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EvilQuest (Xbox 360) artwork

EvilQuest (Xbox 360) review


"EvilQuest gets more than enough to justify its already low asking price, but let’s not let its Indie status colour it completely; The 360’s Indie channel regularly produces titles of great value hidden beneath the muck and Chaosoft’s effort certainly deserves to stand along side them. "



There seems to be a slowly growing trend in games to present the gamer with the means to be a sadistic overlord, and the aptly-named EvilQuest does its best to promote that mindset as far as it can. It’s the tale of one Galvis, a nasty looking fellow in evil looking armour complete with a villainous cape, and one of those stupid helmets only worn by the truly malicious with worthless horn ornaments and shrouding faceguards that destroy your peripheral vision but cloak your face in ominous shadow.



Just because I can’t see you doesn’t mean I don’t hate you.


Galvis, then, is quite the bastard and the game tries very hard to tell you of his dark deeds with a straight face. With all the killing and the maiming and the bathing in the blood, it’s surprising he’s then showcased losing his coup in record time because one of his general wanders off for no other reason than “Screw Galvis, that’s why!” He’ll escape imprisonment in an orgy of betrayal, stupidity and deus ex machina and, if you’ve managed to survive to awful writing up to here, you’ll find the game rewards you for it.

EvilQuest‘s writing often lacks any real direction and doesn’t seem sure of what it wants to be. These opening stages play it so serious, that when it starts to drop in lines of dark humour, it’s impossible to be sure if they’re intentional of simply more bad writing. I’d like to believe the former; the last words of an overly-trusting ally and the reactions of the village folk to Galvis’ escape are hard not to be amused by, but the plot seems to be indecisive at best, never really finding its pace.

EvilQuest asset


So it’s a saving grace that the game itself is put together so well. Reminiscent of 8-bit action RPGs of old, most notably, Crystalis, EvilQuest’s attempt to destroy the world plays out in real time, depicting simplistic battles. Galvis can employ swords, spears and shivs as well as hurl a small variety of magic spells around the screen while you take part in an adventure to destroy the four seals that bar his way into heaven so he can slay God itself.

In doing so, he’ll find himself taking on an assortment of dungeons ranging from ancient pyramids, reeking sewers and lava-filled caves. He’ll need to lay a one-man siege against the local sovereign’s castle, pretend to care about saving a sacrifice from the unholy claws of a local deity and navigate his way through an ice maze. In doing so, EvilQuest captures all that was right about the titles of old, but still manages to throw in a few appreciated updates. The stages you explore are mapped out as you wander around, cutting down on time spent aimlessly backtracking and Galvis keeps a journal which will point you in the right direction should you feel yourself getting a bit lost.

Grit your teeth while the writing beds in (it’s hard to decide if it eventually abandons the suffocating seriousness and makes a play for black humour or if it simply becomes so bad, it starts being unintentionally funny) and you’ll find a tight game well worth your time. Perhaps it doesn’t achieve its aim of showcasing video gaming’s most evil protagonist, but, for the five hours or so it lasts, it does manage to do almost everything else right. Dungeons slowly evolve from simple straight paths littered with the odd rat to huge open-space shrines flooded by fluttering dragons, acid-spitting lizard men and a slew of portals you’ll need to map out to get anywhere near the usually outstanding boss fight waiting at the end of each crawl.

EvilQuest asset


EvilQuest gets more than enough right to justify its already low asking price, but let’s not let its Indie status colour it completely; the 360’s Indie channel regularly produces titles of great value hidden beneath the muck and Chaosoft’s effort certainly deserves to stand along side them.

Rating: 6/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (February 25, 2012)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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pickhut posted February 25, 2012:

Does sound like a nice game I'd like to play. If I currently didn't have a lot of games on my plate, I'd probably download this now for a weekend play. Good review, EmP, and I'll spare you pointing out any spelling errors, since I know a certain someone likes doing that. :)

Actually, I just forgot what the errors were and didn't feel like rereading it again.
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zippdementia posted February 25, 2012:

I also liked the review, a lot. It was really short but didn't feel like it needed to be longer. I don't totally understand your key line: "EvilQuest gets more than enough to justify its already low asking price."

Are you trying to say that EvilQuest has just enough wrong that it justifies its low cost, or are you trying to say that it is well worth the buy at such a low cost? It's that word "gets." I keep feeling like it should be "gives."
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EmP posted February 25, 2012:

Thanks, both. There isn't really a lot to say about EvilQuest so I guess I'll same my endless rambling for my next review.

That particular line, Zipp, was one of those typos Pick mentioned. I've gone back and edited that, as well as a few others that I found. I'll refind the ability to catch them all again on first try, someday!
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zippdementia posted February 25, 2012:

Don't you mean "save" your rambling for next review? Damn, EmP, you're even getting spelling errors in your responses about spelling errors, now! I like to think it makes you all the more loveable, though.
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EmP posted February 25, 2012:

I can honestly remember a time when I could type and/or spell. I was really smug about it! Perhaps they are right about the long-term side effects of alcohol after all.
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aschultz posted February 27, 2012:

You're just thinking bigger these days, that's all.

Also, as there never was an EvilQuest game, there really should be. It sounds like it is tough to get the writing tone right, though.

"Cystalis" also reminded me I never played Crystalis, either.
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honestgamer posted February 29, 2012:

This sounds like a great game, something I'd probably enjoy if only I had time to play it.

Just so you know, EmP, "puerperal" refers to a type of fever commonly caught during childbirth. I had to look it up because I had never encountered the word before. I'm pretty sure you meant "peripheral," which more commonly refers to vision... unless that horned helmet has some really nasty side effects.
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EmP posted February 29, 2012:

No -- the fever thing. That's what I meant.

(thanks!)

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