Wednesday, 31 May 2017 15:53

REVIEW: Lock's Quest (Playstation 4)

Written by Brett Hale
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Are people seriously running out of ideas for brand new games? Call of Duty insists on bringing back old multiplayer maps and zombies, and the never ending remastered games released one after the other. But this one’s really got me scratching my head. Lock’s Quest was originally released on the Nintendo DS nine years ago believe it or not. Then someone had a brainfart thinking you know what, I think it’s time it came to the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Originally developed by 5th Cell on the Nintendo DS version and also published by THQ, both have somewhat changed for the remaster, now developed by Digital Continue and published by THQ Nordic.

Lock’s Quest story begins with a short prologue a showcase of visual images as well as sub-titles to read. The kingdom where Lock and others reside was built by something known as Source. The prologue covers a lot in the short time it's seen, and once we meet Lock, many years have since passed. Once meeting Lock you’ll also meet his grandfather Tobias and his sister Emi. It’s not a long game, maybe 15 hours or less and that suits the game, as it’s much of the same thing over and over. I’ll admit that the game does start slow, but for all the right reasons. It slowly teaches you how to play and once you are taught the necessary skills, then the game flows at a faster pace.

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If like me you never owned a Nintendo DS you might want to know this is a real time strategy/tower defense game. There are two phases when playing the game, building and battling. When building walls, cannons and other traps, you’ll have a time constraint to live by. First time you play you’ll be shown a couple of tutorials and you’ll then be made to do what you were shown. It’s all very simple and the only real challenge is to build enough of a defense with the amount of money you have, spending it all can screw you royally.

Once you are done building, then the battle begins. You have torrents that’ll shoot enemies, the bad guys who will attempt to take you down are clockworks, these guys are somewhat easy to kill when it’s 1v1, but in numbers, their a force that’s a challenge to defeat. They’ll attempt to take down your walls and torrents, so repairing is a must if you don’t want them reaching their goal. Repairing your defense and defeating enemies will earn money that you can continue to use as the game moves on. Lock isn’t invincible, so don’t forget that. He can die and dying will leave you with a few options, restart the map, rebuild defenses are two choices you can take.

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Controls have two types, one for the building process, one for the battles. Both were so easy to use, battle controls have far less buttons, but building isn’t too hard to do with the controls. There are also only two difficulties, normal and hard. Then of course, one of my favorite features, autosave. There is also a defense mode that's separate from the main game. Here you'll play as a character called Antonia, which goes up against endless waves of the main games defense system..

Being an old school Nintendo DS game, the graphics is in 8 bit, kind of how games looked on the DS’s and this is the same on the Xbox, PS4 or even PC. The Escapists games were all made in the 8 bit form, the only difference is instead of being played on two small screens, it’s all now combined onto the size of your television. There is a great amount of detail on everything you see, from sand, buildings, walls and even characters.

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It’s a colourful game that probably looked good in 2008 but with a much higher resolution on consoles looks far better now. Not everything is 8 bit, when characters are talking to each other, top right of the speech bubbles is a pretty cool cartoon animation of that said character. As for music and general sounds, there is one key thing that's missing and thats audio dialogue. I’m just guessing but it’s likely due to the fact it’s a DS game, and hell if they were going to extremes of hiring voice actors for a remaster of a game this old. Music is happy go lucky with a touch of serious sounding tunes.

Such an old game getting a remaster is odd, sure it was only originally on the Nintendo DS but luckily it’s actually not too bad of a game. It’s a real time strategy that is a piece of cake to play, though just when you think it's a walk in the park the bar gets raised with enemies. A retail copy of the game will set you around $30AUD, digital being a bit cheaper.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Developer: 5th Cell
  • Publisher: THQ, THQ Nordic
  • Genre: Strategy, RTS