Deep Silver – Red Thread Games – Funcom – Xbox One, PS4 (version tested) & PC 1 Player
Thanks to the likes of the Telltale episodic games and Life is Strange, the 3rd person style interactive adventure has become quite the popular genre, with the latter being one of the better games of the last few years. So it’s good to see another game come along in that style. However, genre seems to be the only positives they share. If Life is Strange is the favourite child, Dreamfall Chapters is the bumbling black sheep, getting in from a night out trying not to wake the whole house, only the more it tries, the worse things get.
Things start off quite interesting, being introduced to the realms of reality and dream worlds, setting things up quite well, taking the player from one realm and situation to another. Things soon start to wane however, as gameplay makes way for dialogue, and that’s where the game starts to come apart. One of the most striking things about Dreamfall is the terrible voice acting. And I mean terrible. People tend to look to the likes of Resident Evil’s first instalment for an example of rubbish VO work, however that at least managed to convey a tone. Dreamfall’s lead reads the script with all the enthusiasm and articulation of a 5 year old doing their school play. There’s no change in tone for any of the dialogue whatsoever. Its monotonous, bubbly, uni accent really drags down the absolute barrage of dialogue the game contains, and that’s just the main character. There’s dialogue interactions almost everywhere you turn, and they feel like they’ve been written by a 12 year old. Chock full of unnecessary swearing and rubbish quips, all with the delivery of Krusty the Klown recording sound-bites for his talking doll.
The worst thing about Dreamfall however, is the potential. It has some wonderful environments, and there’s a great story in there too, but the execution is arse about tit, turning it into an uninteresting experience. Its pacing is all over the shop, and annoying, unavoidable interactions quickly take their toll. For every good thing about Dreamfall, just as it starts getting interesting, there’s about seven bad things dragging it back down (Shitbot, I’m looking at you, you annoying, aptly titled, enjoyment eradicating, piece of crap). The only thing Dreamfall Chapters has going for it is it’s aesthetic. Even then it’s hit and miss. The character models wouldn’t come close to pushing the last gen to its limits, let alone current systems. The animation is quite awkward too, with some secondary extras walking by at an eye watering 2 frames per second, further dampening the experience. Unless you’re after an extremely stately, mind numbingly dull adventure with pretty environments, you’re not gonna get much from this badly written garbage. Interesting story regarding dreams and oppressive regime aside, this is a bad game.