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King's Quest to make an epic return

With the revival of history-making studio Sierra comes a return to the world of King's Quest, adding more chapters to the life of King Graham.

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Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Back in the 1980s, when gaming was in its infancy, everyone was new -- and what those baby studios were doing was forging the way forward, setting the tone, laying the foundations for the games we play today. One of those studios was Sierra, and one of the games with which it was making history was the King's Quest franchise, conceived and designed by Roberta Williams.

Thirty-five years after the first game in the franchise -- prelude Wizard and the Princess, originally released in 1980 -- King's Quest is making a comeback. Sierra announced its return at Gamescom in August, telling the world that it would be reviving the game, developed by independent studio The Odd Gentlemen.

Finally, we've clapped eyes on the first trailer -- a game that, the developer says, will retain the narrative, exploration and puzzle-based gameplay of the original.

Details are few on the ground; although the trailer as described as a "gameplay" trailer, exactly what sort of gameplay is unclear. It looks like an adventure RPG, but the visual style is heavily reminiscent of recent offerings from Telltale Games. What we do know, though, is that it continues the adventures of King Graham, with all-new stories from his life in a standalone game.

"Old and grey, King Graham -- the hero made legend in the original King's Quest games -- shares the extraordinary stories of his youth with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn, taking players back to the feats that shaped a kingdom," the Sierra website reads.

"And so begins an episodic saga that honors the core characters and familiar storylines of King Graham's early adventures, setting up new chapters tied to -- but independent of -- the series that helped define Sierra and the adventure genre. Through these tales, a whole new generation can finally experience one of gaming's most beloved journeys."

The new game is due for a launch in Q2, 2015, for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and PC via Steam.