June 20, 2009

Dracula: Origin – Review

I purchased the video game Dracula: Origin awhile ago. I meant to write up a review of it too once I finished it, but I hadn’t had a chance to finish it until today. I love vampires and video games so this should have been a great game for me - but was it? Read on to find out!

As stated on their website: “Dracula: Origin is the exciting new adventure game from Frogwares studio, the developers of the popular Sherlock Holmes series on PC.

Having stylishly blended H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythology with Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes - The Awakened, Frogwares is once again venturing into a disturbing and fantastic universe, the world of the Prince of Darkness, a world full of Gothic adventure, romance, mystery and terror.

Dracula: Origin reveals the origins of the Dracula curse. Once the ardent defender of Christendom, Dracula loses his faith in God when he is abandoned by his one true love after she marries. Dracula then makes a pact with the Prince of Darkness, and becomes a vampire.

As time goes by, Dracula discovers the existence of a manuscript that allegedly details a rite which brings damned souls back from the beyond. On the body of one of his last victims, Dracula finds the photograph of a pretty young woman, Mina, who looks so disconcertingly like his beloved one; he determines that her body would be the perfect host for the damned soul of the woman he worshiped.

In Dracula: Origin, the player takes the role of the famous Professor Van Helsing whose life’s aim is the destruction of Dracula. Van Helsing must stop the vampire from finding the manuscript. A rich adventure that takes him from London to Egypt, Austria and through Carpathian Europe right into the terrifying home of the Dark Prince.

Mysteries, enigmas, love, thrills and vampires…. Dracula: Origin offers an adventure that advances the genre in leaps and bounds with superb graphics and a solid story line. Made up of a subtle graphic mix of detailed 2D scenery and full 3D characters with a powerful sound track, the game brings to life the imaginary world of the original literary work by Bram Stoker. This new adventure game makes full use of the traditional vampire stories (horror, love, blood, crucifixes, stakes, garlic...) and the genre’s terrifying, Gothic, romantic and fantastic atmosphere.”

I started playing the game shortly after I bought it. However, due to its anti-copying security code on it (or something) it prevented me to load it in my DVD drive. I could only use it in a plain CD-Rom drive. Sometime after my “Save” and the next time I tried playing it, it wouldn’t load. So, I put the game away and planned on playing it later once I figured this out. Well, to fix it I had to uninstall it (which thankfully didn’t delete my saved game) and play it from there. To risk having to do this again, I decided I’d play it in one run.

I’m pretty good at problem solving and games where you have to think some with. However, without the walkthrough guide for this game, I don’t think I would have been able to finish it – let alone have finished it today.

Playing the game and moving around is really easy. You can push the spacebar and everything you can interact with is highlighted. However, the mouse moved slow and my game was sometimes laggy – but that might be due to my PC.

The graphics were pretty good. Many of the landscapes and the characters looked like something from The Sims though – or maybe I just associated it like that because I’m an avid Sims player. The cutscenes weren’t very long though.

I liked that you got to move around London, Cairo, Vienna and Transylvania though. A change of scenery is always fun in games.

The story that the game is based around was good. However, the pace of the game (even with the guide) was quite slow. It is supposed to be an “Adventure” game and it just was too slow moving for me. There was no real fighting either, which I think they could have added in some parts at least.

Dracula: Origin also lacks what I bought it for: vampires. Sure, Dracula is in it and another female vampire – but that is it! No other vampires and none that are coming after you to suck your blood. Dracula is pretty much a pansy too – he even doesn’t come after you himself. He is too busy trying to have Mina (the girl you are trying to save) become his lover-reincarnated.

I rate it 2 drops of blood out of 5.


Lucky Irish Gal said...

i wondered about this game. I am kinda glad I didn't buy it now.

Wendyburd1 said...

I will sound like a geek, but I love the Nancy Drew games. I love going to different places or rooms and having to solve many smaller puzzles and problems to find out the info needed to crack the case. I play them and then sell them on ebay. One play is all they are good for sadly. I have one that is not selling on ebay and I am pissed!LOL

Sheri said...

I would sell it on Ebay or Amazon but the price for it is so low it isn't even worth it. /sigh

Bobby G said...

That sucks...Nothign wrose than when you drop big loot on a game and it sucks...

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of your criticisms. I didn't think it was very good at all. Among the things you mentioned the game is largely goreless, there's little blood, and virtually no violence. Giving this is a vampire game I thought I would get to stake some vampires and see some good old fashioned arterial spray. The one staking seen in the game is a complete joke. I also agree with Dracula being a total fairy -- he wasn't even slightly frightening. Another complaint would be that there were several times I could see solutions to problems with the things in my inventory but the game was completely inflexible. The walking was also extremely annoying at times it was so poorly implemented. I also thought the voice acting was pretty terrible overall. Some of the cut scenes were way too short as you mentioned and there was so little effort put into the ending it was a joke. I also hate reading a lot of text in games and having to read the documents grew tiresome. Overall a big disappointment considering the material they had to work with. The game would have been more successful as you mentioned if it would have had an action/violence component to it.