Bram Stoker's original novel provides the background and setting for this continuation of the Dracula legend. The story in Dracula Resurrection begins in London where heroes Jonathan and Mina have married and settled, seven years after Dracula's "final" defeat. When Jonathan returns home one day to find a note from his wife saying that she's suddenly returned to Transylvania, suspicions arise that the undead Count may again rise to cause more despair in the land of the living. This graphical adventure features many detailed, hand-painted backgrounds and lots of ambient sound and music to set the proper mood for such a tale of gothic horror.
Dracula lives again! Set in time after Jonathan Harker defeats Dracula, Harker tries to put the horrific events behind him, for he has ended the vampire's reign of terror. Or so he believed. Jonathan returns home one day to find his wife, Mina, gone, with only a cryptic note asking him not to follow her - that her call from the lord of vampires is too strong, and she must answer his summons.
So the scene is set for Dracula: Resurrection, a first person puzzle solver from DreamCatcher Interactive. The game, as a total package, is not too bad at all. The graphics are decent, and the cinematics are a lot of fun to watch. It is first person perspective, which I love when it is done right, and there is no combat at all (a nice change for once). The game is entirely puzzle solving: put-this-here-take-that-there, cut from the Myst/Riven cloth.
Over all the game is a lot of fun, though there are some issues that you should be aware of. First off, the first person perspective is hampered by the cut-style scene changes. At each step in the game, you have options as to directions you can go. Clicking in the direction you want to travel moves your character, but the motion is not smooth scrolling; instead, they chose to use a cut-scene approach. This is reminiscent of games five years old or more, but for today's market and at today's gaming prices, I would expect more.
Another draw back to this game is that the puzzle solving itself can be frustrating. For instance, in one scene I wanted to interact with an object on the screen. I knew what to do to solve that particular puzzle, but could not interact with the object in order to do what needed to be done. After twenty minutes of frustration, I found a walk-through on the net, and discovered that I was indeed right, but needed to access that object from the cut-scene prior to where I was. This lack of continuity makes the game unnecessarily frustrating, and it happens more than once.
As well, some of the objects you need to interact with (door knobs, drawer handles etc.) are so small on the screen that the cursor has to be in one exact spot before it would let you know that you have found an object with which you can interact. I spent so much frustrated time trying to find that exact spot that I often only found it by sheer chance.
On the plus side though, the graphics are very nice , and the puzzles that you need to solve do make sense. They are challenging enough to be fun, though not so hard that you walk away in anger because you can't figure them out.
The foray into Dracula's castle is a blast, and the game is heavy with atmosphere, though this too is diminished somewhat by the cut-scene style of game play. This atmosphere is almost all due to the graphics, and I found that the sound / music did very little to add (or detract) from the overall effect.
I have to say, though, that I had a lot of fun with this one, despite its drawbacks. While it is not what I have come to expect from a game trying to compete in today's market, it was an enjoyable departure from the usual fare.
If Dracula lives beyond this game (and I truly hope he does) I hope he does so in a game that is able to boast a more updated interface. Still, this game show shows some promise, and I hope the developers realize that promise in future outings.
People who downloaded Dracula: Resurrection have also downloaded:
Dracula: The Last Sanctuary, Dracula Unleashed, Discworld Noir, Discworld 2: Mortality Bytes, Discworld, Destination: Treasure Island, Dig, The, Darkseed 2
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