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PC Game Review: Dracula: Origin

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Another great, affordable title from Dreamcatcher that taps Bram Stoker’s famous literary characters Professor Van Helsing (the main protagonist), Mina and, of course, Dracula. The developers also added several other characters along with some great settings that range from London and Vienna, to Cairo and (cue the creepy organ music…) Transylvania. A strong story centering on an important manuscript and high production values really put this point-and-click title in the high quality realm.

More than 40 great 3-D characters appear throughout the adventure-filled foray full of puzzles, which are never too overwhelming because pressing the space bar at any time provides hints. This reveal option can be viewed as a great assistance or a constant temptation. Most situations show a third person point-of-view then switch to first person for the occasional puzzle. The challenging puzzles and references really get those mental abilities following as players definitely get some learning experience as well as solid entertainment.

Players can combine the inventory they acquire through navigating deep environments. The constant threat of surprise or danger in this well-constructed plot elevates the already heightened experience. When you reach a challenge in progression, the game format often limit’s the choices only to reduce the search for missing items/combinations – a great time and frustration saver.

Any naysayers that think one can’t have a Dracula/vampire game without a mature rating will have to think again with this title. The teen rating never detracts from the experience. It actually helps it because the developers concentrated more on creative scare tactics, mood makers and visual scenarios that really push your buttons instead of unimaginative gore and violence.

It’s also always a challenge for developers to remediate a literary classic. Fans of the book will notice some major changes… it’s interesting to think how of many people who read the book will play this game. In any case, anyone who plays this game can enjoy a great story that has an outstanding action/motivation combination. Producers did a great job in making the game involving without manipulation or schlock.

The game’s finale can be a bit disappointing, so this mild shortcoming, some limitations (getting Van Helsing to progress even when the players knows the next step and Dracula‘s castle) and some minor distractions (e.g. lip synching mismatches) consequently prevent a perfect score. Still, this amazing title has plenty of engaging adventure, especially for the price. Plenty of opportunity for expansion in a possible sequel installment.

Dracula: Origin is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood, Mild Language, Partial Nudity and Violence.


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