|Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
|List Price: $19.99
Our Price: $10.75
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Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is an incredible saga in a fully interactive world. Venture through a thrilling and emotional storyline, using various tactics, such as stealth, deception, and brawn, to solve different challenges. Three playable characters will each see the story unfold from a different perspective. Dreamfall features beautiful music, stunning graphics, fascinating characters and unparalleled gameplay. Prepare for a spiritual, fantastic and powerful gaming experience. New focus-field tool lets you see the physical envrionment around each character, as though you seeing it through their eyes Mature and compelling storyline that mixes the futuristic, fantastic and spiritual with a tale of murder, deceit and a conspiracy threatening our very existence
- Continue the saga in this epic journey of exploration and adventure
- Mature "thriller"-type storyline includes murder, deceit, and conspiracy
- 3 playable characters each with unique abilities and world views
- Spans 3 beautifully realized, fully interactive worlds
- Stunning graphics; easy-to-use context-sensitive interface
- If you wanted to make a movie, you should have just made a movie...
I've been playing adventure games for years and this was by far one of the worst I have ever encountered. Dreamfall played out more like a movie, with at least half of its game time being devoted to extensive movie and dialogue sequences. Granted, the story was great, but if the developers wanted to make a film, that's what they should have done... this game offers very few puzzles of the kind you would expect of a top-rated adventure game, and any choice leads directly to a singular conclusion. The end of Dreamfall would be great for a movie, but, for a game in which you have invested 10-20 hours, it is very disappointing. I definitely do not recommend Dreamfall to classic adventure gamers... or anyone, really....more info
- Cornball: The Longest Borefest
THRILL: to a story almost good enough to appear in a seventh-grade science fiction fanzine! HEAR: enlessly repetitive dialog read by a wide selection of Irish actors! SOLVE: the puzzle of why you just traveled between worlds, escaped from prison, ran around and around town, and then went back home, without changing one single aspect of the game! WIN: by doing something really, really horrible!
OR: devote 20 hours of your life to CSPAN coverage of Senate debate on an omnibus appropriations bill. It'll be less tedious and you may learn something useful....more info
- Shameless attempt to get you to buy a sequel
Good points: Beautiful graphics, immersive sound, likeable main character, the (unrealized) potential for a good story
Unfortunately the rest is all bad.
The PC interface, which is clumsy and requires two hands at all times, will make you seasick or frustrated.
Multiple MANDATORY (and boring) combat scenes break up the game and add absolutly NOTHING to the plot.
Many, many very LONG cutscenes require you to sit and watch the characters have conversations. Too bad if the dog has to go out at that moment! Hope you have a saved game or you won't know what's going on after that! Oh, you did have a saved game? Well, guess what, maybe you can space-bar your way through the parts you already saw, or maybe not, just depends I guess on whether the designers cared enough to include that particular feature at that particular moment.
Jarring profanity at several points, which also adds absolutely nothing to the game. I guess they just really wanted that "Mature" rating.
Raunchy humor in some spots, which, again, adds nothing to the game. Apparently they consulted 5th grade boys on what might be a funny pun.
Very few puzzles of any sort. Most "puzzles" are merely timed action sequences requiring you to guess the right direction to run before something eats you or zaps you or squashes you or whatever. The (very) few actual puzzles are primarily shuttling: Get the guy a drink, oops go to the market to get the ingredients, oops back to the tavern, oops back to the market, oops now to the other side of town, oops back to the market, oops back to the tavern, etc. etc. By the time you finally "solve" the thing you won't care anymore.
You can die. And you will. Repeatedly.
Frequently, you can't spend time exploring the environment. Or you'll die. Again.
The ending is a complete and total disappointment. Absolutely NOTHING in the entire plot is resolved. Apparently all the heroine's tribulations amounted to nothing -- or maybe not -- the main characters all die -- or maybe not -- the bad guys win -- or maybe not. You'll be left wondering why you just spent 20 hours of your life tolerating this monstrosity since there was apparently no point.
And the final insult: In order to see the last scene of the game you MUST sit through ALL of the CREDITS first!! Unbelievable. The designers should quite literally be ashamed of themselves.
