What is Dreamfall Chapters?
Dreamfall Chapters is the next instalment in the The Longest Journey/Dreamfall saga, picking up where the latter left off, almost a decade later. A point-and-click adventure game, where you spend your time exploring, investigating and solving puzzles, the game's narrative chops and changes between the three main characters - an amnesiac lady from futuristic Europe, a burly assassin from a medieval fantasy realm, and a magical baby. With each having a more intertwining story than it first appears, it's up to you try to get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding each one, against a backdrop of political unrest, strange goings on and an unusual dream world that exists in the space between two worlds.
How do you play Dreamfall Chapters?
A point-and-click adventure at its heart, Dreamfall Chapters is very much about exploration, experimentation and puzzle solving. Talking to the game's many characters, you'll uncover useful bits of information and key plot points, while the game's many puzzles will require some clever usage of items. Whether you're destroying a monster under the bed with a torch, picking locks in a prison with an arrow, or playing off two competing merchants to haggle down the price on a bottle of wine, being clever with your surroundings is the key.
At certain points in the game, you'll be faced with an important choice to make - one that will affect your standing with other characters, alter the course of the story or decide whether someone lives or dies. To make things even more interesting, often, there isn't a real "right" answer, with even the most mundane of decisions, such as whether you bought your boyfriend sausages or soup for dinner, having surprisingly far-reaching consequences.
How easy is Dreamfall Chapters to pick up and play?
As with most games of its ilk, Dreamfall Chapters is hard in a bit of a different way to your traditional quick-fire shooter or precision platformer - instead, its difficulty lies in figuring out the many puzzles along the way. Generally requiring a bit of a specific way of thinking and a different type of logic, this is a game that'll present you with nothing more than a pillow, a broom and a locked door, and expect you to know what to do next (the answer is stick the pillow on the broom handle, dangle the pillow out the window and get the guards to shoot a few arrows at it; then you can use said arrows to pick the lock). While you can solve most puzzles through persistence and experimentation alone, it does give the game something of a steep learning curve, only in a mental, rather than a physical/reaction based way - especially as there's no hint system to help you out along the way.
While much of the game is fully voiced, requiring little in the way of actual reading, there are a few segments, mission prompts and documents that are solely text-based, making it harder to fumble through as a non-reader. As such, it's probably best to leave this one to the more confident readers.
- "Drop Reza's lunch off at The Hand That Feeds, down by the riverside."
- "Go to the Lea Uminska campaign headquarter right next to the synagogue in the souk to meet up with Baruti Maphane."
- "Bot-to-bot interface"
Set in a troubled world in political turmoil, Dreamfall Chapters does veer into the mature at times, whether it's Zoe's diary entries alluding to a sex-filled holiday, a friend who embellishes everything they say with at least a dozen utterances of the word 'sh*t', or stabbing a dying guy with a knife to put him out of his misery, leaving him in a growing pool of blood. Another guy, a salty old rebel who breaks you out of prison, gets a bit more creative with his expletives, cursing the "Mo-jaal's unclean genitals" and "the Mo-jaal's bloated testes". Throughout the game, pretty much every swear word going crops up, and fairly frequently at that - on top of the usual sh*t, f*ck and p*ss, there's also b*llocks, sod off, arsehole, c*nt and buggered for a bit of variety too.
As for sexual content, you'll come across some relatively overt references and activities during your travels. In Europolis, a political rally poster is defaced to turn the politician's face into a relatively detailed drawing of female genetalia, complete with a subtle subtitle that reads 'clit raider'. In the medieval streets of Arcadia, meanwhile, you'll find the odd couple going at it in an alleyway - fully clothed, but accompanied by some rather choice noises as the man presses the woman up against the wall, thrusting away and totally oblivious to your presence.
Finally, one of the main scourges of Zoe's present day is something known as 'Dreamachine' abuse, in which users effectively lull themselves into a drugged up state, and you can find many an abusers lolling in the gutter completely off their head.