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Before You Play: DREAMFALL CHAPTERS

Before You Play: DREAMFALL CHAPTERS

What’s up boys and girls, this is your GamerGirl Jessi. Welcome to Before You Play.


If you want to play a game but not sure if it’s worth playing or if you want to buy a game but you’re not sure if it’s worth your money or if you want to download it but you’re not sure if it’s worth your storage space, or if you would even like it at all. No worries, I am here for you. I will be discussing a game in separate categories from story to graphics and sound to controls, and fight system, etc.


At the end of the video, you can therefore decide whether you want the game or not want the game. Simple. Let’s get started.


This is Before You Play "Dreamfall Chapters"

Summary.

What is the game about?


Shorter version, you will play as both Zoe Castillo and Kian Alvane, both of which has a role in saving the world.


Longer version, the game is a story-driven adventure surrounded by choices of consequences wherein you will play as both Zoe Castillo and Kian Alvane, living in two parallel worlds of cyberpunk-themed city and a medieval-fantasy town. Your choices will make an impact to the story, as to who lives or who dies, you get the idea.


The core mechanic of the game is to make the correct choices to save the world. Each choice or actions may or may not trigger a way to influence your decisions. I would say this is a choices matter kind of game but I am not certain that there are multiple endings as of yet. I am only aware that there are multiple paths to take but not multiple endings. I haven’t replayed the game yet.


Genre.

This game is a story-rich adventure played in singleplayer mode. They also have an atmospheric vibe with matching great soundtrack in both a fantasy and futuristic sci-fi cyberpunk world. This is played in third person point of view with a total of five episodes containing exploration, walking simulator and point-and-click features.


There is action in the genre but it does not feel as action as it does when you play Witcher or any RPG games. It is more of you can direct characters to perform actions and such through the choices you make. It counts as a walking simulator since there is a lot of time where you just well, do walk as it is tandem with the atmospheric theme. This has a female protagonist despite that you can also play as male character.


Story.

Is it clear who you are playing as and what your role is?

I will try not to add spoilers in this part of the video for your sake. I would say it is pretty clear WHO you are playing as but as to WHAT your role is in this story, then that part is not certain. For spoiler reasons, I will not mention why, I just figured I’d tell you that it is possible to be confused what your goal really is.


Zoe Castillo lives in a cyberpunk city. Her occupation in the city would depend entirely on your choices in the first part, but the one I got is working under Mira in Pandemonium. She also helps Baruti with the political campaign of Lea Uminska. We should be able to understand some of the things that Zoe is saying, the backstories and all that if we are familiar with the second game where she first debuted.


Kian Alvane, this one I did not catch on fast. He is an “Apostle”, whatever that does and he is an Azadi.


According to the dialogues and cutscenes, WARNING, please be aware that there might be spoilers ahead. I will try not to spoil the story, but the next couple of sentences will be spoiler on Kian’s side of the story and his role to the game.

Similar to Zoe, we cannot relate to the fill-in-the-blank moments and dialogues between characters. In my first gameplay it would all seem like it is part of the backstory. Which I will talk about in detail in the later part of this video. Going back, Kian seems to be a bad person in the past and yet for some reason, the rebels thought it was a good idea to break him out of prison and become their hope of freedom. Warning End.


If you noticed how different their worlds are, then you would be surprised how the writers made it possible to give sense to the plot twist of this game, which I will not talk about here.


Are the characters customizable?

No. But their appearance and clothing changes when you advance to a next chapter or book. It’s part of the story.


Do you play as a character in the story like Joel from the Last of Us or just a player inserted into the story like Far Cry where you are called Deputy?

You play as the very important characters of the story.


Do they have a qualified reason of motive?

For Zoe, yes. I understand her side of the story but for Kian, not so much. I honestly ranted a lot when I played his part the first time or so.


How interesting, dull or lovable were they written?