I can't imagine why this won game of the year other than beauty of graphics or sheer length.
If you want an Action or RPG game look elsewhere.
If you want an Adventure game, look elsewhere.
If you want an interactive story with a well-thought-out plot that ends with a satisfying conclusion, look elsewhere.
If you want to sit and watch a long movie with periodic frantic button mashing which ultimately "ends" in a shameless insistence that you buy a yet-unreleased (and maybe never to be created) sequel to have a clue what's going on, this is your game.
Instead, I'd recommend:
Syberia & Syberia 2 (buy them at the same time -- they're short)
The Longest Journey (the original)
- not as good as the first one
The game is not as difficult and not as challenging as the first one. If you're interested in the story and knowing what really happened to April then you should really buy this one....more info
- Different But Good
This game presents a very new and very different experience - as a PC user who doesn't often play console games, I found the control scheme highly disorienting and awkward. With practice I eventually got used to it, though I never quite loved it. On the other hand, the 3D graphics revealed to me through the user interface were very good, and one part of the interface especially appealed to me: using the mouse's scroll wheel to quickly select items in my inventory.
The story is very different this time around, but the characters and voice acting are still good.
I felt there was too much sneaking, but it did make sense given the plot, and it did raise the dramatic tension.
The combat wasn't too hard to learn, but it did provide a consistent and interesting challenge that I liked much more than the sneaking.
Overall, though I still liked the first game better, this game is good so far as sequels go, and I'm glad that I bought it....more info
- Waste of time
First, the interface.......... keyboard is OK for an action game, but why can't they stick with point and click for adventure games? OK, this wasn't much of an adventure game, hardly any puzzles, not a lot of interaction, mostly watching cut scenes of a story that never ended. If they are planning a sequel, include me out! The only saving grace was that I only paid $6.99 for it & maybe I can foist it on some poor unsuspecting person on EBAY....more info
- Moving/mobility character is AWFUL
I really have enjoyed the storyline BUT simply moving the character around and interacting with and within environment is difficult at best on this PC game. It might be easier to play if played in a different format- Xbox or PS2 but NOT PC version. I got sooooo frustrated with not being able to easily move the character that I had to stop playing the game. I guess I am used to the fluidity of motion that comes with playing other PC adventure games such as Nancy Drew....more info
I loved this game. I am not that easily entertained, but this one is a true stunner....more info
- Bitter disappointment
I've played this game, as well as the original The Longest Journey (twice). I remember when TLJ came out, I was stunned by the quality of the voice acting, and the graphics were rich, truly excellent for the day, and the gameplay was adequate, with challenging puzzles and and an interesting story line. When the story ended it left me wanting more. I was hoping for a similar experience with Dreamfall, but it was a bitter disappointment.
First, the good, for there were some good things about this game (despite my rating). The voice acting was excellent, better than the original. The graphics were also quite good, very rich and detailed. The plot was interesting and captivating, as far as it went.
Now, the bad, and there is quite a bit of bad. Immediately, when I started playing, I noticed that simply controlling the game was extremely difficult. It took a good, solid 10 minutes just to learn basic controls for the main character. Yes, the controls were designed for console play, which is, IMHO, a mistake, but it is no excuse for the abysmal interface that was developed for this game. I've played many console games that had excellent interfaces.
The character and the camera were both difficult to control, and often I found myself struggling during gameplay to make both behave the way I wanted and expected them to behave. There were problems in a few caverns where the ceiling was so low that the camera would not stay in an appropriate place so that I could see what was going on around the character. Actually, enclosed areas in general were the bane of my gameplaying experience.
Picking objects to interact with was awkward as well. Since there was no direct way to pick objects, the developers created a very inexact system for picking the object closest to the character. For objects that were very close together, or far away, this made interaction difficult to manage. To combat this, they created a special "look" mode, where the character could look around, see objects to interact with, and then cycle through multiple objects that were in focus, but this really detracted from the overall gameplay since it had to be used so often to manage object focus but was such a slow way to interact with the scene. The look mode was also a bit difficult to control, since at 0 and 180 degrees there was a discontinutiy in the motion where the direction in which you moved the mouse had to be *reversed* to continue around the "look" circle. In addition, because this system was so inexact, actual object or scene interaction throughout the whole game seemed to have been kept to a bare minimum. This was a major frustration after the previous TLJ game, where objects could be clicked on using a mouse pointer for interaction, and there was a plethora of objects to actually interact with. One of the joys of the original TLJ was just finding things to click on and hearing April's response. That was gone in Dreamfall.
