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About the product
- A bone-chilling journey straddling the dividing line between myth and reality
- Set during the interwar years, an omen of the demons waiting to be unleashed
- Point and click gameplay
- Travel to London, Egypt, Austria, and, of course, to Transylvania
- A combination of 2D environments and animated 3D characters
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Dracula: Origin reveals the origins of the Dracula curse - that of a man tortured by the loss of a woman he held more precious than anything. He was offended because she would rather kill herself than give in to him. Slowly, the thirst for vengeance has done its work, turning the ardent defender of Christianity into a hardened servant of the Demon. Dracula begins celebrating terrifying satanic masses involving terrible atrocities. He was still alive, still human, until the day he drank his rival's blood and then made a pact, sealed for all eternity, which made him the first vampire. Take on the role of Professor Van Helsing, who is chasing down Dracula. The storyline will bring you to London, Egypt, Austria and of course Transylvania, the vampire's famous residence. Dracula himself is also on a quest for a mysterious manuscript that will give him the power to raise the dead. Prevent Dracula from finding and using this manuscript, and kill him. You'll liberate the souls of all those who have had the misfortune to cross his path.
Using conventional point and click gameplay, impeccable graphics and a rich storyline, you are led to London, Egypt, Austria, and of course, to Transylvania, in the famous castle of the great vampire. With a subtle combination of 2D environments and animated 3D characters, the game faithfully reproduces the world imagined by the celebrated author Bram Stoker, with all its associated motifs (horror, love, blood, crucifixes, stakes, garlic, etc.), in a disturbing, finely-realized and absorbing Gothic atmosphere.
Faithfully reproduces the world imagined by Bram Stoker in a disturbing Gothic atmosphere
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Overall, a decent game though. If you don't mind an interesting story getting stopped by you having to figure something odd out for perhaps longer that you should have to. And, yes, that odd thing you have to figure out might appear not to be horror based at all, as much as the developer may try to make it seem to be. So staring at that kind of strips the horror element out of this horror world. I gave it a three though. If you like horror based games, point and click adventures, and brain teasers, then this certainly is for you. And now since you've been warned it's all these things, you may give it a four.
Dracula: Origin is plenty dark and gory; the game is rated T, and there's certainly a lot of blood and gore (including graphic torture, mutilation and satanic rituals). The game's locations (London, Vienna, Cairo, Transylvania) sparkle and really add depth to the story; puzzle-wise, you spend a large amount of time in Cairo exploring the market, museum, and several residences. Sadly, the section in Transylvania felt more like a tacked-on afterthought. The ending is super-brief, but I enjoyed it.
Graphics: the prerendered backgrounds are generally very intricately rendered, with period touches (detailed paintings, tapestries, etc.). The character animations are somewhat less successful; Van Helsing's movements are wooden (this is a third-person perspective, so you're watching Van Helsing move *a lot*). The cutscenes are beautiful, though. Lip synching is somewhat off in cutscenes, but it's generally not a distraction. The load screens are more of a watercolor wash instead of rendered (and load times are short).
Sound: the background music is generally unobtrusive, with a piano-based score that includes fear-drenched organ and quivering strings from time to time. For some reason, the music in Cairo reminded me strongly of Big Fish's soundtrack to their Blood Ties game. Sound effects are very good. It's obvious that English was the second language; there are some subtitles in particularly that don't mesh with the recorded dialogue. Also, Van Helsing got on my nerves; his melodramatic, gasped "Closed!" at finding doors locked was grating.
Gameplay: Dracula: Origin is an inventory-based game. You only pick up what you need, and it's generally pretty obvious what goes where (although some solutions are a bit of a stretch). There are several puzzle varieties including decoding, sliders, logic puzzles, and find-the-items. The game leans towards the easy side, with plenty of hand-holding; on many occasions, I longed for a more difficult solution. It would have been nice if two different difficulty levels had been included (beginner and advanced), but I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles.
Are there some shortcuts in design and graphics that I found annoying? Yes. But Dracula: Origin looks great, plays well, and is certainly one of the better-looking adventure games to come out recently. Because of its intuitive puzzles, this is a perfect first game for those new to adventure gaming. And fans of vampire lore will find plenty to sink their fangs into as well.