<span class="bold">Dracula - The Resurrection</span>
- (Sept 17, 2016) - 6 hour playthrough
This game is the first in the trilogy it is a part of, which is part of a larger quintology (4 & 5 are bundled separately). This review is for the first game in the series only.
Let me start out with what I didn't like first. When I discovered this game series I had anticipated a high quality dark point and click adventure with decent graphics and a smooth well polished engine from the trailers and screenshots for the Dracula series. I expected the fun of the good old 90s point and click games with upgraded graphics and engine technology. Point and click games are rather simplistic overall and it is something that naturally should have been honed to perfection by the time this game came out.
Unfortunately, the game is greatly lacking in the technology department. The graphics are very poor quality and look very compressed and washed out. They have a look that would have been amazing in 1995 perhaps but the game was released I believe in 1999 and would have looked a little dated then I believe. After the opening cut scene when you are in control of your character, you freelook with the mouse and get the impression it is a first person game however it is not that, rather it is point and click to move jumping from one location to another with slide-show like transition, while traversing a stair case triggers an animation transition sequence reminiscent of Myst, The 7th Guest and similar types of games from years prior. While the cut scenes are rendered ok, the quality of the images are very poor. When moving around the game world any characters you encounter look like a still lifeless photograph, more or less because they are, and they look terrible. It's very immersion breaking, especially the hideous woman that runs the inn. The artwork for her just looks like a freak show. I believe the graphics may look so washed out because the game might possibly use 15bpp or 16bpp instead of 24bpp, and with compression on top of that the quality goes out the window.
Story: The story line is half decent but not amazing, it's more or less what I would have expected however it starts out rather slow until you've played for an hour and a half or so and things start to get a bit more interesting. As the end of the game nears it picks up a bit and I was looking forward to whatever climax the game might have finished with. It ended slightly earlier than I thought, but it still had a reasonable ending. If the other games in the series were not already available I might have felt that the game was a little short and lacking a proper ending, but since it is a multi-game series it stands rather to build suspense for the next game in the series, much like a end-of-season cliff-hanger in a television series.
Gameplay: The click zones you use to travel from one scene to another are not all very well placed, so you often find yourself moving the mouse in a circle after every step you take in order to locate all possible locations you could move. When you move from one location to another you have no sense of direction as it's a hard jump from one fixed location to another with no smooth transition between them except on stair cases. This is disorienting making you have to look around to figure out your place and where you think you want to go next. Again, very immersion breaking. The controls are somewhat clunky for my taste. The puzzles in the game vary from rather simplistic to hard to discover if you missed one object hidden out of the way a little which can be a little frustrating because you end up wandering around for quite a while only to discover something eventually that you missed by a few pixels with your mouse several times.
Voice acting and dialogue: The voice acting in the game is absolutely terrible. The actors voices just do not convince me they're the character they're portraying, and have a sort of childish amateur feel to them. They're not the worst I've ever seen, but definitely weak overall. The quality does vary throughout the game from terrible to average, and back and forth but overall I'd say below-average.
Overall I enjoyed certain aspects of the game but it wasn't anywhere near as good as I had thought or hoped it would be. This is a game for old-school 90s point-and-click die hard game collectors mainly, as I think the casual gamer would get bored or frustrated by the lower quality overall and that the story wouldn't make it up for them.
The story did interest me just enough to want to continue playing the next game in the series however which I read was about the same quality. I read the 3rd game in the series is much higher quality and gets some very good ratings, so I will probably play through the trilogy to judge for myself as I tend to be a more forgiving gamer than many, and perhaps even a bit of a sucker for punishment. :)
Rating: 5 out of 10 <span class="bold">My complete list of finished games in 2016</span>