It’s fair to say I’m not really a fan of the latest Beast Quest game, it’s basic, the story is quite cheesy and well, it’s just a little bit boring. It doesn’t help the enemy AI is less intelligent than a cardboard cutout and the combat feels slow and awkward. I understand the game is not aimed at my age range, so I can accept some of the more obvious flaws, although my 11-year-old ‘gamer’ daughter and my 8-year-old son aren’t exactly fans either, so maybe my judgement isn’t too far off.
For a bit of background, the game takes place in the kingdom of Avantia, where four legendary beasts, normally free to protect the land, have fallen under a curse caused by the evil wizard Malvel. Tom, who is the main protagonist, has been tasked with saving the world from evil by breaking the curse and, in-between some cringe-worthy attempts at comedy, sets off to do so.
Straight from the off, you are met with hammy voice acting, a terrible script and basic gameplay. It’s not funny or clever and things only get worse the longer you play. As mentioned, the combat isn’t great, offering up random encounters with turn-based action, although calling it ‘action’ is certainly stretching it a bit.
The combat sees Tom stand directly in front of the enemy, with the option to move left or right to avoid attacks, or block (although sometimes block does not work against certain enemies). When attacking you have the option of light or heavy attacks, although you can also charge up attacks to hit more than one enemy. Eventually, you can also use abilities such as speed buff, fireball and you can also build up your attack meter to unleash a special move which generally wins the battle. It’s all very repetitive and not really a lot of fun either.
I guess the issue I have with the combat is it’s very repetitive, quite easy and not a lot of fun. The design doesn’t help, which again seems to be aimed at a younger age, so the enemies aren’t too scary, with even the uglier creatures not really having an edge to them. But I just didn’t enjoy standing there, waiting for an enemy to attack before hitting back again and continuing to repeat the whole process over and over again. There is some level of exploration in that you can find keys and open chests, or walk around talking to villagers, gaining side quests along the way, but it’s likely you’d rather just speed through to get it over with.
Beast Quest doesn’t look like a PS4 game, I’d swear it belonged on PS3 if I didn’t load it up on the PS4 myself. It’s basic at best, the lip syncing is off, the frame rate is terrible, the textures, the character design, everything about it just looks bad. It probably never had a high-end budget and it shows. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was ported from a mobile version because I swear I’ve seen better-looking games on my iPad.
It’s fair to say Beast Quest is a chore to play. It’s not a pleasant experience and therefore I couldn’t recommend it to anyone, even those with kids. My children didn’t enjoy it, I certainly found no positives in playing it, so I have to ask myself why anyone bothered to release it in the first place.
Beast Quest is the type of title which makes me sad. It almost feels like a cash in on the popular mobile version, with little to no effort put into it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the publisher spent more on marketing than on the development of the game. I’m not impressed and can’t see how anyone in the world would be. Avoid this game and spend your hard earned cash on a day out with the kids. They’ll thank you for it.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*