The Undreaming Is Unchained

Dreamfall: The Longest Rant

I always feel that there is a sad moment when you have just completed a good game. It happens right when the credits have ended and you are returned to the title screen and everything is as it has always been. Nothing new, nothing different, just the knowledge that it is over and there is nothing more to do.

In Dreamfall this is made all the worse by the fact that the brilliant story you have just lived through is nowhere near finished and you have no way of knowing if it ever will. There are so many unanswered questions that it is almost criminal. In many games this would have been mitigated by the fact that it is a game and story is just one part of it, but in dreamfall the story is the game. Actual gameplay is mediocre at best and if you removed all the dialogue the game wouldn’t last five hours. Not that that would matter much, since I doubt anyone would actually play is that long without the incentive of finding out what happens next.

But the story really is good. The twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia are so well defined and full of interesting details that you want to see more. They also feels so much bigger than what is presented in the game, which adds to the believability of the fiction. Add to that a large cast of interesting, funny and well acted characters and you have the foundation of something great. The animation however is not that great (as an animator I have to mention this) which is a shame. It takes a lot away from the lengthy pieces of dialogue that they are bacically delivered by a character standing straight up and flapping her mouth (and no funny anime jokes here, please).

I don’t think you need to play The Longest Journey to play Dreamfall. I have only completed the first half of TLJ (ironically, the story of why I havent gotten any further is very long indeed), but I had no problem following Dreamfall. You will, however, get the ending of TLJ spoiled and there are quite a lot of recurring characters, so I really recommend playing that first if you have the chance. Also, it is fun to see old aquaintences again and what has happened to them which is another bonus to playing the games chronologically.

As you can probably tell I like this game a lot. It is far from perfect but it is the first game in a while I have botheed completing and at quite a low framerate at that. I am a bit sad that it ends where it does, but all will be forgiven if they release the next chapter of The Longest Journey. I need to know if April is…!