Frayed Knights Out Now

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Frayed Knights Out Now

Postby Demiath » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:50 am

The old school PC RPG scene being what it is (i.e. small and cozy, with a bit of Codex vitriol thrown in for good measure) I know there's a considerable and perhaps complete overlap between registered users on the KotC forum and broader indie-friendly communities such as RPGWatch and GameBanshee. Regardless, just in case someone has been, say, living in a hermetically sealed hole in the ground for the past few weeks or so (it's OK, Gaddafi, you can come out now) it might be worth mentioning that Rampant Games' first-person turn-based/party-based RPG Frayed Knights has just been released, and is available for $23 (or slightly more for us non-American customers) from http://www.frayedknights.com. There's also a nice new demo for those who want to try before they buy, and I can confirm that the save files carries over nicely from the demo version to the full game.

Frayed Knights contains the following features;
30+ hours of gameplay
Challenging, turn-based combat
A unique "Drama Star" system that rewards the player for playing through tough situations instead of reloading and replaying
Over a hundred base spells, most with several upgraded variants
An innovative trap-disarming / lockpicking system
Over 80 feats to customize your party as they progress through the game
A detailed, "stats-heavy" rules system
Nearly 200 different items to be used and abused by your characters
16 "dungeons", 5 outdoor areas, one village and an alternate dimension.
A thick 69-page PDF manual

The game's official trailer:


Some gameplay from the demo:
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Frayed Knights Out Now

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Re: Frayed Knights Out Now

Postby BlueSalamander » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:17 pm

Beautiful! But more importantly: did you like this game?

Link to the FK forum: http://rampantgames.com/community/viewforum.php?f=6
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: Frayed Knights Out Now

Postby Tiavals » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:42 am

Played it through a while ago. My thoughts:

The combat was a nice challenge for the first 2/3 of the game, peaking in the 50% section maybe. After that it was a breeze, too easy maybe. The final boss was very easy as well.

The drama star system is superb. I wish most games had it too. It is a wonderful cure to my obsession to load if something annoying happens to my party. Makes me use expendable items more often too. As you progress through the game(defeat monsters, open doors, etc) you gain these stars, which you can use to boost your party, or resurrect incapacitated members or such. The twist is, if you load your game(instead of using the Continue option), you will lose all of the stars, effectively making the "Meh, I stepped into a trap, loading" thing less likely since you'd lose the stars.

The spell system and variety is nice, but personally I used only maybe half of the spells in the game despite having access to all. Many seemed fairly useless, at least compared to my play-style.

The trap-lock system is interesting, but ultimately nothing incredible. It makes lockpicking more meaningful, sure, but there aren't that many locks in the game(probably less than 20, maybe only 15), plus there's no real penalty to failing it as I understand. I wouldn't call it anything worth mentioning as such though, it's not that great.

The feat system is nice, as you can teach any of your characters anything(they have predetermined abilities as you begin the game, but get customization points as you gain levels). You want to teach sorcery to the thief? Go ahead. Make the mage wear armor, etc. Each character has a class on them, which affects their abilities overall(the thief isn't as good at hitting things as the warrior is, or at flinging fireballs as the sorcerer is, given the same abilities. He gets less passive-bonus to attack and such). The problem is, to me at least, that many of the feats are pretty much useless, especially the warrior feats. The ability to cast magic is very powerful. You can take a feat that lets you hit 2 opponents at the same time, but that is meaningless in the face of the ability to cast sleep on foes, or hit all foes on the screen(up to 8) at the same time with an area attack spell.
Something that I found very nice in the magic system were Spell-Stones, a kind of magic booster that allows you to cast powerful spells with them. For example, you can never cast any sort of area-magic spell unless you have at least a Basic Spell-stone, meaning you have to ration them and decide if it's truly worth it. This becomes meaningless later on though, since you have so much money you can just buy 100 of each stone, and blast away at every battle. But in the first half or so of the game, it's pretty cool.

The rules system is unfortunately not detailed in the fashion I would want. Sure, there are plenty of details, but the problem is the player can never see them. Suppose I get a spell that says "Casting this gives +3 Might to a character." Now, I have no idea what Might exactly does, despite it being a primary stat. There is no numerical data, only words. "Might makes you hit for more damage and get more hitpoints and so on." This makes it impossible to determine if I really want to cast the spell, since I can't know the true effects of it in any easy manner. The same kind of lack of information plagues the rules-system overall, from spells to feats to weapons. I have no clue how much worse a weapon with 8 dmg and accuracy 0 is compared to one with 10 dmg and accuracy 3.

The dungeons are quite nice. Though they sometimes have similar design interiors, they are varied enough both visually and mechanically that I quite enjoyed romping through them. Of course, things could always be better, but they're on the upper scale of dungeons I've seen, I think. Some of the dungeons are down-right amusing, especially the first one you start in. A temple dedicated to the god of boils, blisters and other disgusting things(not to be confused with the goddess of disease). Many disgusting foes await, like Pus Golems and such. Our heroes crack all kinds of funny and interesting remarks about many things in the game.

Guess that's about it. It was an excellent game, despite all of its flaws. What I didn't yet touch was the plot and humor of the game. I was hesitant at first because I feared the humor of the game would be too over-the-wall(parody-like), but was pleasantly surprised that it was merely tongue-in-the-cheek kind of your-local-RPG-group style. Pretty much all of the jokes and banter was great, at least I didn't flinch at the poorness of it a single time. The plot, while fairly standard and linear, is an interesting one, with the history of the world being mixed in to it, which is always a plus in my book.

Would give the game at least 8/10, possibly 9/10 at the moment. Once a few patches are out, the game is definitely 9/10. I'm quite looking forward to the next part in the series.
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