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Old 02-19-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
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Hi everybody!

I've just finished Police Quest 3: The Kindred, and I've liked it a lot: much, much more than the second installment.

I know that, after this title, Jim Walls left Sierra and that Police Quest 4 is designed by Daryl Gates.

My question is: Police Quest 4 is still a game worth playing, or shouldn't I bother?

Thanks
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:35 PM   #2
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I personally enjoyed PQ4. It's a different take on the series, with more of a focus on the finer details of detective work. The story is pretty interesting and the gameplay should be very familiar if you played any of the earlier PQ games.

I'd recommend it!
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:48 AM   #3
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Police Quest 4 is definitely worth playing...just beware that it's a bit different than the others (different protagonist, different setting, different tone). It's still pretty interesting though, and if you like the other games it's a good choice...I'd also recommend the game "Blue Force" (also designed by Jim Walls)...it's sort of a spiritual successor to the PQ series.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:59 AM   #4
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I checked and I can't find Blue Force anywhere: do you know if it's a freeware?

(I've just installed PQ4 )

Another question: of the first three game (PQ1 - both original and VGA remake; PQ2 and PQ3), which one do you prefer?

To inm8#2: your list of fav adventure games it's fairly identical to mine
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:14 AM   #5
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I've found Blue Force. I think I'll play this after Police Quest 4!
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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I agree with what others have said - PQ4 is not like the other PQ games, but it's an okay game. Weird ending, though.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaDraco83 View Post
To inm8#2: your list of fav adventure games it's fairly identical to mine

Ah, yes! Very cool.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #8
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For me PQ4 is the best in the series. Why? Well, I'm a that sort of person who really needs good writing to be able to keep on playing something so frustrating as an adventure game. Is PQ4 writing good? Well, no. The only PQ game to have polished and well-paced writing is the remake of the PQ1.

But PQ4 gives the player a chance to see the life of the policeman through the eyes of Darryl F. Gates, who's pretty much an historical figure. While not directly written by him, I still feel that the game allows us to get some glimpse of Darryl's psyche.

Actually, all PQ's are interesting if we compare how this line of work must have influenced the person's behind these games.

Let's look at the differences between Jim Walls and Darryl F. Gates: both had shitty things in them, both had freaks of nature, drugs, etc. - but Darryl's game was full of hatred.

The first three games, despite the shitty things were full of optimism and friendliness towards the human race. Now in PQ4 I could really feel that "we should shoot all the drug-addicts" makes sense in some twisted way. I could really feel that how tempting it is to go all punisher on people. PQ4 IS hatred: there were rap artists promoting violence against police, there were fat stupid nazis, there were reporters maliciously aligned against your honest hard-working cops and trying to blame them everyway they could, there were corpses of innocent children in the dumpsters, there were psychos with gender issues that you had to burn to death.

Now the first three PQ games didn't turn the blind eye on such stuff either - there were shootings, there were drugs, there were side plots where one of the officers children is hooked on cocaine, etc - but they didn't make feel that I should hate the world. Now it may be because Jim Walls was a bad writer and couldn't portray these things the way he intended to, but I think it's something else. Daryl was a chief in L.A, Walls a patrol cop somewhere in California. I guess big cities corrupt. And most likely Walls is a warmer person. But Josho can probably enlighten me to be wrong.

Anyway, PQ's are very interesting games - not because of their design or writing, but because the insight they offer into the minds of these people. I just was more interested in Darryl than Walls, so that's why PQ 4 > PQ 1-3.
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:54 AM   #9
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Interesting point of view, Drunken Irishman.

I'm playing through PQ4, and yet I find it well written and good paced.

Waiting to finish the game, I can tell you this: at this moment, I find the writing of the third installment is the best in the series, 'cause - without forgetting some moments of tenderness - it really feels like something bad is lurking through Lytton: I remember, being the first time at the abandoned house, knocking and hearing someone inside... It was really really frightening.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:23 PM   #10
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I can of course only speak for myself, but I found PQ3 to be far better, especially storyline-wise. Could also be that I played it when it first was released , so I didn't feel like the graphics/gameplay in general was below the average standard. I didn't get to play PQ4 until much later, but I missed Sonny Bonds too much to really get into it I guess.

This was also during a time where internet was non-excistant so cheats and walkthroughs wasn't just an alt-tabbed google-search away either so I remember especially when I (revealing spoilers in tags)
Spoiler:
figured out the map-grid, drew the pentagram and found the crackhouse. God, I was SO thrilled when I first walked through that door. I must have replayed that part over and over and over again
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:32 AM   #11
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Re: The writing in PQ3 is superior than that in the other games...I believe that this is probably due to the fact that Jim Walls pretty much abandoned the product early on and the writing duties were subsequently handed off to Jane Jensen (From what I can recall, though somebody please correct me if I'm wrong)...I agree with you completely fov, the ending of PQ4 is extremely strange
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:56 AM   #12
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It's true: Jane Jensen wrote every line in the game, in collaboration with Jim Walls. And I also think that the high quality of Police Quest III is partially due to her master skill.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:22 AM   #13
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Do you have any proof that Jane contributed majorly to PQ3? I'll believe it when Josh confirms it.

