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Dreamfall Chapters

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 23 - 2017

It’s been the longest journey from The Longest Journey to Dreamfall Chapters.

 
I want to say it’s like buses – You wait years and years for a sequel to a much loved adventure game, and then two turn up at once. But it’s not really, adventure games are nothing like buses. Still, it is strange that both Syberia and The Longest Journey have their latest entries appear on consoles around the same time, so many years after the originals.

 
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Dreamfall Chapters, developed by Red Thread Games, is the latest entry in The Longest Journey series, which started back in 1999 and had a sequel, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, back in 2006. Dreamfall Chapters originally appeared on PC a few years ago, and is now gracing the current gen consoles, Xbox One and PS4.

 
Dreamfall Chapters is a 3D adventure game in which the player follows three very different characters from three different worlds. As seperate as they can be at the beginning of the game, through incredible story-telling, players will get to discover how their lives are linked.

 
Being that it has been such a long time since the previous entry, some kind of catch up would have been handy for the new players, or those who simply don’t have great memories. But once again, the player is thrown in at the deep end with almost no back story. The important things, players can pick up as they go along, and Dreamfall Chapters works well as a stand alone adventure. However, it does leave the player with more questions than answers at the beginning of the game, making the opening scenes less interesting than they could have been.

 
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The game mainly follows two characters – Zoe Castillo and Kian Alvane. Zoe’s tale takes place in a futuristic world where people are addicted to using Dream Machines, devices that allow them to experience incredibly lucid dreams. Zoe is also struggling to regain her memories. Kian, on the other hand, resides in a medieval styled fantasy world where magical creatures are persecuted. Oh, and he starts the game waiting to be executed. Players will switch between these characters throughout the lengthy game, building to a crescendo where we discover how their lives are linked. There is also a third character that intertwines with Zoe and Kian, but to a lesser extent.

 
The two worlds from Zoe and Kian are very nicely created, offering polar opposites. The beautiful neon city of Europolis, seemingly inspired by the likes of the Blade Runner movie, is incredibly detailed and comes to life as a possible dark future. Kian’s city of Marcuria, on the other hand, is grim and filthy, yet no less detailed. Both cities just beg to be explored, and players will spend plenty of time wandering the streets as they move from one location to the next.

 
Unfortunately, the exploration is not trouble free. Both locations are very detailed, but also quite complex in their layout, and navigating from one location to the next can be quite difficult. There is a map available, but in Kian’s world there are no way points, and in Zoe’s world the way points are somewhat vague. Also, players have to pay close attention to their objectives in order to work out where to go, listening closely to what other characters say. Coming back to the game after a break can leave the player with no idea of what to do or where to go, and many players will have to consult a guide in order to continue the story.

 
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The majority of the gameplay comes down to talking and listening. Dreamfall Chapters is a very narrative-driven adventure game. Making this more interactive, players are often given choices to make. These choices can have an impact on the overall game, changing the way non-player characters will respond to the players character or opening up new scenes that would have been different otherwise. It is impossible to tell how a choice will affect the game, which gives an incredible weight to any choice the player makes. Will this choice just simply be overlooked, or will it change my journey dramatically? Dreamfall Chapters does this very well.

 
The puzzles in Dreamfall Chapters, other than trying to work out where to go and who to talk to, mostly involve finding objects and working out how to use them. Some of these puzzles are quite straight forward, although many of them do lean toward the more obscure side. much like the point and click adventures of old. Rather than using any logic, players will often find themselves just trying all possible combinations and clicking on everything until they get the solution. Again, this is another good reason for having a guide on hand.

 
It will come as no surprise that the journey is the main star of the game. The story starts slowly but, thanks to incredible writing and some great voice acting bringing the characters to life, it doesn’t take long for players to invest in the lives of Zoe and Kian. Dreamfall Chapters is a lengthy game, and as such there are aspects of the story that feel a little more forced than others, but the overall experience is quite memorable and engaging.

 
Visually, Dreamfall Chapters won’t win any awards. It looks somewhat like a last generation game in this respect, but considering it came out a few years ago on PC, I guess it is no real surprise. That being said, the game still manages to be quite pretty at times, and the amazing detail of the environments really pull the player in.

 
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Dreamfall Chapters tells a great story, one that is easy to get lost in. The worlds in which the game is set are nicely detailed and the characters are involving. The gameplay may be simply average, with a few technical problems, but it is the story that really shines and makes the game worth playing. It may have been a long time since the previous game, but Dreamfall Chapters is a welcome return to The Longest Journey.

 

 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 



 

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