The combat system, while one of the most interesting aspects of gameplay, was also very shallow, and it was used so seldom I often found myself wondered, especially during the many, many moments when I wasn't in combat, "Why did they bother?" The original TLJ had no combat system, with any kind of in-game violence (as oppossed to out-of-game violence, like when you would take the keyboard and bash it over your monitor in frustration because a puzzle was driving you bonkers, not that I ever did that, heaven forfend) being handled in the same way as any other basic object interaction. After playing Dreamfall and using their combat system, I understood why TLJ didn't have a combat system of its own. It really wasn't necessary, and didn't add anything to the game.
Of course, I had just finished playing TLJ (again) before I purchased Dreamfall, so I was going from a reasonable interface to . . . this, so perhaps it hit me harder than it might have hit other people. On the other hand, it is a horrible interface, period.
So, aside from game control, there were also other problems, like the fact that there wasn't nearly as much actual *game* in this game as I expected. Oh, granted, I sat in front of my computer staring at the screen for quite a while as the game ate up processor time on my computer, about a good 20 or 25 hours or so, and very little of that time was actually spent loading or unloading or waiting because my computer couldn't handle the game (it could, no problem). The problem was that most of this time seemed to be composed of cutscenes and non-branching dialog. I felt like I was playing a movie! I can count on my fingers the number of long, important gameplay moments I was actually involved in, moments where I actually felt like I was accomplishing something. Sure, there were lots of moments of control stuck between the long, long sections of non-branching dialog and lengthy cut scenes, but many of those were so mind-numbingly simple that I can't possibly count them as being actually interactive. For instnace, and I'm not making this up I swear, there was one part where one of the main characters shows up in town, has a conversation (non-branching), and then you walk the character up some steps and open a door, and that's it! That's all the interaction you get for that section of gameplay! Really, what was the point?
Another thing I found rather pointless was that your character could die in this game. Now, normally, for most games, this wouldn't bother me, but it was just so... so... *Useless* in Dreamfall. There was little, or no, death in TLJ, but it seemed like everywhere you turned in Dreamfall there was another opportunity to get your character fried or shot or stunned or captured, and then it game over, man! Game over! You'd get a scene of your character dying, slowly, and you'd have to wait for the animation to finish before you could reload. I'm impatient, I know, but in a couple of places, where death was so well known that I might have called it "friend", that delay was immensely frustrating. I mean, I knew I'd screwed up, why make me suffer needlessly? I suppose that death added something in Dreamfall in a couple of places, but most of the time it just felt really unnecessary, an extra, added frustration when I really just wanted to focus on the puzzle.
And, speaking of puzzles, there were prescious few in Dreamfall. I'd say there were, perhaps, four, maybe five true puzzles in the game, none of them particularly difficult (except for one small part of a puzzle that was ridiculously difficult, where you had to know to notice something *before* you could possibly know that you had to notice it, and after the something happenned, it wouldn't happen again, so you couldn't notice it after you knew to notice it... If you can follow that, I'll give you a dollar.) Most of the rest of the "puzzles" were actually just chores with no actual challenge. A character in the game lays out exactly what you need to do, like "Go to person x, get object y, and bring it back to me," and then you do it, step by tedious step. Or, and I loved this (that was sarcasm), you would be confronted with a task, and then *your* character would say, unprompted, "Oh, *I* know what to do! I need to see person x about object y, so I can use it in this situation!" There were also several "puzzles" where the "puzzle" part seemed to be missing... What I mean is, is it really a puzzle when the only possible path is obvious and unavoidable? For instance, you need to get into a building to advance the story, and you don't know how, but since there are prescious few objects to interact with in the scene, and you don't have anything in your inventory, and when you look at an object in the scene and the game tells you, "I bet I could get in that building if I used that scene object," there really isn't any question about what to do. Right? Is that a puzzle?
