When I read a press release with a subject title starting “Celebrated’ I tend to roll my eyes. When it’s regarding For the King though, a smile comes to my face as it actually is celebrated. I wrote back in May 2019 that the Switch release “brought new life to what is a gem of an RPG“, and I am very pleased to read that the game now has over 3 million players across the numerous platforms it released on, success which has brought about an expansion which releases today on PC.
Trouble has struck the lands of Farhul, the King has been slain and the minions of Chaos are roaming the lands, spreading their evil across what was once a friendly, happy land. This is For the King where your trio of characters aren’t adventuring and questing for fame or fortune, but to avenge their King!
Well, that is the case if you are playing
the vanilla For the King experience. I’m
playing the recent Switch release which includes all the free updates IronOak
have released since the original PC release last year, updates offering endless
dungeon crawling or all new adventures around Farhul. I briefly dallied with
the PC version during EGX
last year, and initially had some concerns about how the game would
transfer over to consoles, let alone the portable mode on the Switch.
I needn’t have been concerned. This is a
mighty fine port, while I’ve seen some slight performance drops in combat, you
get the full experience here. Things are made smoother thanks to the hex-based
map that is used within For the King,
plotting your path around the map is smooth, and most actions are easily
accessible on the joy-cons. The one strange decision is to put the End Turn
button on the minus button, but I quickly settled into my rhythm.
When starting your adventure, you have freedom
to create your three characters from a welcome variety of clothing options,
with everyday professions like Blacksmith, Hunter and Scholar open to choose at
the start of any adventure. Fitting archetypes to fit in my character names of
Gendry, Arya and Sam (see where my influence is coming from?), with each
profession bestowing special abilities upon your characters.
While the professions I chose from map
across to heavy weapons, ranged and light weapons and magic seamlessly, the
Minstrel profession offers an insight into the fun nature of For the King. A Minstrel will start with
a high rating in the Talent stat, which allows them to bring a Lute or other
musical instrument into battle.
Lute bearing Minstrels aren’t the only
touch of fun that IronOak have included in For
the King. Ghosts are named after their former living selves, while Jellies
are just that, giant blobs of jelly. It should come as no surprise that you can
unlock more entertaining items from the Lore Store. Lore is earned through
completing quests for the Queen, side-quests picked up from the towns of Farhul
or by complete the numerous dungeons that you find on your way.
Upon entering a dungeon, the overworld hex map
disappears and your focus is on the combat. It is sensible to approach a
dungeon with a well-stocked party, even if it means spending all your hard-earned
gold at the nearest town. Unless you find a chest holding some much needed
supplied, smaller dungeons won’t give you any chance to re-stock which can make
a series of three or four battles, along with potential traps, a bit of a challenge.
It isn’t the end of the world if one of
your characters die along the way, providing you have enough hearts remaining
in your Life Pool. As part of your adventure, you can bring a character back to
life, for the right price. If your Life Pool depletes completely and your trio
gets wiped, then sadly it will be game over.
Fortunately, various special locations
offer you a chance to add to your Life Pool, or decrease the Chaos that plagues
Farhul. With Chaos rising, special Chaos Hexes will start spawning which you
will want to avoid, while enemy health with start ratcheting up as Chaos rises.
Putting everything together, and you have a
very fine RPG from IronOak, once that offers a nice level of replayability
thanks to the procedurally generated maps, numerous character choices and
various game modes.
While I fear For the King might have got lost in the shuffle on its original PC release, this console release has brought new life to what is a gem of an RPG. If you spy this one, I would suggest you check it out.
The Verdict – Headshot Platforms Available – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch Platform Reviwed – Switch Reviewed based on review code. Please read this post for more on our scoring policy.
The EGX 2018 Report – Curve Digital Get Carried Away, For The King
Every year at EGX, I am always so pleased to see so many indies showing off their wares in the Rezzed section, it’s great to see. As a regular attendee of EGX, if not the Rezzed show itself, I’ve noticed some trends. One big one is that Curve Digital are carving out a nice space in the market and are doing great things for the indie scene. They had numerous title on show this year at EGX, but a couple in particular caught my eye. …