accents, some of which are shakier than others. The preview version has a disclaimer that some art and audio are subject to change, so this could be different down the road.
The interface is very much like Sierra-style games – you’re able to look, interact, talk, and move in one of three ways (walk, run, sneak), and you can switch through these actions by right-clicking. I actually really appreciated the ability to run instead of walk – you don’t often see that in adventure games, and it’s much appreciated when you’re exploring a large area. You have a number of skills that you can level up by using them – for example, repeatedly attempting to climb over a gate will up your climbing skill. It reminded me of the Elder Scrolls series in this sense. I found combat itself frustrating – you have three ways to hit, plus blocking, and some monsters are allegedly more susceptible to certain hits than others, according to a random guy in a safari hat, but I found that it didn’t really matter. I also got hit a lot more than I landed hits. If you die in battle, you wake up at the alchemist’s shop, so it’s not a game over! The first major quest is fairly straightforward, minus the random popping of the location of the beast, but I was frustrated when (as a rogue) I was able to sneak out of town one way, but not sneak back in the same way. The second major quest (again, as a rogue) is basically, “Go explore the entire area and look for guys who will randomly pop up! Isn’t this fun?” No, not really.
You’re able to pick up items as you find them, even if you have no reason to (which is great! Let me stuff my pockets with junk!). A lot of these items are in places you’re not going to find unless you explore areas you have no real reason to. For example, a blacksmith told me he would trade a new hammer for a saddle. I happened to have been wandering the area, exploring, and found a hammer, but if I’d only been doing what I was told, I probably wouldn’t have found the hammer at all. I also found a stick on the same screen as a beehive, got curious, and poked the beehive with the stick, capturing a bee in my cloak in the process. That happened totally by accident. I’m still not sure why I need a bee. There are lots of shops around town, with lots of loot to spend money on. I didn’t find any loose loot lying around when I was playing, but there might be later. Otherwise, the gold amounts were quite high. You gain infamy throughout the game when you do things that draw attention to you, for good or ill.
There are 59 Steam achievements, which is a pretty huge number for an adventure game.
Quest for Infamy lives up to its promise of a retro, Sierra-style adventure, but the particular brand of humor, difficulty of combat, and portrayal of women made the game fall flat for me. I’ll probably be passing on this one.
[Disclaimer: A review code was provided for me to review this game.]