Progress Quest


   The GIA is a console gaming site; as a rule, our upcoming coverage is focused exclusively on upcoming titles for home and portable console systems. PC games, for better or for worse, are overlooked completely. Every so often, however, a PC title comes along so revolutionary, so breathtakingly daring in its design and intent, that even a console-focused site must sit up and take notice. The Dogma 2001 compliant Unlit Room was one such mind-shatteringly original title. Now, add Progress Quest to this short list of "can't miss" PC gaming.

   At its heart, Progress Quest is a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG; but to brand it solely with that label sells its genius short. The developers of Progress Quest clearly had one goal in mind when creating their title: to create the ultimate dungeon hack, the definitive online RPG. They took a look at existing RPGs like Everquest, Asheron's Call, and Dark Age of Camelot, and asked themselves: what works? And more importantly, what doesn't? The result of their streamlined efforts is a title that drills to the core of the RPG experience, offering all of the benefits of the genre while minimizing or removing entirely the negatives.

   Progress Quest's gameworld is fully featured, offering all of the standard features RPG fans have come to expect: an in-depth character creation system with a variety of original races and character classes, a detailed backstory and in-game scripted sequences, an endless supply of enemies with random item drops, a robust spell list with upgradeable spell levels, a complex equipment system, nd a series of intelligently generated quests that feed into the overall narrative. Watching your character slowly climb up the global rankings, competing against other players, is undeniably rewarding.

   What Progress Quest eliminates is the repetitive, mind-numbingly boring gameplay that has defined this genre for so long. Clicking your left-mouse button until your fingers burn from carpal tunnel syndrome, camping out for hours waiting for a single, elusive enemy to respawn, starting a new character only to find yourself hopelessly outclassed by higher level characters who play for twelve hours a day - all of these flaws that plague other MMORPGs have been addressed with a single, brilliant stroke of Progress Quest's revolutionary gameplay paradigm. Progress Quest's soon to be emulated "fire and forget" technology places all gamers on equal footing, keeping the game balanced and enjoyable for gamers of all skill levels and dedication levels. Whether you only play Progress Quest and hour a day, or decide to quit your day job and "Powergame" for fourteen, there is a place for you in the world of Progress Quest.

   Currently, the latest version of the Progress Quest client can be downloaded from the official website. In stark contrast to other online RPGs, both the Progress Quest software and online play are completely free of charge. Though future versions of the client promise even more functionality, the game as stands is already a masterwork. A supportive community has already sprung up to help ease new players into the game. Though no console port has been announced, Progress Quest appears to be extremely portable, and the possibility of versions for next-generation consoles should not be discounted. By taking traditional RPG conventions an adding a unique gameplay paradigm, Progress Quest has overnight revolutionized a genre infamous for its stagnation. No RPG fan should pass up this chance to experience the future of the medium.

Review by Andrew Vestal, GIA.
Progress Quest
Developer Grumdrig
Publisher Progress Quest
Medium Download
Platform Windows 98
Release Date  Unknown