Dreamfall - The Longest Journey

Notice that I talk about the german version of the game. Especially the packaging that I talk about is probably different in other countries.

For quite some time I’ve been reading reviews and reports everywhere that suggested Dreamfall was a cool game and that I might want to check it out. So I recently bought it and I loved it.

However, the experience did not start well. The first issue was the packaging, which was not annoying but still strange. If there is an award for the most useless package design, this game ought to be one of the top runners.

A cardboard box, a piece of cardboard and a normal DVD case

The cardboard box 1 (a real box, not just some cheap DVD case! What game does still have that nowadays?) contains nothing except the piece of cardboard 2 and a usual DVD case 3, which in turn contains the manual and game DVD. If that isn’t a waste of package material, I don’t know what is.

Since there is no Mac version, I had to get the game running on my old Windows 2000 computer. Problem is that the game does usually not run with Windows 2000, which I got quite angry about. You might say “It said Windows XP on the system requirements, so there’s no need to be angry”, and I might just agree, but the thing is that it didn’t say that on the system requirements:

The box clearly states that both Windows 2000 and Windows XP are supported

Since most of the other data is also different from what the official website says, I believe that the print on the box is just wrong. In my opinion, stuff like that should not happen.

Anyway, I found a solution in the official forums (you need a newer version of dbghelp.dll, which is, fortunately, contained with OpenOffice) and could finally play the game.

I’m afraid I was too lazy to take screenshots as I went along, but if you need them, there are plenty available all around the internet. First of all, I’m happy that the game runs well even on old computer like mine and looks good even though I could not set the graphic options to highest. Many other current games just look horrible that way.

The game is a modern version of the classical adventure game, though an easy one, and completely 3D. The focus is on solving puzzles, there are hardly any action and jumping sequences. The game really lives because of it’s story, it has a damn good story. Not “good for a game”, really good. It’s better than what I read in many books and saw in most movies. Because I don’t want to spoil the game for you (and, more important, because I’m lazy), I won’t tell you about it, though. Ain’t I mean? However, the story is really magnificient, with many unexpected twists, and the ending leaves at least as many questions as we had starting at the beginning. I really don’t think that I could really describe how much I loved the game, at least not before dinner. The cool locations, the cool music, the cool characters, the nice graphics and of course the huge, mysterious story all really made this one of the best games I’ve ever played. As soon as the next part comes out, I’m going to buy it.

One more thing: Dreamfall is about story. I honestly do not know if I spent more time playing or more time watching cutscenes and dialogue. I liked that, but I can imagine that some people could find that boring.

The game does have it’s weak points, but so does every other game, too. I do really recommend everyone to buy the game and play it.

Written on July 14th, 2006 at 07:10 pm

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