When I said writing I meant dialogue. There are great moments in PQ3 but most of them are silent moments that are enhanced by that wonderful music. The game's pretty atmospheric. But when it comes to dialogue, the characters (everyone that's not Sonny Bonds or Marie, who only had one line in the game) just stumble upon their own words. In fact they are not really characters but caricatures. Rather than being a homeless lady the character in PQ3 has to act like an homeless lady. There is a difference there.

Perhaps a play-through is in order, but I remember the characters feeling much more natural in the remake of PQ1. I'd rate PQ 3 second best in the series (in writing). PQ 4 as the third. And PQ 2 was just awful... in my humble opinion of course.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:13 AM   #14
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I wrote that Jane Jensen and Jim Walls collaborated, but I think that "writer" and "designer" aren't the same thing, so I think Mr. Walls designed the game and its situation and Mrs. Jensen wrote dialogues, descriptions, etc.

I don't find the character caricatures: to me, they feel very natural and well-written, but I'm not American so I don't have experience myself of a certain reality. But, to me, the writing works just fine
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:00 AM   #15
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"...but I think that "writer" and "designer" aren't the same thing."

Depends really on the developer. I'm going to use Knights of the Old Republic games as examples. Bioware has writers and designers separated, while Obsidian has no writer credits. Thing is in Obsidian the designer is also the writer.

So when you see in Kotor 1 credits "lead designer - James Ohlen, lead writer - Drew Karpyshyn" then it's obvious that Drew is behind the stuff that really matter (them story and twists thingies). Whereas in Kotor 2 credits you see "lead designer - Chris Avellone, no writer credits" then the only thing to deduce from it is that the lead designer is also the lead writer (this actually holds true in Kotor 2's case).

Fake edit: Gosh, I hope I haven't sound condescending or anything. I'm just trying to work up my post account while sounding intelligent.

Last edited by Drunken Irishman; 02-26-2008 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Unitelligible sentences.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:41 AM   #16
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I believe that Tammy Dargan is the one behind PQ4, not Jane Jensen.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:50 AM   #17
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@ Drunken Irishman: in the end credits of PQ3, Jim Walls is credited as designer and Jane Jensen as writer, I checked.

@ Collector: in fact, we're talking about PQ3, not PQ4 (whose designer, by the way, is Daryl F. Gates). Tammy Dargan directed PQ4 and "acted" in the role on the unconscious woman, as you can see here

EDIT: checking in the IMdb, here, I found that Jane Jensen is credited for the documentation of PQ3, albeit being credited as the main writer in the closing credits of the game itself.
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:31 PM   #18
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Tammy Dargan also wrote PQ4 if we believe Mobygames.

Pretty awful dialogues, but there are some good scenes here and there.

"In the end credits of PQ3, Jim Walls is credited as designer and Jane Jensen as writer, I checked."

''Okay, I doubted it only because Moby only listed her as the documentation writed."
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:20 PM   #19
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Nothing like a Police Quest thread to drag me out of retirement.

This is my favorite adventure game series of all-time and as a big nerd of adventure history, this is what I've gathered from various tidbits of information regarding some of the topics in this thread:

- Jim Walls was basically fired from Sierra before PQ3 was finished. Jane Jensen stepped in to help finish up the writing, but how anyone could say the writing in PQ3 is that good is beyond me. It's very sparse and at many points appears rushed and abrupt. I just played the game again in the fall and it was just as poor as I always remember it (the writing, not the game, though I like the first two much better still).

- Daryl Gates was an extremely hands-off designer, brought in almost as a publicity stunt (maybe that's overly harsh), and as I understand it his "design" was basically sketching out story ideas and leaving all the actual details to Tammy Dargan. He, like Walls before him, was not around much by the time the project ended though he did contribute to SWAT, the worst game ever made.

Both of those items are little more than collective assembled gossip and my overly-reading-in to certain things I've read over the years.

Having said all that, PQ4 is definitely worth playing. I specifically state "Police Quest Trilogy" in my favorite games but PQ4 still has a lot to offer for fans of the style and the bleaker atmosphere may be welcome to people who think Sierra's games were always too bright.

I love Blue Force but it's really short and easy and the ending is very disappointing. It's a blast to play if you're a PQ fan though, and much more fun than PQ4.

Stay tuned sometime this year decade for my reviews of PQ2 and PQ3.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
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how anyone could say the writing in PQ3 is that good is beyond me. It's very sparse and at many points appears rushed and abrupt. I just played the game again in the fall and it was just as poor as I always remember it (the writing, not the game, though I like the first two much better still)
With writing I intend plenty of things, from the dialogues (which I found better than the two previous chapters) to the descriptions (and here I can surely feel the pen of J. Jensen in some places, like the first murder scene or the empty house), from character's marks (albeit slightly poor, some characters were well rounded up, like Sonny and his ambiguous partner) to the atmosphere. Of course to create each and every one of the aspects above, writing have to cooperate with others departments, like sound, graphics, etc.

PQ3 have dialogues that, although sometimes a bit pathetic, live well to the realism; have some very good descriptions and some others great; have a good character development, especially Sonny, and a great atmosphere: when Sonny uncovers what's really going on, and found the pentacle, I shivered: great atmosphere, to put it simply.
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