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DREAMFALL CHAPTERS: A QUINTESSENTIAL EXAMPLE OF MAGICAL REALISM – GAME REVIEW

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DREAMFALL CHAPTERS: A QUINTESSENTIAL EXAMPLE OF MAGICAL REALISM – GAME REVIEW

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 09:43
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Dreamfall Chapters
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Dreamfall Chapters

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - GETTING INTO THE BITS OF IT

The game was originally released in a series of five episodes for PC from October 21st, 2014 to June 17, 2016, in Norway. Another updated version of the game called as Final Cut especially designed for physical mediums like PlayStation and Xbox One was released on May 5, 2017. However the playable versions for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linus were released on July 21st, 2017.

Dreamfall Chapters

 
Unlike the previous two parts that were developed by Funcom, the current game is a work of development by Red Thread Games which was founded by Ragnar Tornquist.

Ragnar Tornquist

When it comes to Ragnar, he had already won the hearts of a many by writing an emotional storyline of the previous two parts. With no exception, Ragnar’s Dreamfall Chapters is yet another victory that won a number of game awards. Dreamfall Chapters has a single-player game mode. 

 

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

The minimum system requirements for this game include:
Windows 7, Core 2 Duo 2 GHz or equivalent, 3 GB RAM, Intel HD Graphic 4000, DirectX Version 9.0c, 12 GB free space storage and a sound card. 
However, the recommended requirements are as followed:
Windows 7 64-bit, Quad Core i5 2.5GHz, 8 GB RAM, ATI or Nvidia card with 2 GB VRAM, DirectX Version 11, Broadband Internet connection, 20 GB available space and a sound card.

 

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DREAMFALL CHAPTERS GAMEPLAY

Unit 4 game engine was employed in developing Dreamfall Chapters but before the release of the fourth episode (book), the developing medium was upgraded to Unit 5 game engine. Dreamfall Chapters has captivating and mind-blowing graphics that takes the gamer into a 3D world where it can explore several locations in the game like Marcuria, Europolis et cetera. Upon unlocking each secret hidden in the game, the player gets a reward. However, it must be noted that the locations keep on changing depending on how the story unfolds. 

 

April Ryan

There are three playable characters that are Zoe Castillo, Kian and Saga (an incarnated version of April who appears as Lady Alvane in the later parts of the story) that enable the player to see the different perspectives of the major storyline of Dreamfall Chapters. This enriches the perspectives embedded within the plot and provides the player with the chance to feel versatile experiences instead of the ones provided through mundane one playable character mode. The player can interact with other characters, objects and locations in the game by using WASD keys and mouse (or even joystick, analogue stick or D-pad). The dialogue puzzles comprise almost half of the time span of the total game but it’s not mandatory to watch them for the completion of the game. Despite a fixed one-dimensional plot, the gamer is allowed to make his or her own choices that alter some aspects of the plot but not the ending. 

Kian and Saga

 

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - PLOT BACKGROUND

According to the concept of the game and the general background built in the previous two parts, our Earth known as Stark is one of the many worlds in this universe. Stark is depicted as a highly technological dystopian society that has fallen prey to some experimentalists and their abominable schemes to destroy the balance that is keeping in equilibrium Stark with its counterpart Arcadia. Stark is set in 2220 CE that separates it from Arcadia by 12 millenniums meaning that the latter is 12 millenniums ago from Stark. Arcadia, on the other hand, is the total opposite of Stark and hence a counterpart. Instead of science and technology, it is a realm of magic, fantasy and myth. Numerous mythological characters like dragons, flying seahorses and talking crows inhabit this land. 

Brian Westhouse

The villain of the game, Brian Westhouse is originally an inhabitant of Stark who is forcefully trapped in Arcadia. His plan is to escape Arcadia and combine the twin worlds by disrupting the balance between them. He schemes of using the power of undreaming to merge the two worlds for which he teams up with some of the soldiers of Azadi Empire of Arcadia and a scientist named Helena Chang from Arcadia. Brian asks Chang to construct a giant dream stealing a machine that he could use to accomplish his goals. Chang, on the other hand, decides to use this dream energy to produce genetically engineered individuals. These individuals would be termed as dreamers whose task would be to use the dream energy in order to construct a different form of reality for both Stark and Arcadia. One of these genetically engineered individuals includes one of the protagonists of the series that is Zoe. Zoe, unaware of her identity was brought up by Chang’s partner Castillo as his biological daughter. It was only by the end of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey that Zoe comes to know about her reality. She tries her best to stop Chang from succeeding in her malicious agendas but soon she was put into the state of coma by her creator. On the other hand, Kian was charged with treason for trying to protect April as he has known the conspiracy of Brian. The previous part ends on a sad note where each of the leading characters that are April, Zoe and Kian falls prey to the treacherous agendas of Brian and Chang.

