Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dracula Resurrection

I have a lot of games I've never played. I really enjoy collecting them...sometimes more than playing them. So after every game I complete it's this big decision, “what do I play next?” I have about 30 games to pick from at any given time so a lot of times I get stuck thinking about it. This time I picked Dracula Resurrection, and I'm really glad I did.

Dracula Resurrection was published in 2000 by DreamCatcher. From the start, it was clear that developer Canal+ Multimedia had grand plans for this storyline and characters. At the time of the release of Dracula Resurrection, they already had a sequel in production.

The storyline is a continuation of the events in BramStoker's famous Gothic novel. Dracula has been temporarily defeated. Mina still has Dracula's blood coursing through her veins, and it's beginning ot call her. She feels an overwhelming desire to head back to Transylvania and takes off, which throws her husband, Jonathan Harker, into a frenzy of concern. The player takes the role of Jonathan, headed into the cold, harsh lands of Transylvania to get to Dracula's castle and rescue his wayward love.

For nine-year-old game, I was really impressed. The graphics were really not bad. While the game is first-person point-and-click at every point the player can turn 360 degrees and take in everything in the scene around them. It adds a great deal of immersiveness. The character models are amazing. I wish the animation lived up to the amazingly detailed models and textures. It was just ok, rather stiff and sparsely done. There were a few really exciting, well directed cutscenes.

The scenery was interesting. Every time the player climbs stairs there is an animation played of going up or down stairs. This takes a second to load, but seeing the stairs is better than the click (poof) stair climbing that was in so many games at this time.

The story was alright. Dracula is a great story universe, and they managed to bring all the atmosphere and loneliness of Johnathan Harker's character to the table. It felt a little stunted, but it's obviously a setup for the second game in this series, which I haven't played(but it's on the list).

The puzzles were pretty easy. Mostly inventory-based and some very light mechanical puzzles. Enjoyable overall and not detracting too much from the story...which I enjoy, but I know some others do not.

The had solid sound design. Music was supportive of the design and the sound effects were always appropriate and well placed. Very polished. There aren't a lot of voices, but the voice-overs were pretty good. There are no tracks of Jonathan explaining items in the game, so it feels pretty lonely sometimes...but that serves the subject well.

Overall, pretty good. If you can stand playing older games (which I never seem to get sick of, takes me back), Dracula Resurrection is one to try. It has to be run in Win98 compatibility mode though, so be warned. It will not work if you don't set the compatibility. I purchased this game as a part of a compilation “Vault of Darkness”. It can be found on ebay or gametz.

Other reviews can be found at Just Adventure+ and FourFatChicks.

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