EvilQuest is an indie action RPG developed by Chaosoft Games which gives gamers the rare opportunity to actually play a game from the bad guy’s perspective. Despite sometimes feeling bad for the senseless murders you commit throughout the course of the game, it is surprisingly fun to play as a feared evil warlord.
The main character in EvilQuest is a dark lord named Galvis. The game begins with a cut-scene where Galvis is betrayed by one of his top generals, captured, and imprisoned. As with any baddie worth his salt, Galvis has killed countless people in his past. It comes as no surprise then that one of the jailers had his family murdered by Galvis and instead of letting him rot in a jail cell as the King ordered, attempts to take revenge on him. Galvis banked on this and uses it as the opening he needs to escape the prison.
Once out of prison, your mission is to find a legendary weapon created by the Grand Demon Tasrael called the Chaos Axe. Not only does this weapon grant the wielder immense power, it also enables them to visit the Astral Plane. Galvis wants to use it to take revenge upon everybody who has ever wronged him by killing God and literally destroying the world.
The story is a little bit over the top (how exactly can God be destroyed?) but the biggest draw of EvilQuest is the gameplay. It plays a little bit like Zelda with combat very similar to Illusion of Gaia on Super Nintendo. It’s fast-paced and very smooth.
The biggest disappointment of EvilQuest is that there isn’t enough variety. Whenever you reach a new area, it unlocks a new set of stronger items and equipment for you to purchase. The problem is that each new thing is strictly better than the stuff you currently have. There is no decision making necessary to determine what equipment you want to buy. For example, there aren’t items that favor mobility over defense or magic over attack power. The one exception to this is the accessory slot which does have a few different types of items at your disposal.
One thing that EvilQuest did well in terms of variety is with the magic spells. There are a few different levels for each type of spell but rather than simply making ‘Fire 2” a stronger version of “Fire 1” for example, the latter actually performs a completely different type of attack.
Balance is also an issue for this game. On the one hand, the game can feel too easy at times. Bosses have predictable movement patterns and “blind spots” on the screen that you will be completely safe in. Galvis’s long reach also prevents most enemies from ever getting close enough to damage him and beefing up your magic stat when you level up early on will allow you to spam your healing spell, making you almost invincible in most cases.
On the other hand, as if to make up for players using cheap tactics to make the game too easy, enemies ultimately hit you way too hard. Being hit once can take upwards of half your hp away. This forces you to constantly have to stop and heal whether it is with magic or an item which gets tedious after awhile.
EvilQuest is a reasonably long game, clocking in at roughly three hours. Considering it costs just 80 Microsoft Points to download, this makes it well worth the price tag and mitigates its relatively few shortcomings.