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Review: Dracula Origin - PC

by Steven Williamson on 17 June 2008, 16:05

Tags: Ascaron's Dracula Origin PC Game, Ascaron, Action/Adventure

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If only I had Stephen Hawking's brain in a jar...and it could talk

Dracula Origin is just another one of those adventures that you’ll either give up on after being stuck on yet another puzzle for too long or you’ll almost certainly scour the net for a walkthrough.

I’m certainly not assuming that everyone who plays Dracula Origin will be of the same or lesser intelligence as me, but I’m sure even the genius that is Stephen Fry would be scratching his head with bemusement at some of the arduous and complex puzzles.

The fact that Dracula Origin is mentally challenging may appeal to some and, on a positive note, there is plenty of variety in the type of puzzles you encounter, including cracking combination locks, deciphering hieroglyphs and solving puzzles that require you to use your inventory to craft objects, such as using the thread, measuring tape and wooden spoon to conjure up measuring instrument. (You’ll thank me for that spoiler).

The inventory and the combining of objects is made simple thanks to the refined interface, which helpfully eliminates the need for pixel-hunting for objects thanks to clear indicators on-screen that single out the items that you can interact with.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

There’s also a deep back-story, which you can lose yourself in if you access your journal and spend time reading through newspaper cuttings and the like. Helpfully, past conversations are also recorded so you can access your notes at any time, which you’ll occasionally need to in order to unlock clues.

In terms of attention to detail and the expertise that has gone into creating this vampire-themed world, you can’t fault Dracula Origin. In fact there’s over 40 characters to interact with and some visually arresting locations ranging from Egypt to Vienna. The real problem though lies in the accessibility of its puzzles.

Dracula Origin sends out a mixed message. It looks like a modern day point-and-click adventure with detailed graphics and excellent score, but it lacks cohesion and new ideas in terms of gameplay; it just doesn’t push forward the genre in any way.

Still, if you enjoy testing your brain to the limit, you may still take pleasure in its complex puzzles and anyone with a love of Bram Stoker’s work is sure to enjoy the Gothic tale. Just make sure you have a walkthrough handy.

Looks good
Sounds good
Interesting story
Smooth interface

Puzzles are way to hard

The engaging story and distinct atmosphere are hampered by the difficulty of the puzzles.

HEXUS Awards

Dracula Origin – PC (6/10)

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