Dreamfall Chapters by Deep Silver and Red Thread makes the transition from PC to PS4 and Xbox One, and with it brings a myriad of good points and bad points. Read on to find out more!
The game itself was originally an episodic game that was released in five episodes between October 2014 and June 2016. Recently being re-released as a “Final Cut” version on consoles and soon after console release, for PC also.
The game is a 3D adventure with a large emphasis on character interaction, puzzle solving and exploring the semi-open game world. The third part of the The Longest Journey series, this game is set across two parallel universes, one being Stark, a futuristic earth with a hint of cyberpunk, and Arcadia, a magical fantasy world. You control two characters, Zoe Castillo, and Kian Alvane, both of which are going through their own problems.
Please note that this is the first game in this series that I have played and as such I am not aware of the previous relationships that these characters may have had.
Zoe in the year 2220 uncovered a criminal conspiracy where the residents of both worlds were getting their dreams stolen. She managed to disrupt the plans but was left in a coma at the end of the previous game.You have now woken up and its your task to find a purpose to your life once more. The decisions you make through Dreamfall Chapters will mould the game and take you on alternative paths.
While all this is going on in Stark, over in Arcadia you are in the control seat of Kian Alvane, an elite Azadi operative who whilst investigating corruption gets charged with high treason and imprisoned. Kian is given the death penalty without trial, thankfully some anti-Azadi rebels break him out to try to recruit him into their cause.
Both stories are then joined by a third storyline, where in the interlude between the first and second book you control Saga, a little baby. This is a little bit strange at first, but all becomes clear the further into the story you dive.
The decision-making system is a solid one, with certain sections making you make a hard choice, however thankfully with the press of a button you can see the percentage of people who have made the same choices. Go with the masses, or stand out against the crowd, its your decision.
Thankfully you do get to see how these decisions play out through the game with a nice large on screen prompt telling you how it affected the game.
Graphically there isn’t much to complain about, the game has been ported across to consoles very well, with bright colours and decent textures for the most part. Whilst it’s not going to set the world alight with its graphics, it does the job well.
There are some odd animations here and there, where NCP’s tend to walk straight towards you and only veering off at the last moment.
With some voice actors who have a large number of gigs between them you would think that the voice acting would be good. With Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat, Call the Midwife) voicing Zoe, and Nicholas Boulton (Mass Effect III, Dragon Age: Inquisition) voicing Kian. However, the conversations these characters have in their own stories feels broken, there is no flow and chemistry between them. You can tell that they are reading from a script and not becoming attached to their characters. Along with this, the lip syncing on the game is not great. Effectively each character has 2 maybe 3 standard lip moves, and these are just repeated. Now don’t get me wrong, I know this isn’t a hollywood game by any stretch of the imagination, but its these little factors that stop you getting attached to the characters.
Some of the conversations can last for quite a while, with the game locking you in place while you are subjected to listen to them. Yes, you can skip the conversation but where would the be the fun in that!
This is always a tough one to judge when it comes to episodic games, as normally they are released at regular intervals. When you get them all on one disk you are hoping that the story grips you and makes you carry onto the next chapter, unfortunately Dreamfall Chapters wasnt one of these games. I struggled to play through the game due to how convoluted the stories felt.
You could quite easily play through the game again making different decisions, but one play through would be enough.
Overall, with its higgledy piggledy storylines it does become hard to keep up with what is going on at some points. Whilst no amount of graphical impressiveness could distract you from the sub-par audio in this game.
The game received a Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
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