Dreamfall Chapters is a 3D adventure set across three worlds in which choices you make have consequences through the course of your journey. Should you check out Dreamfall Chapters? Read our review below…
In life there are some painful experiences, such as stepping on a Lego piece or burning yourself. This time around it’s the turn of Dreamfall Chapters as it brings you what is effectively 2 games in what must be the most vague and ambiguous title ever to grace your console. Let us begin.
The game centres around Zoe Castillo who resides in Propast and Kian Alvane who hails from the far more interesting fantasy realm. Each chapter sees you swapping control of the lead role, except the part where you assume control of a small baby nameD Saga, who has a mother with sparkly green skin and a human father. Yes, that’s exactly what you read. Still with me? Zoe has awoken from her coma after the introductory sequence which if I’m honest did provoke curiosity within me. I was intrigued, I wanted to learn more and discover what Dreamfall Chapters had to offer me. But that quickly fell by the wayside as I ventured further into life in Propast. A lifeless husk of a city, with NPC’s that offer no character, emotion or reason for being. Non essential NPCs can’t be interacted with for the most part and mill about aimlessly just acting as filler and nothing more. A cyberpunk theme with neon drenched decor is a setting that grabs my attention in any game, but it does little to distract you from the games flaws, of which there are quite a few.
The animation and lip synching are atrocious. Characters come over like they are wooden cut outs with their lack of passion and emotion, and that’s before the voice acting. Very few characters within the game feel conviction enough to keep your attention span on proceedings. One in particular is Mira. Quite easily the worst written dialogue for any video game character ever. A constant stream of swearing and vulgarity, including an inappropriate and insensitive reference to autism. Given I have an autistic daughter myself I was far from impressed by this. But that aside, Mira is plain awful an annoying. How this made the final cut of the game I will never know. Reza who is Zoe’s significant other is a wet lettuce that resembles the bumbling character that Hugh Grant portrays in each of his films and is yet another forgettable encounter.
On the flip side, when you gain control of Kian who has the emotional and expression range of a cheese sandwich you will eventually meet Enu and Likho. These two have not only had well written dialogue, but they are also superbly voice acted by people with a passion for what they do. Likho is a dark and brooding blue skinned male that has a grudge with Kian and rightly so when you discover why. Constantly moody, and not one for pleasantries who is joined with Enu on your first mission. Enu is a small female elf like creature in appearance, and full of witticisms. Not to mention she has a habit of talking quite a bit with her happy go lucky nature and loveable persona. Marcuria was a far better place to explore with this unlikely duo and their enjoyable banter.
One issue I was constantly confronted with was an abysmal frame rate which dropped sharply in places causing slight delay as the game caught up. Other times it just stuttered along without a care in the world. Couple this with the poor animation and lip sync and you have a game that is hard to keep your eyes on for long periods.
Playing the game itself isn’t as bad as the rest I’ve discussed so far. Not that I’m saying it’s brilliant mind you. It’s been kept from being over complicated with regards to the controls, but this is one of the redeeming features. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Marcuria was an absolute pleasure to experience and explore and if the game had been centres around that instead of switching to Propast and it’s forgettable cast, then I would have enjoyed Dreamfall Chapters far more. The best way to describe the difference would be offering handmade Belgian chocolates in one hand, and white chocolate mice costing a couple of pennies to your loved one. Quite the difference. The main problem with Zoe, is not that he’s badly voiced. But rather I just couldn’t relate to her nor even care one iota about her political agenda or her irrelevant boyfriend. And especially the quite frankly abysmal Mira. Let’s not even mention that robot you have to do a pointless filler mission with as it too is irrelevant and serves no purpose in the game.
I have had a hard time finding anything good to say about the game so far, and that’s actually something I always try and do when reviewing a game. There is always something that redeems the game in some way shape or form. But sadly, that is not the case here. Kian isn’t the best either, and falls into obscurity along with Zoe. Even though his voice acting is above average. It’s another case of not able to relate to his cause, and frankly not even caring about his development as a character. A lack of passion about them both. But his world is by far more impressive, and I can’t help but wonder how much more I would have enjoyed Dreamfall Chapters had it focused on Kian as the protagonist.
>h6> A download code was provided for this review by the developer/publisher