Despite the wait, Red Thread Games and Deep Silver’s console port of Dreamfall Chapters is definitely worth it. The game functions pretty well on PS4, though occasionally the handling of the gamepad controls are a bit off, but it’s relatively easy to figure out how to do things. Anyone who didn’t play The Longest Journey or hasn’t played it in years like myself, well, make yourself familiar with that recap video Red Thread gave us a short time ago. Because Dreamfall Chapters doesn’t waste any time recapping things. Sure, you can check your character log and pick up pieces of background from the opening sequences, but it’s definitely helpful to have some more of that backstory detailed. Even if you did play The Longest Journey, well, this is a pretty detail-oriented series, so getting a refresher isn’t a bad idea.
And I’m not giving that advice lightly. Dreamfall Chapters is merciless in the way it handles the transition. Part of that comes down to the fact that, well, this is just a port. The development team probably didn’t expect that we’d have such a gap between games on console, so never bothered with any of that usual dithering. And the story you get out of Dreamfall Chapters is definitely worth any research or head-scratching you have to do.
Without spoiling too much, you first catch up to Zoë Castillo while she’s trapped in the dream world. Your first task is to go and figure out what exactly is happening, and you travel through the dreams of others hooked up to the dream machines, helping to banish their nightmares. When you catch up with The Vagabond, your pseudo mentor in this weird dream walking adventure, he knows little more than you do, but he does tell you that you have to go back. And that’s your biggest challenge – waking yourself up.
Once you figure that out, it’s time to meet up with our other protagonist in Dreamfall Chapters, Kian Alvane, who is chilling out in prison.
The controls are a bit strange, they were obviously built with keyboard and mouse in mind. So a lot of it is clicking on things, then selecting which action to take, and then bringing up your quick inventory. So you really don’t end up using a whole lot of the gamepad for any of this. And that’s alright. Dreamfall Chapters isn’t about combat, racing, flying, or anything that would require super slick controls. It’s about puzzle solving, adventure, and one hell of a story.
Perhaps the largest obstacle with this port is the image quality. It’s pretty damn obvious that Dreamfall Chapters is a port from a game that came out years ago. In fact, it looks a bit older than even 2014’s standards. Things are, well, not particularly smooth. If you want to talk horrible facial animations, well, the ones in Dreamfall are pretty much the most wooden things I’ve seen in years.
I didn’t have a lot of trouble with that, because I’ve got more than enough interest in a good story to keep me going despite all that. But it might be a deterrent for some and that’s more than fair.
If you can get past the strange controls, the bad facial animations, and the overall graphics quality, well. You’re in for a hell of a ride. This is definitely one for the story fans out there and it’s definitely high on the list of any player who prefers console and loved The Longest Journey. So if you were upset about waiting until May for Dreamfall Chapters, you’ll be pretty pleased with what you’ve got. After all, who wouldn’t want to know the story behind these fascinating screenshots?
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