I have some dumb friends. In all fairness, I am just as dumb as they are, if not more so. Once upon a time there was this legendary night of drunken debauchery. On this fateful evening, a friend, whom I will refer to simply as The Jhonka, said in reference to something I was doing “A human doesn’t do this!” I do not recall the specific details of what terrible deed I did to cause this phrase to be uttered, but I assume it would likely not be appropriate to include in this review if did. Those details aside, this immortal quote of his shall echo throughout eternity, at least in my mind. There was a moment early on in this game where the character banter reminded me of this event, and some of the later events and conversations made me think this is what would happen if me and this group of friends decided to go on a dungeon exploration adventure. This includes but is not limited to egging someone on to drink from a disgusting mystery liquid, and then one upping that person by jumping into the nasty bubbling mystery liquid pool for a swim. Party banter is a very common occurrence in Frayed Knights, and it is often a welcome interruption in game play because of how entertaining it is. Despite everyone being level one in their respective classes, the party apparently is composed of seasoned adventurers who have known each other for quite some time, and naturally have snarky comments to make to each other. The game beings in a temple where the party is trying to retrieve jeweled eyes from a statue in hopes that they will be able to join an adventurer’s guild. In this temple the party does battle with reanimated skeletons armed with swords and cultists, along with some less predictable enemies, namely the pus golems. One of the more disgusting creatures I’ve fought in a game before, though a far cry from the most disgusting. Definitely points for creativity with them, though I have to wonder if pus golems would in some way be classified as undead.
After you complete the objective in this dungeon, you leave out the way you came in and go to town, which has the staple functions of an RPG town, an inn, equipment shop, townspeople offering side quests, a group of rats disguising themselves as a farmer, and other things you would expect to find in a quaint RPG village that is conveniently located to serve as a hub to adventure. The game is entirely first person with turn based combat. It is strictly mouse and keyboard and this control set up is well suited for this game. You use the arrow keys to move, click on items you want to interact with using the mouse such as opening a door, and you can either use the keyboard or mouse to issue commands to your party. Navigating the inventory menu is easy and straight forward, and controlling the party in and out of combat is a smooth process. This game does factor in a character’s energy into their usefulness in addition to having to worry about their health. If a character’s energy level is depleted, they become useless since they are too fatigued to do anything besides serve as a target so resting is advisable in between battles. You can rest during combat if you need to replenish energy, but that seems like a wasted turn to me. The risk with resting outside of combat is enemies are jerks that do not respect your personal space and can interrupt you. This happened about a third of the time when I tried to rest, but every time it happened everyone had partially regained some health and energy so the encounter wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. Most random battles were over pretty quickly, so they weren’t even that irritating when they did interrupt my rest.
Frayed Knights is basically an homage to older first person RPGs like Eye of the Beholder but with a much lighter tone and greater emphasis on humor. The music is typical of what you would expect for this type of game. The dialog is entirely text with no voice acting and that may be a deterrent for some but I prefer it this way. It helps with the old school feel the game is going for, and there are lot of voiced acted RPGs I have played where I would have preferred if I could just imagine how the conversations sound in my head. If only the makers of Final Fantasy X kept that in mind. Graphically, and I mean this in a good way. the game looks like something from the early days of Playstation 2. This game is a lot of fun with its classic feel of the older computer RPGs except it takes itself less seriously. Anyone who enjoys first person RPGs with a sense of humor should check out this game.