I am not playing favorites and I would probably discuss more in the later part of the video to separate spoiler discussion, but I would say Zoe was written okay. She was not very interesting but I accept her storyline more than I did Kian. There are however side characters that I learned to love along the way like the talky Zhidling Enu or how the friendship of Kian and Likho has been a nice touch in the game, then there was Nela and Mira—they are quite full of foul words, but you’ll see why I love them. I did not like all of the characters and some of them did not even leave an impact for me to remember their name and some of them just did not make sense.


Dialogue.

Ah yes, good we have this part. Is there cussing in this game or is it safe for kids? Yes. Yes. There is a ga-dozen-ton of cussing in this game. There are characters who would cuss a lot that in their single sentence they have at least four to six cuss words in it. From English to foreign words, they have it. This is a warning. The script is not made for kids.


Voice Acting.

This part I will do my best not to rant.


How is the Lip-sync?

While the lip-sync of this game is not perfect and don’t get me started with the hand gestures and body movements, I would say that the VAs did their fair share of effort to bring their characters to life. Each character has a memorable accent that I can’t name, and I love it!


Back to voice acting. Zoe’s voice is really unique, and I think I discussed this in my Voice Acting Journal video. For Kian’s though, he is the one who has it really bad. It’s like he is trying to sound like Batman but failed miserably. Much like how the developers are trying to make Geralt sound like another-mysterious-hero-or-character-who-isn’t-Batman but ended up making things worse. That’s the kind of vibe Kian gives me whenever I hear him. It is just so bad that it did not help his character’s case.


I think Likho and even Enu’s VA did better than Kian. And let’s not get started with Crow, he is by far one of my favorite characters in this game.


As long as you don’t judge by the lip-sync, then this game is all good in that area. Because the lip-sync does NOT sync at all.


Character Design.

Like mentioned before, there is no way for you to customize your characters in this game. Zoe will be wearing her usual clothes as she runs around the city. The only time their clothes and hairstyle will change will depend per book. I have to say, I love the design done for Zoe. Her hair and her clothing is just my type of outfit I would draw for my characters. Kian is shirtless a lot in the beginning. No, I did not fangirl over that but I thought it is something worth mentioning. There are humans and other races in Kian’s world, so we will see Dolmaris and Zhidlings and you can distinguish the differences per race and even expand on the lore of the different races.


Objectives.

How clear is the objective of the mission/quest?

Like I said before, this is a mix of walking simulator and point & click kind of game. The missions will depend on puzzles and a lot of walking here and chasing there, stealth missions and figuring out chronological-order puzzles and mixing. So yes the objective is VERY clear. There are just some missions that are difficult but not impossible.


Side Quests.

Are there side quest in the game?

Since this is a choices matter game, your choices really matter. Just like Beyond Two Souls, the game will not teach you or remind you to do this or that. It is up to you to remember from previous dialogue or make sense of the scenario.


Here is a bonus and also a SPOILER.

You have a mission to tamper with the pipes in town and you steal the tool for that. You have the choice to return the tool in time or keep it with you as you go on with the mission. There are no pop-ups reminding you or telling you what to do, this is your choice and in some cases, this would even count as a Steam achievement. SPOILER END.



Pacing.

How is the pacing of the game?

Just about right. The only thing making things slow is because you are walking a lot going here and there. And getting lost in the map, etc. But that’s all part of the game experience.


Ending.

How is the ending of the game?

I’d say I am both shocked and satisfied at the ending. The plot twist was good and the only thing I did not like is that some things just did not make any sense but ignoring those flaws will make this game really good.


Does it have multiple endings? SPOILER ALERT.

I’ve unlocked 2 endings.

First is what I’d like to call a journey-cut-short ending. Just like Far Cry 5’s secret ending, when I (as Kian) am instructed to leave the cell to help the rebels, I did not walk out. I ranted why it’s my choice not to and then all of the sudden, I unlocked it! An achievement and that the story ends with letting the world burn to the ground and the credits roll. Shocker. And the second ending is when I finished the game.


There is another branch to take though. Just like Witcher 2 that makes you choose to take the path with Iorveth or Vernon. This time you have the choice to choose what Zoe’s career would be. I don’t know how that makes a difference to the ending, but I am sure the game experience would be different in Zoe’s scenes.