I think I'm perilously close to ranting here, or, maybe I passed that threshold several paragraphs back... Well, there was only one more thing that I found objectionable: the story. It's not that the story was bad. As I said before, the plot was engaging, as far as it went. But, given that this is a game, and given that technology has advanced some since the old days of adventure gaming, doesn't it seem like playing the game should have, I donno, some kind of *impact* on the storyline? I mean, the game controls were abysmal. The combat was, let's face it, a joke. The puzzles were too easy. Wouldn't you think that there would at least be some kind of variability in the storyline to make up for these shortfalls? Some kind of impact that user choices might make on the plot? There were prescious few actual choices that could be made in the game... Shouldn't they have had some kind of purpose? As it was, it seemed like there was no choice, that the plotline was excruciatingly linear. The most frustrating part was that, especially towards the end, the main character was making choices that made no sense to me, and that I would never had made in her position, but the option to make a choice of my own was never given.
Also, the story seemed to fall appart towards the end, with events occurring that had no apparent logic to them. I'm not saying that there was no logic, but since the game left off without explaining, essentially, *anything*, all I was left with were a bunch of freak, nonsensical events that added up to a lot of chaos. Ugh, that was frustrating beyond belief. To make matters worse, the game ended unresolved, and I suspected that such was the case, but I ended up having to sit through something like ten minutes of wrap-up cutscenes that explained nothing *after* I'd come to this conclusion, just in case I was wrong and there was actually more gameplay. Maybe it only felt like 10 minutes... No, that can't be right, since it felt like half an hour. Anyway, at least the original TLJ *finished* its storyline, tying up most of the loose ends, leaving only a few threads floating out there. Dreamfall left *every* thread unresolved! (Or, perhaps, antiresolved? Below-zero, negative resolution? Is that even a concept?)
Okay, I'm fairly sure I've gotten solidly into the "ranting" now, but, I should say that, despite all these problems, the game wasn't a complete waste of money. The voice acting was truly excellent, there were some neat concepts in the game, the story had its moments, and the graphics were quite good. I guess I just wish that the developers had been more upfront about how I was actually purchaing a computer animated b-movie with limited interactivity, and a side of frustration, rather than an actual game....more info
- Failed attempt to overachieve
I've played the original and spent the last 6 or so years waiting for a sequel. Overall the wait was not worth it. Please read other reviews for story details, issues with controlling the game, etc.
Lets start with what I think this game was good at: it did superbly better job then the original at making the characters relateable. Zoe is an ordinary person, who has appointments and friends. And it really feels like she has genuine relations with the people around her. In original, April's relationships felt very superimposed. April's character continues to come across that way, but, now that she's a secondary character and we spend very little time playing as April its not a big problem. Kian's inner struggle also can be felt through out the game as he begins to encounter other characters.
This game also introduced a most developed (and saddest) death sequence that I've ever seen in a game. That's a little girl named Faith that spends her entire life as a human guinnea pig. This is THE saddest thing I've ever seen in any game.
This is also the games biggest weakness: it attempted to introduce 3 primary characters, but only Zoe was developed fully. April and Kian are only partially developed. The first few times I've switched to playing them, I felt like they were a major annoyance...I kept trying to just get through their parts so I could get back to Zoe. By the end of the game their parts do get longer, and add a bit of depth.
For some reason developers felt like a combat system would be a good idea. Its not. Its quite annoying and adds nothing meaningful to the game.
Another game villain at WATI Corp - Petes, seemed unnecessary as his role in the entire game was never fully explained other then being just another character.
There are a few sequences that are never explained altogether. The opening sequence of a dude going through a portal and ending up in the dream world. I still have no clue what that was all about or why it was necessary.
In conclusion, I still think this is a decent game and definitely worth playing. Hopefully developers will heed player complaints and rectify them in the TLJ3....more info
- Beware if intending to play on laptop without game controller!
