Old hat . . .
When I heard that the Quest for Glory series would be moving into 3D for its fifth installment, I was excited. The prospect of classic adventure gameplay, coupled with state-of-the-art graphics, was enticing to say the least. But, when I began playing Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, problems with the new dimension were readily apparent. Not only that, but the tried-and-true adventure gameplay wasn't there either. What Sierra has left us with is a game with little innovation, boring plot, gameplay that doesn't even come close to the old Quest for Glories, and a new graphics system that is actually worse than Quest for Glory I.
The first thing you'll notice when you boot up Quest for Glory is the absolutely appalling plot. There is no trace of innovation. Basically, you are thrown into a land where everything is going bad - the land's king has just been assassinated, and, GASP, a dragon is attacking everything in sight. There has never been a more generic plot for a medieval setting. (What? No princess to rescue? - Ed.) The core story is so dull that it is mostly responsible for the destruction of the rest of the game.
As bad as the story is, the graphics still don't do it justice. While originally intended to spice up the environments with detailed textures and good looking models, instead they just become an eyesore. First of all, Dragon Fire has no form of 3D acceleration. This wouldn't be a problem if the models actually looked good (Grim Fandango was beautiful, for example), but, in Dragon Fire, the 3D models are so ugly that you just don't want to look at them. The backgrounds are 2D (again, as in Grim Fandango), but instead of being static, they move around as you move, panning and zooming in and out. Although this may sound pretty interesting, the backgrounds are so pixelated and chunky that the effect looks like garbage. When compared to the incredible 2D art in Quest for Glory I through IV, you really have to wonder why the developers decided to go with 3D.
Sound and voice acting are also fairly weak. Many sounds are annoying, and the voices sound like the actors from the Tori Spelling School of Dramatic Arts. The music, on the other hand, is incredibly good. From the twangy guitars, to the ethnic drums, Dragon Fire's music is a treat for the ear. Unfortunately, it doesn't help the game much because the bland voice acting continuously takes over the speakers. Overall, the sound is just another bad thing in a bad game.
Gameplay consists of traveling around bland landscapes, battling uninteresting monsters, to save an uninteresting kingdom. You'll find yourself solving monotonous puzzles, talking repeatedly to annoying NPC's, and being bored out of your skull. Not exactly what you might want out of an adventure game.
Considering how innovative and fun the previous Quest for Glory games have been, Dragon Fire is a huge disappointment. From the bland story to the horrible graphics, everything that could go wrong has. It is almost as if they tried to make a bad game. Don't waste your money on this stinker.