 

Comatose Zoe

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - SYNOPSIS 

In the state of coma, Zoe tried her best to regain her conscience and escape the lab she was brought into. In this struggle, she ended up creating a secondary version of herself instead of fully gaining back her senses. This secondary version had no memories of the past—of who she was and how her life got shaped in the past years. She knew nothing of her adventures to Arcadia and Stark and her rivalry with Wati and Chang agents. Even then her enemies didn’t stop chasing her, they kept their full eyes on this secondary version and were fully aware of her every single move. In order to find some meaning in life, Zoe became a political activist and decided to take part in the upcoming elections. In the meanwhile, Zoe found out that most of the political parties had been bought by Wati and Chang supporters. In order to harm Zoe, the supporters schemed a bomb blast that killed one of Zoe’s friend. In this malicious act, Zoe luckily survived but got brutally injured. She also regained some of her memories as a part of this accident. Unable to join the dots due to missing pieces of her reminiscences, Zoe decided to use Chang’s Dreamachine to restore those missing parts. She failed here again and instead of restoring her memory, she ended up in Arcadia. In Arcadia, she found the talking crow who helped her search the dreaming Lux. Upon finding Lux, Zoe paired up with it to gain its power. As soon as she did this, her real body gained consciousness and Zoe’s real self then unites with her biological parents. Even at this point, her rivals didn’t let go of her. They off and on kept trying to somehow exploit her capabilities and powers.

Emperor

It must be noted that Zoe is not the only leading character in The Longest Series - the other two characters Kian and April also have separate but parallel and overlapping storylines. Kian, a rebellious character challenges what he had been taught throughout his life. Azadi Emperor afraid of how Kian’s new discovery would affect his supporters demanded to execute him without any trial. On the other hand, anti-Azadi agents rescued Kian to have benefits of their kinds in the future. As Kian joined this Anti-Azadi group he began to witness how the creatures in Arcadia gifted with magic are subjugated by Azadi Empire residing in Marcuria. He gathered some pieces of evidence and showed them to Hami to seek help in failing the Emperor in his most abominable acts. Kian along with Hami supporters lead a march towards the dream engine to somehow take it down before it’s too late. In the meanwhile, Zoe and her crow friend also joined them. The enchanted crow showed Kian the passage towards the engine but before he could reach it, he was injured by Mother Utana (Azadi agent). On the other hand, Prophet (Brian Westhouse) killed the crow and turned on the engine. 

Saga Adult

Coming towards the character of the third storyline, April who was killed in the previous part rebirthed herself as a new character Saga. Her incarnation occurred in a third time span and space known as House of All Worlds. This enchanted location lies amid of all the time spans and locations. At the time when Kian was injured, Saga rushed to Arcadia to heal him with her special powers. The three of them teamed up to fight against Prophet—Zoe and Saga helped the anti-Azadi engineers to turn down the engine and Kian killed Prophet who had confined the Undreaming within his physical body. Zoe used the energy unleashed by Undreaming to restore the balance of the two worlds. A few days later when Kian decided to find Mother Utana, Saga stopped him for another conspiracy that they need to tackle. She brought upon him the revolution that both of them have a great part to play in War of the Balance. Zoe on the other hand reunited with Gabriel and almost five years later the three of them got succeeded in taking down the Azadi Empire. Zoe lived the rest of the years of her life peacefully in Casablanca where she gave birth to a child. The epilogue reflected back to the ending of the first part of the series The Longest Journey where Lady Alvane narrated the whole story. In Dreamfall Chapters it has been shown that Lady Alavane is indeed Saga who in her old age reminisces the whole incident to two youngsters.  

Redux

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - RECURRENT THEMES

There are some recurrent themes that occur time and again throughout The Longest Journey Saga. One of which is faith. Faith plays a crucial role in the lives of all three leading characters. April and Ryan stand up for their faith and embarks on a dreadful journey because they believed it is their moral responsibility to save those who suffer at the hand of oppressors. Kian stands at the other side of this equation—he challenges what he had once faith in. Though by challenging he stands with the right but at the same time it made him a rebellious and unfaithful soldier among Azadi agents. 
Another important and recurrent theme is dreaming that vitally shapes the whole story. Dreams play a very key role in the worlds of Arcadia and Stark. For someone who has to travel from Stark to Arcadia must fall deep into the state of dreaming that is one must sleep. The way dreaming is glorified and exalted in maintaining the balance of the twin worlds is a quintessential example of the genres of the fantasy genre and magical realism. Dreaming and other magical features are presented in such a way that it seems quiet and practical. In short, the prevalent themes helps to uplift the plot and set a mode for the game. They are beautifully impregnated throughout the story to deliver that subtle information that the plot can’t do. Due to such universal themes, The Longest Journey is a game for everyone no matter what age group they belong or what cultural associations they have.  

Magical Folk

 

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - CRITICAL REVIEWS

As far as PC and PlayStation are concerned, Dreamfall Chapters got not so extraordinary reviews on Metacritic. However, for the Xbox One, it got overall good feedback. Emily Morganti is of the view: ‘Chapters is worth playing to see how [The Longest Journey] saga ends but doesn’t hold up as a standalone adventure’. 
The scores for Dreamfall Chapters with reference to review aggregator Metacritic are as follows:

PC: 71/100
PS4: 67/100
XBOX: 77/100 

 

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PRETTY GOOD POST REVIEW

Clearly, some of the critics do not know what they are talking about. 67? There is no other game with such a captivating and immersive story with astonishingly beautiful graphics that appeal to every dreamer. This game is a must-have next level state-of-the-art gaming experience but can be played only by those who are patient. Want to play Dreamfall Chapters and did not play the preceding two games? You will be thrilled and immersed in the story and will be grateful for the time you have spent gaming. Click on the links to find out more about The Longest Journey (1999), and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (2006), so our advice is don't start a book from its end.

May the Balance be with all the critics. 100/100.

Balance Symbol

KICKSTARTER FULL TRAILER 2014

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