Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
Although Adventure Games remain unfashionable, there are still titles in the ancient genre worth playing. Fahrenheit, for example, was a superb, tightly-plotted adult thriller and Sam & Max's latest escapades show you can reach the heights of those early '90s LucasArts classics.
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is a sci-fi action-adventure sequel, although you don't need to have played The Longest Journey (yes, the first game had a very similar name) to enjoy it. With a complex story, three playable characters and a large supporting cast including a purple robot monkey called Wonkers - Dreamfall is a huge and original adventure with a great atmosphere and fantastic soundtrack.
Graphically, it ranges from good to inept, some of the dialogue is clunky and overwritten and the decent varied realityswitching destinations are peppered with awful combat sections. However, if you prefer your Myst to your Doom (yes, they do exist), you could do a lot worse than picking up this enthralling conversation 'em up.
Download Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
It can fairly be said that the adventure genre is dead. Adventure died a long time ago, after languishing around for a while and kicking off after a particularly harsh and long term of suffering. We mourned, pulled out our copies of Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, and all but gave it a wake when out of nowhere we got Indigo Prophecy. Fahrenheit in its original release, re-titled Indigo Prophecy in the US, rocked. It seems like adventure titles might be back on the rise, with these games generating buzz for the first time in a long while. Now all we need is the quality adventure experience to back it up, and we'll be good to go.
Now for the disappointing part. Dreamfall, while entertaining, doesn't seem to do much of anything in the gameplay area, and sadly only succeeds in presenting a story, and not much else. Set in the year 2219 after a worldwide collapse (not sure if it was completely economic or what), you'll be playing the, a young woman living in the Casablanca of tomorrow. The has a bad case of college drop out lethargy, and is trying to find a purpose to life when her ex-boyfriend Reza vanishes while working on a big scoop for his newspaper, The Hand That Bites. Throw in a couple more playable characters, an alternate universe where magic is real, some ghostly visions, and The gets thrown into the adventure of a lifetime.
Now, we've all heard that before from games like this, but does the story really live up to it? I found that the first few chapters of the game were relatively boring. They don't quite have the hook you need to get pulled into the game. If you can last through it, things finally heat up in the middle, but most of the time, you'll be relying on the game's presentation to keep you going.
While the people aren't done as well as they could be, the game is designed well, and looks the part. The voice acting is on par with the rest of the game, and doesn't annoy, but between it and the soundtrack there's nothing worth getting excited about.
I've said nothing about gameplay because of just that. There's so little here to talk about that this game might as well play itself, and present you with a 15 hour movie instead. Fighting is a joke, the game seems to involve far too much stealth for its own good, and the single gameplay improvement they've made provides you exactly zero real benefit. By clicking the left stick you can enter observation mode, and drag a cursor around the screen looking at stuff. All you can do is look; you can't use this as an easy way to interact with things or anything of the sort, so it's really a wasted feature.
All in all, I'm seriously disappointed with this game. I really do want adventure titles to come back with a vengeance, and the only way we're going to get that is to see more cross-genre games that incorporate action or FPS gameplay with a heavy adventure base. As always, the truth is in the gameplay. When it's as non-existent as this, you know exactly what I'll say. Walk on by.
Snapshots and Media
- Discworld 2
- Hercs Adventures
- Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
- Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
- Pitfall: The Lost Expedition
- Ratchet & Clank
- Starfox Adventures
- Sub Culture
- The Adventures of Cookie and Cream
- The Curse of Monkey Island
- The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure
- Tiny Toons Adventures: The Great Beanstalk
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Master Quest
- Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game
- Chronicles of The Sword
- Companions Of Xanth
- Daryl F. Gates' Police Quest: Open Season
- Ecstatica II
- Hell Cab
- Litil Divil
- The Legend of Kyrandia - Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge
- The Legend of Kyrandia - Book Two: The Hand of Fate