I purchased this game because I loved the original The Longest Journey. The story and graphics are great, but I hate the PC laptop interface using the keyboard and/or touch pad. Within the first few minutes, I almost stopped playing, the user control is awful! But the story is engrossing and I did eventually get used to the PC controls. Also, I do not like the fighting (the original did not have it) and I do not like the changing of characters. However, I am still playing because I like the story so much. I understand that a game controller makes the user interface much better - but who wants to lug that around with the laptop. Besides, I don't intend to play any more games requiring it....more info
Loved this game. The game is really all about the story, and it's a wonderful story. I also loved the first The Longest Journey title. Be aware though that this it's a different but still amazing play....more info
- OK. too much talking
I loved TLJ! But this was fun at times, and really boring other times. There is way too much dialogue. Although it helps move the story its tedious. ...more info
- One of the best
I can barely fight anything. I was very afraid this would be a nightmare for me. But I was able to do it...and I loved all the places that I went and things that I saw. This was one of the best adventure games for a non brilliant adventure game enthusiast.
If you are around 50 years old, and no good at fighting, but want a good adventure game where you are not constantly figuring out nonsensical puzzles...I hope you love this as much as I did.
This was the best of the year for me....more info
- Have a good time. Be part of the story.
This game is really good, impressive.
If you like the classical definition of adventure where you need to solve difficult and slow-to-solve puzzles, this is not a game for you.
This is adventure, in the sense you don't know what will happen next. This is not a game of thinking, but rather a game of feeling the story. You'll need to look at characters faces well to understand a lot of things that are not said. Look at faces, read between lines, and you'll see!
Probably this game is like a movie, where you are inside it, and it achieves it pretty well.
Be part of the story.
- A frustrating journey of absolutely random nonsense
Definitely get this game if you are the type who enjoys random strange plot twists that have no bearing on actually accomplishing anything in the game. Stupid, stupid, fight system, and only 4 or 5 fights! Also, no questions raised by the plot are EVER RESOLVED!!!!!!! The story is compelling in it's strange plot twists, but overall it completely fails to deliver any sort of satisfaction through resolution or connection of said plot twists. The story seems promising, like "gosh this is confusing, but when it all gets tied together in the end it will be super awesome!" but, then the implied promise of the main character's actions actually leading anywhere dissolves into meaningless new questions imposed at the end. This game is unforgivable. ...more info
- Excellent game! A work of art and passion.
"Dreamfall" is absolutely absorbing with a gripping plot and arguably the most well-developed characters in gaming history. The productions values are amazing. The graphics are breathtaking, the fully-orchestrated score is moving and beautiful, and the voice acting is top-quality. Definitely worthy of the TLJ name.
Comparing it to it's predecessor, "The Longest Journey," is difficult because they are two different styles of games. While the original TLJ was a traditional point-and-click adventure title where you moved a 3D character through static (albeit beautifully rendered) 2D backgrounds and landscapes, "Dreamfall" is completely 3D and has you moving your character through a 3D world with a "chaser" camera that you can move around and about your character. It's more akin to (but not exactly like) what one sees in Tomb Raider, Max Payne or Final Fantasy X (the parts where you're not fighting). This is not a bad thing AT ALL, and the story loses none of its power because of it.
Even with the differences, the game still has a TLJ feel. It has the same style of storytelling with a young protagonist at a crossroads in her life getting swept into a strange and wonderful adventure; and one still feels a sense of wonder and awe while exploring the worlds. My one complaint: while TLJ wrapped up most of it's major plot points by the end but left a few tantalizing morsels out of reach until the sequel, "Dreamfall" definitely is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the series, leaving many many loose ends yet to be tied by its conclusion. While I understand these will all be resolved in the next installment (this is supposed to be a trilogy), I thought that the ending felt very abrupt, even more so than ESB, and it does not let you down gently. A few more hours could have been added to perhaps provide a better sense of closure to this installment. Still, while the destination might be a little disappointing, the journey itself is more than worth the trip.
