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Developer:
Funcom
Publisher: Aspyr
Platform: Xbox, PC
Release Date: April 18, 2006

by Josh Ferguson




The Longest Journey was an adventure game that was praised for its interesting cast of characters and great storyline. It's been nearly six years since the critically acclaimed game was released, and ever since fans have patiently awaited for a follow-up. In April of 2006, their wait came to an end when Dreamfall: The Longest Journey was released for the PC and XBox console.


Dreamfall: The Longest Journey follows a young woman by the name of ZoŽ Castillo, who immediately begins seeing visions of a young girl who demands that she save a woman by the name of April Ryan. Even though the visions are quite out of the ordinary, ZoŽ tries not to think too much of it and continues on as if nothing happened. Soon after, things take a turn for the worst when her best friend, Reza, mysteriously vanishes, leaving behind clues that will lead ZoŽ on the adventure of a lifetime!


Easily one of the best aspects of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is the game's story. And while Iíd rather not spoil it, I can say that the game features some great playable characters and a large cast of non-playable characters that are unique and many of which play some sort of role within the storyline. Aside from that, the game also does a nice job of making each of its characters seem rather life-like, whether it's the way they act due to a certain situation or their movements and facial expressions. It doesnít hurt either that the game features some great dialogue, too!


In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, the main focus of the game will be traveling through different locations, solving minor puzzles, and doing even more walking. Throughout the game you will also interact with a large cast of characters, and while these interactions look and sound great, much of the game will involve just sitting and watching rather than actually doing anything. Itís a good thing that the game's story and characters are so good because even the combat, the one area that you would think would involve a lot of playing, is somewhat of a letdown and really doesnít involve a lot of gameplay.


Even though this wonít be used often, easily one of the low points of the game would be the combat system. The combat is pretty basic and very simplistic, but at the same time it's somewhat boring and slow paced. When the opportunity to combat an enemy arises, you will use a variety of light attacks and heavy attacks. Normally the enemy will just move around blocking, which means all you have to do is constantly use heavy attacks over and over again. Occasionally they might actually swing at you, which means you might actually have to block. Blocking enemy attacks isnít exactly necessary, especially since you normally can just move the opposite direction and avoid the attack. Luckily the combat isnít used too often, especially since it can become very repetitive and quite boring.


Dreamfall: The Longest Journeyís gameplay also has some occasional problems with certain camera views. The game's camera is done in a third-person point of view, which is great because it allows the player to view some of the game's beautiful-looking environments. However, the game also has its share of problems, particularly when in combat. Still, some of the worst camera views can be found while traveling through caves or other tight locations.


The visuals in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey are just one other thing that makes it such a good game. Throughout your journey you will encounter several locations, each of which are quite distinct from one another and are large and beautifully done. The game also features a variety of great-looking characters, especially those that the story mainly focuses on.


While the game's graphics are quite impressive, they are nothing compared to its sound. Not only does the game feature a large quantity of voice acting, the quality is some of the most impressive Iíve heard in sometime. Many of the characters' voices seem to fit perfectly, while most of the others are no less than great. The sound is made even better with the large amount of great music that can be found throughout the game that does a great job of setting the mood, whether it be happy, romantic, or suspenseful.


Chances are a completion of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey will likely take about 10 hours, and unless you would like to go back and revisit the game's great story, there really is little reason for any replay. While the game does feature some alternate paths that you could take, most of the time they will lead to the exact same outcome and this wonít warrant any reason for a replay.


Overall, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey features an excellent story with a large cast of unique and great characters. While the game isnít without some flaws, if you can look past them you will find an excellent adventure experience. If you were a fan of the original Longest Journey or an adventure fan, then look no further than Dreamfall: The Longest Journey!


Final Grade: 83%




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