Controls.

Is it difficult to use the controls? No. It’s very simple. W A S D, E to interact and then the mouse button. The only thing that made this game difficult for me is the puzzles.


Atmosphere & Immersion.

Environment. How detailed is the background setting? Is it graphically nice?

This is an old game. So the graphics is not as good as the games we know now. But for me the graphics of this game is WAY better than the graphics of the first and second parts. You’ll know which objects are interactable and you’ll know which is just prop. The game provides you with a map to explore in, you are limited from entering the houses of course, the exploration option is more of just a way for you to enjoy the walking simulator part of the game but this is NOT really meant for exploration purposes.


Map.

How clear is the map to navigate to?

The map is in no way helpful for Zoe’s part. You need to find a bulletin-sort of post where you can ask a cowboy-tootin’ character for help, so the map is not something that you carry around with you unfortunately. For Kian’s part, you have a map and in a way it helps but in the long run, I don’t need the map because I already memorized the place. So no, I don’t recommend the use of the maps here. You need to find a way to get used to the place.


Lore.

Is there lore in the game? Is it worth unraveling?

The only thing worth unraveling is the connection between part 1, 2 and 3 (the one we are playing now). The story is clear as you go on and the mysteries are answered as you reach the end of the game.


How are the cutscenes?

The game’s cutscenes is one of the parts that I really love about this game. It’s like you are watching a movie for the most part. Some are short but most of the time the cutscenes are long, which I don’t mind.


Difficulty.

How difficult is it overall?

Some missions is something you have to discover on your own, use of common sense and enough patience. With that the game will be fun, without that then the game will be very difficult and you might get angry at some point but when you do figure it out, you might go all “oooh so that was it”.


Boss Fights.

Is it too much to handle?

Like I said before, there really is not much for you to rely on action. It’s point & click and a walking simulator. You have specific controls to do this and that, but it’s not like you have a health bar or elemental skills to fight. So I wouldn’t worry about the fight scenes, I am more worried of the missions you gotta do.


Price.

No unfortunately the game is NOT free to play. The game is $24.99 for the Final Cut Edition with all five episodes. When I purchased the game at a sale, there was NO final cut version and I have to buy the episodes separately (of course it’s a sale so I bought all of them at once).


And if you want all 3 parts of the game, which includes April Ryan’s journey and Zoe Castillo’s past, then it would be a total of $43.97 and that my friend already has a 20% discount.


I’d say the game is not worth the price now, so you better wait for the sale to come. If sale hits, I would recommend it if you are into this kind of game. This is a fun experience if you look away from it’s flaws.


Is there a demo?

No.


Is it episodic?

Yes. There are a total of 5 episodes in this game. For the sake of those who skipped, I will say it again. When I purchased the game at a sale, there was NO final cut version and I have to buy the episodes separately (of course it’s a sale so I bought all of them at once).


Sound.

How good is the soundtrack of the game?

As a lover of game soundtracks, I would say that this game has its pretty good tracks played at the right moments. For the most part I don’t think I noticed good tracks as you play. The good tracks is WITHIN the cutscenes so listen for them carefully.


Platform.

According to my research, this game is playable in Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I played this in Windows (Laptop) on Steam.


Others.

Are there bugs or glitches in the game?

Sadly, yes. Sometimes the characters you are looking for are supposed to be there but not there. But that is so far the only issue I’ve heard of it NEVER experienced it in my own gameplay experience. The solution was said to be to just close and start the game again.


Deleted Scenes.

In the game I bought, I was able to receive bonus content with concept art and 2 deleted scenes that you can play and even earn achievements when you play it. Which I think is great!


Gameplay Preview.

Full gameplay consist of 15 episodes + 1 for Deleted Scenes Gameplay.

Replayability.

Is it replayable? I think this is worth playing two times because there are two branches of game experience you can try. But more than that, I wouldn’t.



Or watch the video version!


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