Review by Randomer

"A game of great emotion and exellence... then it ends"

Introduction:
Dreamfall is an action RPG, it has the traces of the old standard point and click genre but with the addition of crude stealth and fighting. Although it is the sequel to The Longest Journey it can be played independently of its predecessor with little difficulty or confusion.

Graphics:
For its requirements this game has great graphics, although the characters and animations are lacking in quality the graphics effects are awesome and easily available on low end cards (mine is only 32mb). The gloss and shading effects in the game are really eye catching, leather sofas actually look like leather, metal has a polish and shine and occasionally you can catch your characters reflection in an object. There are some occasional problems with graphical tearing and as I mentioned before the character detail and animations can be quite poor. One or two of the characters do look particularly plain with very little detail. The main characters do have very pretty and well designed faces and clothing.

Gameplay:
Many of the fans of The Longest Journey dislike the game for this, but as a new player I feel they have the right balance of puzzle solving, action and stealth. The puzzles are realistic considering the situations your character gets in, rather than trying to combine the stick with the towel you are often considering how to bribe your way onboard a ship or perhaps getting some wine for a beggar. Occasionally you do get a logic puzzle but they are few and fun nonetheless. The puzzles may confuse you sometimes but you are rarely totally stumped, the game also has a new idea. Your character can look around their environment and see all clickable objects present, this can help you see objects that you may not have seen before when moving around.

The combat sequences in Arcadia (the world of magic) are extremely good especially a sword fight on a lake early in the game, the combat controls are simple and effective and the combat is reasonably responsive and you need to think fast to survive the battles. The fights in Stark (world of science) are not as enjoyable and rely on fighting moves that seem out of place with the situations.

The stealth can be frustrating for diehard point and click players but it is actually a lot of fun and easy if you know what you are doing and are careful. The enemy AI is very simple so don't expect anything along the lines of Metal Gear Solid in this game.

Sound:
The soundtrack and speech to this game are absolutely amazing, probably the best I've heard in the last few years. From the beautiful orchestral opening music and tranquil music in Arcadia, to the soft pop music and techno of Stark. All the song in this game are awesome and the soundtrack is something you may certainly consider buying. The songs fit so well with the emotions in the game that you could be driven to tears at some points. The characters are very well voiced and conversations are realistic and occasionally humours, there is also a realistic amount of bad language in the game and some of the characters do swear quite a lot. Be prepared for some very odd sexual references scattered through the games dialogue as well.

Story:
This section is open to a lot of debate among people who have completed the game so I will avoid going into too much detail, but as a new player the story is great. In the world of Stark Zoë Castillo has dropped out of university and broken up with her boyfriend, she sits around feeling like she is wasting her life. When her boyfriend goes missing under strange circumstances she sets out to find him, the further she goes the deeper the mystery gets. In the second world of Arcadia, April Ryan leads a rebellion against the Azadi Empire and Kian is an assassin dispatched to get rid of a powerful rebel leader. Their paths will cross at numerous points and eventually converge in what can only be described as probably the most shocking and angering 10 minutes of video gaming. Lives will be lost, battles will be fought, mysteries will be solved and people will be pushed to their limits. You will really feel for the characters in this game, you will laugh and cry with them on this adventure.

Replay/Value for money:
This game will take some time to complete the first time around, it is addictive however and it may seem too short for some, so savour it. But I will like to remind you here that this is the middle part of the trilogy and a lot of things will go unanswered. This game has been out for a while now and is also available on Steam, it is very good value for money and I will recommend it for anyone who likes adventure games or a good story.

Overall:
I give this game a 9 out of 10. I would give it 10 out of my personal love for this game but it does have some graphical problems and a disappointing ending. Aside from those this game is really an awesome game that has gone unnoticed twice now by many people. Most of the criticism of this game comes from disgruntled fans of the previous game and I can understand their points, however as a newcomer to the series I see this as a benchmark of future adventure games.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/12/07


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