Game Over Online ~ Dracula: Resurrection

GameOver Game Reviews - Dracula: Resurrection (c) DreamCatcher Games, Reviewed by - Clarence Worley

Game & Publisher Dracula: Resurrection (c) DreamCatcher Games
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 58%
Date Published Monday, July 24th, 2000 at 10:52 PM

Divider Left By: Clarence Worley Divider Right

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, adventure games dominated the PC market. Companies like Sierra and LucasArts flourished using the genre that provided gamers with hours of entertainment. Times have changed in the last decade though. As technology improved, the adventure genre has slowly faded out of the picture. Gamers look for more action, excitement and graphical marvels in their titles, leaving even the best adventure games, such as Grim Fandango, in the distance. There aren't many companies these days willing to bank on the genre. Canadian-based DreamCatcher Games is one of the few remaining publishers that are dedicated to releasing adventure games for the PC. Their latest incarnation is Dracula: Resurrection.

Dracula: Resurrection is based on, and carries forth, the story from the novel, Bram Stoker's Dracula. For those who don't recall or never read the novel, it ends as Jonathan Harkin, the main character, rescues and returns his fiancée to London after defeating Dracula. Dracula: Resurrection begins seven years later after Jonathan finds a letter written by his wife. She's decided to return to Transylvania, unable to ignore the call of her blood. As Jonathan Harkin, you must return to Dracula's castle and once again rescue Mina from uncertain danger.

When you jump into the world of Dracula: Resurrection, the first thing you'll notice is the incredible atmosphere portrayed via the use of jaw dropping visuals, haunting sound and spooky locales. The game is viewed like any other adventure title, in the third person. With the use of their Phoenix VR technology, you can rotate the camera around 360 degrees as you move your mouse and travel from one locale to another. You begin the game by traversing Transylvania, making your way through an abandoned mine and finally reaching the castle of Dracula himself. The environments for each of these treks are striking in terms of graphics, although many of the locales are extremely dark, which can cause nightmares when you're hunting for inventory items or solving some of the games' puzzles. There are several cut scenes placed throughout the game, particularly after you solve a puzzle, and represent one of the highlights of Dracula: Resurrection. The cut scenes are some of the best I've seen in an adventure game and are almost worth the price of admission in themselves.

Besides the eye-popping visuals, the sound also plays an important role in creating a creepy atmosphere. While the voice acting leaves little to be desired, the eerie music played throughout your quest makes up it. Toss in some well-placed sound effects and Dracula: Resurrection just oozes with atmosphere. If Dracula: Resurrection were a movie, I'd be more than content with the results at that point, however the game begins to show some faults when you actually get down to the gameplay.

One of the biggest drawbacks to Dracula: Resurrection, as mentioned earlier, is the fact that the level of darkness has been vastly overused. Many a time, I had difficulty actually finding objects and performing certain actions since I couldn't see certain portions of the screen. You'll find yourself adjusting your monitor's brightness in order to get past certain points in the game. You may also find yourself combing the screen with your mouse in a pixel hunt for certain objects. It's just that hard to see sometimes. That fault aside, the overall use of puzzles doesn't quite match the intensity of the visuals. While many puzzles are rewarding enough, there are also several repetitive tasks that need to be completed in order to advance. In some instances, common sense might tell you that you should be able to complete one task in a number of ways, but Dracula: Resurrection only allows a single solution to each puzzle.

In terms of the overall story, I thought Dracula: Resurrection lacked, well, vampires, let alone Dracula. The game is relatively void of the blood-sucking creatures and Dracula seems content with watching the action from the sidelines. When I reached the end of my quest, I didn't come away with a great feeling of accomplishment. I wanted more out of this game considering how good it looked and came across on the screen.

In terms of controls, Dracula: Resurrection is extremely easy to play with. You control your character, Jonathan, by using your mouse. Interacting with the environment and your inventory is done at the click of a mouse as well. Moving from locale to another is easy enough and the transition is a quick one, making it less tedious to backtrack when required. Adventure fans will certainly be familiar with the setup and those less experienced should have no trouble jumping into the fray.

In the end, the outer shell was visually incredible, but the creamy centre just wasn't creamy enough. Dracula: Resurrection isn't a poor adventure game by any means, but it does lack substance and variety when it really counts. Dracula: Resurrection is a light meal that looks much better in the picture than it does on your plate.


See the Game Over Online Rating System






Screen Shots

Back to Game Over Online