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REVIEW / King’s Quest: Rubble Without A Cause (PS4)

 

If you want to catch up on the series so far, please take a look at our review of the first chapter of King’s Quest. I really enjoyed the first chapter, and gave it an excellent 8.7 score out of 10. So how does the next tale in the series stack up?

 

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Chapter Two of the King’s Quest reboot was released last month just in time for the holiday season. King’s Quest: Rubble Without A Cause flips the first chapter on its head by fast-forwarding us past Graham’s knighthood and sets us in the throne room where he is now the King of Daventry. After much deliberation of decrees and declarations (most are of the ludicrous variety), the problem of this chapter presents itself: goblins.

Goblins have become a problem for the land of Daventry and Graham quickly finds this out after he gets captured by a group of them outside the castle. Graham eventually finds himself prisoner to the goblins and will have to find a way to not only arrange his own breakout, but also of his loyal subjects from Chapter One. These circumstances set the tone of this chapter from an enjoyable exploratory romp through the countryside to a very harrowing puzzle game trapped in the depths of this world. My interpretation is that this chapter is set up to reveal the struggles of what being a king means and the burden of making decisions that can impact lives.

 

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Ready Player One

I would rather not spoil this chapter for you, but you are going to be making some hard decisions. This will become apparent as you start wandering around the underground and discover your friends from the town are all captured as well. While Chapter One had some tough choices (one being very incredibly difficult, to which you will be quickly reminded of while you walk around the castle at the beginning of this chapter), the devs pumped up the difficulty of this chapter’s choices by 10. You are solely responsible for the survival of your subjects and early mistakes can cost them their lives.

Pretty dark, right?

 

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In the email we received from the Odd Gentlemen, they give a line that I went back and reread because it stuck out like a sore thumb after I played through Rubble Without A Cause. The Odd Gentlemen say that unlike older King’s Quest games, there “are no dead ends”. Well, my playthrough proved that for Graham, but others weren’t so lucky. However, these obstacles become the thing second guesses are made of, and you will start realizing how you could have played it differently as you start making real progress. The puzzles and choices really make us care about these people, something that wasn’t really fleshed out in the Chapter One.

There are still plenty of jokes and gallows humor thrown in for good measure. The voice acting is as solid as the previous chapter. But the charm is a little lost in the underground.Reading through some other comments and concerns from fellow gamers, this chapter did feel a bit rushed. There are some odd quirks with the transitions of certain scenes, and some of the interactions were painfully mistimed. But these narrative exaggerations are what makes these games work, so these aren’t going to make or break a playthrough.

 

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There is an escape

In the end, this was a fair continuation of the story thus far. However, there needs to be some serious changes for Chapter Three to bring us back to fun that was Chapter One. This game had some entertaining elements, but it was far from being “fun”. It’s definitely worth the play if not for what could be possible thanks to an interesting tease for the next chapter.

 

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