I did not find the combat elements as annoying as many others seem to think they are. Overall, the controls are fine. However, I did find playing with a gamepad much more preferable to playing with a mouse and keyboard, especially where combat was concerned. I used the Logitech Rumblepad 2 gamepad. It has the look and feel of a PS2 controller. If you prefer X-Box, then I believe the X-Box pad is USB and also works with PCs. If you're more of a PS person, then the Rumblepad 2 is the way to go IMO (just don't get the Logitech Dual Action gamepad as it loses calibration in the analog sticks after a short time, a widely reported and, I believe, unresolved issue).
Even with the few action elements, this game is completely driven by its story, and the storytelling is immaculate. From the graphics, to the plot, to the sound, to the music, to the characters and voice acting, this is one of those few games that elevates the entire medium from entertainment to art....more info
I use to play nothing but First Person Shooters, but they do get old sometimes. So, I have tried adventure games as a way to relax. This game is so beautifully done it was like being in a movie. Hats off to FUNCOM and I hope they continue with adventure games. You will NOT be dissapointed with this one....more info
- Play the first one before you play Dreamfall
Looking at the box, you would have no way of knowing that this is a sequel. If you have not played the first game, The Longest Journey, I would advise you to do so before playing Dreamfall. It is not absolutely necessary, since most of what you need to know is explained, but your appreciation of the story will be enhanced greatly. Also, if you play the original after you play Dreamfall, some of the major plot points will be spoiled.
The graphics in this game are stunning--much more so than in the first game. However, the gameplay itself is somewhat wanting. It is hard to play with a mouse and keyboard (an almost unforgivable sin for a PC game, if you ask me), but I'm told it is easier with a gamepad. It has been described as more of an interactive movie than a pure adventure game. The cut-scenes are long and numerous (but you can skip them if you want). Even if you found the puzzles too difficult in the first game, you shouldn't have any problem with Dreamfall. Compared to the first game, it is also very short (maybe 10-12 hours).
Despite all the negatives, the story is unparalleled. Where most games today have thin, derivative storylines, Dreamfall is deep, engrossing, and original. Be warned: he ending is a cliffhanger and it leaves many questions unanswered. If you can accept that and be patient for the third and final installment to come out (200?), buy this game. ...more info
- If it ain't broke, why fix it?
Look.. I loved the Longest Journey and waited years for this sequel. And like one of my past favorites "King's Quest" the powers that be had to go and screw up the new release by adding a "fighting element". Dreamfall is not as extreme a change as King's Quest, but unnecessary none the less.
Once you manage to get past all that it was an awesome game...more info
- Not the best adventure game, but still not bad.
When The Longest Journey came out it instantly blew away hard core adventure gamers. It may have been a simple point and click, but the story and the lives of each character were brought to life. A tale of fantasy and adventure sucked the gamer in, leaving nothing but a world filled with toil and danger. When the game ended, I was left with a feeling of wonderment and didn't believe a sequel would be made. It was and the result is Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.
After playing through a good chunk of the game, it became apparent that this game would not live up to the original. Though all the environments are visually stunning and the voice acting is not horrible, some of the game play features leave much to be desired. A new element was added which did nothing to better the game. Fighting is slow and the moves are clumsy and hard to maneuver. There also doesn't seem to be a point to it and could easily have been left out or tweaked (a lot) so the transition was smoother and didn't feel like playing the first Virtua Fighter (without the originality). The sneak feature allows the character to carefully walk around objects without being caught, but this also can create problems. While sneaking you can make one small turn and wind up having to restart again. This became frustrating after walking on broken glass too many times to count when all you wanted to do was go right around it, but you HAVE to sneak around it. Otherwise, where's the sense of adventure?
What it comes down to is story line vs. gameplay. There's still the numerous amounts of puzzles you'll be solving and figuring out what to do next and that's the basics of a good adventure game. Though some of the new actions in the game retract from what could be a great game, the story keeps the game together. If you want to figure out what happened to April Ryan after she saved the 13th Guardian, then play this game. Otherwise, it's best to let the imagination take over and let her live out her life as an old woman with Crow by her side. ...more info
- If you had to play only one adventure game in your life...
...let Dreamfall be it.
I have played a lot of adventure games. I'm also very picky. Dreamfall is the greatest adventure game I have ever played. It is the Rolls Royce of graphical adventure games.
