The Dreamfall saga began way back in 1999 on the PC with The Longest Journey. The second game in the series, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, continued the story on the original Xbox in 2006. And while its PC release date was back in 2014, Red Thread Games finally brings this story to an end for console users as I bring you my Dreamfall Chapters review.
Come with me on a long journey, as I talk about the ups and downs to the end of this deep engrossing story. While point-and-click games will appeal to you or not, this is a really well told story. One that I thoroughly enjoyed, in spite of a few limitations of the game.
Read my thoughts in detail below, and check the scores at the end too. Remember to leave a comment below the article by disqus or facebook and share with your fellow gamers on social media.
Look and Feel – “Wake up, dreamer.”
Dreamfall Chapters certainly has a unique look to it, not quite realistic and not quite cartoony, it does a bit of both but does it well.
The colours are strong, bright and vibrant in every environment and makes it clear what world you are in. The strong electronic neon colours of Stark are the exact opposite of the faded, rustic tones of Arcadia.
I played Dreamfall Chapters on a PS4, and throughout my time playing, I did experience a LOT of framerate stutter. Just exploring the area of Europolis was enough for the framerate to struggle a few times and it did pull me out of the game whenever it happened. I only ever experienced it while playing as Zoë in Europolis however and no other time.
The animations also were a little off, and even simple things such as walking looked a little stiff. This is especially noticeable with Kian. All the character models look slightly plasticy, but for a game that came out back in 2014 though this can be forgiven.
Story and Gameplay – “Point, Click and Enjoy”
Firstly, this game doesn’t explain much and expects you to know what has previously happened, so I highly recommend searching up some cutscenes or ‘Story so far’ videos on youtube. The official trailers explain some but not all the important bits like characters you need to remember.
Here’s one I watched, doesn’t get everything, but it can pretty much bring you up to speed on Zoë’s story at least.
The game is sectioned into 5 books, 13 chapters, each book having a clear beginning, middle and end as well as contributing to the overall story, which begins a year after it left off in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. Zoë is in a coma and trapped in her dreams. The first thing this game does though is answer the question that everybody wondered since the previous game, to erase any doubts and move forward:
What happened to April Ryan?
You play as 2 characters: Zoë and Kian. Both of whom were main characters of the previous game. Zoë’s story revolves around her trying to remember what happened for the year of her coma, and Kians starts in the aftermath of him refusing to kill his target, April Ryan, in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. Things slowly start getting intense for both characters in their own quests, and soon they find that the fate of the Balance of both worlds is in their hands.
Point and Click
Dreamfall Chapters is a point and click adventure game. You can freely explore the areas you are in, and interacting with things/people brings up an action wheel, where you can choose to look at, speak to, etc. Choosing the different options on different things like with any other point and click game, can help with the countless puzzles this game throws at you to help you figure it out.
There is no combat in this game, every chapter relies on you solving puzzles and figuring out how to go about things in order to progress. I like this decision, combat would have felt unnecessary in this game and wouldn’t have fit in. The story does just fine without it. Your character will walk everywhere unless you hold down L2/LB, which causes them to start jogging. After a while, jogging will become the only way you’ll want to navigate and you’ll wish they could run a bit quicker, as the areas you explore are of a decent size.
The voice acting is realistic and relatable, Zoë is incredibly witty and I did find myself laughing at the things she said. One example being when Zoë was being escorted by a watcher bot. Complaining at not being alone, Zoë wants it to leave but watcher bot states “every step you take, I will be watching you, as mandated by martial law” to which Zoë quickly responds “How about every breath I – oh I give up.” Zoë is full of little quirks like that which makes her character so lovable.
Kian is completely the opposite, but this doesn’t make him less fun to play. Kian is quiet and serious, but as the game progresses, he does crack a few jokes now and then which makes it all the more funny because it’s so unlike him (I’m so sorry for making you drink that poopy birdbath water, Kian!).
All the voice actors did an exceptional job (if Dave Fennoy is in your game nothing could go wrong), all except for Zoë’s boyfriend, Reza. I’m not sure if it’s his character or if the voice actor was bored, but it sounds like he’s reading straight from a script and he delivers no emotion. I noticed this more because it stood out amongst a sea of good voice acting.
It seemed that everybody was really into voicing their characters and delivering their lines and he just…wasn’t. Again, this could be his character, but it was just something I noticed during my time with this game.
Dreamfall Chapters was an amazing game that managed to wrap up everything that happened in the last 2 games perfectly. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to play a deep, engaging story with many ups and downs, and definitely watch a catch up video if you haven’t played any of the other games but want to play this.
Fans and new-timers to the Dreamfall Saga will definitely be pleased with this final entry, and for a journey that began a whopping 18 years ago, it’s a bittersweet goodbye. Check out my final scores below and, if you want to talk more on Dreamfall Chapters with me drop me a comment down the page.
About This Dreamfall Chapters Review
Game Reviewed: Dreamfall Chapters standard edition, provided by publisher
Review Format: PS4
PEGI Rating: 16