Dreamfall Chapters will look familiar to those who have played the Journey games, but may take some getting used to for newcomers. If you’re into this genre of gaming, go for it, but it may be more difficult for others to grasp.
Dreamfall Chapters is the third game in its series, and has been available for a while in single episodes, but is now finally out on disc on PS4 and XBO.
The game involves a number of overlapping stories over five chapters, focusing on protagonists Zoe and Kian, and taking place between the worlds of Stark and Arcadia. You must wander through the not-quite-open worlds, solve puzzles and chat to the locals to unravel a dream conspiracy. If it sounds a bit left-of-centre, it kinda is, but that only adds to the intrigue.
You control your character from an over-the-shoulder perspective, while items of interest are highlighted in your path. The game's cutscenes are all in-engine, which is nice, but can hinder load times in a few places (though not enough to make you want to throw your console out the window), and the upgrade to the new game engine is a noticeable improvement.
Dreamfall Chapters' appeal lies in its encouraged exploration; though it is mostly a ‘point and click’ adventure, there are hidden gems in the darkness for those willing to stray off the beaten path.
Additionally, the choice mechanic when in conversations is an interesting one – you’re given the opportunity to see how other players have chosen, which if it doesn’t influence your choice in turn, is an interesting addition nonetheless.
Being as geared towards older fans as it is, there is very little hand-holding, which is either amazing or awful – depending how you look at it. If you know what you’re doing, it’s great, but for newcomers it can be a bit daunting, and can take a while to grasp what's even going on in the first place.
As much as it is targeted towards veteran fans, most will find some form of enjoyment in Dreamfall Chapters, with its picturesque art and enthralling story making for quite the game, and one that will have probably slipped under most people’s radars.