The story is of unparalleled depth, the graphics are wonderful, the music and sound fits the storyline and action. In my opinion, there is nothing left untouched, nothing overlooked. Everything complements everything else. This game is almost revolutionary.
Above all, the story tugs at the heartstrings and awakens something inside of you. It pulls you in and envelops you in a world (three separate worlds) that feels like it exists at this very moment. The ending was the first time I have cried playing an adventure game. Playing this game has made me a better person.
If you have to experience something in your lifetime, let "play Dreamfall" be one of them.
Caution: If you're looking for action or something to entertain you for one day, this is not it. This is like an art film, a fine wine, tantric sex. This is not a cheap movie flick, Red Bull, or a one night stand.
- My exact words were,
I loved The Longest Journey. The story was amazing and original and had a talented and charismatic lead actress, Sarah Hamilton, who injected April Ryan with warmth, depth, humor and charm. And in April's long, long journey, she traveled the worlds and met many different people, becoming to most of them a symbolic representation of what everyone should strive to be: someone who rises above themselves to accept the challenge because it is the right thing to do. Not only was the story enjoyably epic, it was a lot of fun figuring out what to do with all the things you pick up, as you would in other traditional adventure games like this. One of the things that made The Longest Journey so accessible to so many is that, like in Grim Fandango, it was impossible to die, lose or make an irrevocable mistake, you only had to figure out what to do next.
With that said, I was anticipating Dreamfall with great excitement for a long time. The simple prospect of April Ryan returning so we could experience the next chapter in her amazing life was all I needed to know.
Unfortunately, while I hate to use this term, I'm afraid the developers sold out. To make the game more accessible to the masses (IE, uneducated button-mashing FPS junkies), they side-stepped the traditional adventure in favor of an adventure with the action element of combat. The problem isn't merely the existence of combat, but that it was done poorly. The control during combat is unresponsive and a bit unpredictable. It's not terribly difficult to down an opponent, it's just annoying. I know one button blocks, one button does one kind of attack, another button does another kind of attack, and if I hold down one of the buttons, I do a strong attack but leave myself vulnerable while I wait for it to execute. What I do is basically a stick and move kind of strategy; I wait for them to move and then get out of the way so I can attack while they're throwing punches away from you like a jack ass.
A lot of people here have complained about the control and I really don't see what the problem is. Of course, I have a gamepad. Come on, people, they're not that expensive.
On the plus side, the environments and graphics are absolutely stunning. You get a sense of true immersion in the beautifully rendered locations you explore with a fine attention to detail. Unfortunately, the talking animations have the characters looking stiff. Their lips, jaw and eyes move, but the character models lack a naturalistic touch that gets their whole body moving like a real person would. Some minor characters can't even open their mouths while they talk, too. They also don't have tongues and this combination of no tongues and awkward facial animations made for the weirdest looking on-screen kiss I've ever seen in a game--and I've seen two skeletons kiss for Pete's sake.
The voice acting is also very well done, but I get a sense that the humor and charm that were in the first game are very much absent. Aside from the sexy accent, there really wasn't a lot of personality in the new main character, Zoe Castillo. She had a nice, sweet scene near the very end of the game, but aside from that, I didn't fall in love with her like I did April Ryan. As for April Ryan in this game, she's turned into a sour puss. She's bitter and angsty and, while she still wants to do the right thing, she's just lost her charm completely. I found Kian to be an interesting character, a religious crusading zealot who turns out to have so much more potential. The saving grace in the humor department is, of course, Crow. He is consistently funny and gave the story much-needed comic relief. Like this line, for example: "Stay brave! We're not giving up until you're safely out of here! Or, dead!"
The story is the real strength of the game, and fans of The Longest Journey are used to long exchanges of dialogue, simply because it is well-written, well-acted and very compelling. The problem with Dreamfall is that there isn't much gameplay to accompany the story. There's way too much sneaking around and doing the same exact puzzles with Zoe's mobile software. I don't have a problem with sneaking or simple mini-games, it's just that there isn't anything else for you as a gamer to do.
