Lock’s Quest has been remastered for PC. The Nintendo DS version was a classic and was exceptionally well received so we were all looking forward to this release, how does it hold up?
Lock’s Quest sits somewhere between an RPG and a castle-builder. You take the role of Lock, a boy from a small seaside town who comes across an injured archineer being pursued by hordes of clockworks. The objective of the game is to progress through the story building defences in a suitable manner so as to defend both yourself and tactically significant locations against the oncoming enemy hordes of Lord Agony.
Gameplay is simple enough and follows the well-established pattern for a castle defence; pick your defensive piece, rotate it one of four ways and place it on the tiles. Once this is complete, begin the battle. As the story progresses you move across a variety of different maps and environments all with their own unique challenges. As you progress you gain access to the Special Attacks and eventually wide ranging Super Attacks though of course, as with any such game, bigger weapons can’t substitute for solid tactical gameplay. Battle is not just limited to the towers however, in Lock’s Quest you are also able to engage in battle yourself whilst controlling Lock, at least you are able to battle in between repairing the defences.
Watch the Lock’s Quest trailer below:
The musical score has also been remastered on this version of the game and I must say that it is definitely impressive. It has an orchestral quality which sounds authentic rather than tinny as the DS version did but my issue with this is that it actually separates the experience as it is so out of keeping with the DS style graphics. It felt like driving an old car with a top of the range stereo in it. I know they wanted to remain in keeping with the original but they perhaps could have taken note from other franchises which have done the same, for example, the Pokémon series (i.e. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were remakes of the originals but both the graphics and the music were significantly improved).
That is not to say that there are not issues with the sound effects; a new addition is the use of audio notifications when defences are getting critically low on health and are in need of repair by Lock. This system works well until you are in a larger melee when the sounds become both irritating and inconsistent; I heard the sounds several times when defences had only just been attacked and still had plenty of health to run. I must confess that after a while because of this issue I played the battles on mute.
View some Lock’s Quest screenshots in our gallery:
One of the main issues I experienced with Lock’s Quest was the inconsistency of turret attacks. I found that when I expected them to attack they would often pause and thus allow the massing hordes an opportunity to get too close and begin attacking the defences. This issue only occurred at the beginning of any battles and as they progressed the turrets seemed to be able to fire further and faster. Once I realised this I changed my play accordingly but the inconsistency did become an irritant and led to over-defending in certain areas and leaving myself exposed in others.
Overall Lock’s Quest was a playable game but perhaps lacked the charm of its DS original. Much of the gameplay felt a bit forced using a PC whereas the same principles felt intuitive on a touch screen. The improvements that have been made are excellent additions and though the graphics could have been updated this doesn’t detract from the RPG story side of the game. The story is interesting and does encourage you to continue playing and the simple controls make this an accessible title for all ages. My only concern with it is this; the updated version is not as good as the DS original. Something about it just doesn’t feel right though maybe that is just a once avid player looking at it through rose tinted glasses. If you’re looking for a solid tower defence game with an engaging storyline then you could do a lot worse than playing Lock’s Quest.
Lock’s Quest was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.
Publisher: THQ Nordic Developer: Digital Continue Release Date: May 30, 2017 Reviewed On: PC/Steam