Back to the story, though. I had bought this game last year and put off playing it after a few chapters. Once I started over and got back into the game, I couldn't get enough. Despite the flaws of the game, the story was enough to keep me invested in playing.
In the beginning, after a short introduction, we see Zoe in a hospital room in a coma while her father sits in vigil and then we flashback to two weeks earlier and we start the game. And at this point, while trying to reveal as little as possible, all of our heroes are against the ropes and it looks like the bad guys are going to win. We finally reach full circle and see how Zoe ended up in a coma. And then ... the credits roll. My eyes widened and I said, "What the hell?"
Cliffhangers. Lots of them. I don't normally dislike cliffhangers, but they just don't work in video games, especially when completion of the sequel is years away. I felt like the third act, or perhaps the third, fourth and fifth act, were missing. It felt like half a game. Just when the three main characters are in the same place at the same time, before a satisfying conclusion can be reached, it ends.
What infuriates me is that the sequel will be released, eventually, in downloadable chapters over time and most likely they'll all be available in one box at retail stores after they're all out. My Dreamfall installation takes up 5.73 GB of hard drive space, so you can see my reluctance with downloading files that will take days to complete.
Despite its flaws, the gameplay is forgivable and the story is enough for anyone who loves a good story, but I simply cannot recommend Dreamfall at this time, at least not until the sequel is out and fully realized....more info
- The story goes on...
And that is what you mainly get out of this game--great story. Very well written dialogues, imaginative plot that built upon the epic scope of The Longest Journey, and solid, believable characters aren't that easy to find in the world of video games, and especially sequels. But Dreamfall has all of that in spades in addition to being a very pretty game. But it is the "game" part that is spoiling the mix for me. Or I should say, the lack thereof is. Dreamfall plays too much like an interactive movie, and the further you get into the game, the longer all the cinematics/dialogue scenes get, however ingrossing they may be. The Longest Journey was not a terribly difficult game, but the puzzles in Dreamfall are just too easy, as well as scarce. This has greatly detracted from my enjoyment--too often did my hands drop from the controls, because I wasn't the one driving. 4 out of 5 stars....more info
WELL, AFTER WAITING FOR SUCH A LONG TIME FOR A SEQUEL. THIS IS NOT THE GENIUS THE FIRST ONE WAS. TO MUCH RUNNING AWAY, FIGHTING AND PC PLAY WAS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. SORRY, NOT MY CHOICE FOR A GOOD SEQUEL....more info
- It's Beautiful (Yawn)
The Manuf says how there are so many ways to do something. But in reality there is no different result. Whatever you do, the game plods on, easily, linearly, and with little cohesion. It had some adult language, but why bother? A sign for the "rooster and cat" (I paraphrase) next to a sign for "The Salty Seaman" is not really daring. It's just kind of out of place and crude in the beautiful background. Why not take out that junk and make it marketable to 5-10 years old? (which is about the challenge level offered.) My advice, get HL2 or HL2E1 instead. Don't reward this half-hearted effort by buying it. There are too many other worthy games out there....more info
- Where is the ending?????
The problem with a lot of movies, games, etc, today, is that if the first one they've made is successful, they decide that they must do more, and therefore the next movies do not successfully continue what the first movie started. They did this with the Matrix, Pirates, and now with The Longest Journey. The first game was superb. There was enough interaction that it made you feel like you were actually doing something. This one is much more like a movie. It doesn't matter what choices you make or how you proceed, the ending is decided. And what an ending. I'm not asking for a happy ending, the prince and princess ride off in off on a magical horse or in an Aston Martin Vanquish into the sunset type ending here, just some resolution. There was none. The game starts out with what seems like a clear goal in mind, and it doesn't even accomplish that goal, and leaves it incredibly open for a sequel, which considering how long it took for this game to be made after the first Longest Journey came out, might be out around 2012.
On the plus side, the graphics, and the story itself were wonderful, just not the game play. So if you want a game that is more like a movie, than this is the game for you. But if you want a game that is more like a game, then pick something else. I recommend any of the Lara Croft games. Lara is much more maneuverable than April, Zo? and Kian combined.