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DREAMFALL - THE LONGEST JOURNEY
DREAMFALL - THE LONGEST JOURNEY REVIEW
Date Played May 2011

Long ago, in order to prevent humanity from destroying itself, the earth was divided into two worlds called Stark and Arcadia. One relies on science and the other on magic.

The backdrop of the story begins in Stark where ten years previously the earth experienced something catastrophic, which they called "the collapse". But recovery was swift and soon people were back to their everyday business and thriving again. No one can quite remember exactly what had occurred, although they can remember its devastating effects. The upheaval it caused led to the establishment of a world "Syndicate" and its law-enforcement agency called the "EYE".

The "Wire" is a wireless network that links every device on earth from mobile phones, to screens, to toys, to consoles, to cars and even to fridges and is a constant invasion of privacy. For several weeks the world has been experiencing a mysterious and dangerous interference in this network and the media has dubbed it "The Static"


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Zoe Castillo is a young lady who has lost all passion for living and doesn't know why. As a result, she has left school, moved back to Casablanca to live with her father, is unemployed and has broken up with her boyfriend Reza, although they remain good friends. She has no purpose in her life, but is helpless to break out of this depression even though she is tired of feeling this way. Two things are about to happen that will change her life; she starts to receive odd visions and messages on the screens that urge her to save someone called April Ryan, and Reza, who is a reporter, asks her to pick up a secret package for him. Upon delivering this to his apartment, she discovers a dead body and Reza seems to have dropped out of sight. The EYE arrests Zoe, but after a night of interrogation, she is released with stern warnings not to leave town. However, now very worried and apparently involved in something she is completely in the dark about, she sets out to find her missing friend.

Ten years previously, April Ryan discovered the other world of Arcadia and her unique ability to travel between the two as a Shifter. (That game is called The Longest Journey) At that time, she embarked on a dangerous journey that saved the ancient balance between the two worlds, but now something threatens this stability again. After her adventure, she stayed on in the city of Marcuria, which was being threatened by a barbaric horde called the Tyren. Salvation arrived from the mysterious Azadi Kingdom, but after the Tyren were defeated, the Azadi armies remained as overseers. Their beliefs call for the eradication of magic and their converts are growing steadily, but there remains a group of rebels who oppose their influence and April is one of them.

Kian is an Azadi soldier and apostle to their Goddess. He serves the "Six" spreading the "Word" to unbelievers and heretics with the edge of his sword. Now he is being sent on a journey that will challenge his beliefs.

At various points in the game, you will play each of these three characters, but most of the story is centered on Zoe. In her quest to find Reza and uncover the mystery of April Ryan, all of these parts will eventually come together and expose a dangerous plot that once more threatens both worlds.

If you were to take Syberia plus the Tomb Raider games of the Dreamfall era, you would come up with this game. It's very much like Syberia minus the point and click controls. The story is centered on a heroine who needs to find herself. The mechanics are similar also in the sense that transition between areas of a map require loading, although these are accomplished much more smoothly and quickly than in Syberia. Like Tomb Raider, it makes use of some puzzles plus some physical elements like climbing heights and ladders and jumping to ledges.

Movement has two options through the Mouse Mode, which enables you to control either the character or the camera with the mouse. However, using it to control the character messes up the combat keys and toggling can only be done in the menu. In fact, the controls in this game are just downright awful, but since combat situations are few as well as being a joke, you just have to stumble through it. The dialogues are also way too long and often have you sitting out doing nothing but watching a movie for much of the time. To be quite frank, there are a lot of boring moments without game interaction. It was not a game that had me so interested that I couldn't wait to get back to it.

On the plus side, it has manual save, the graphics are very acceptable and the story quite fleshed out and interesting enough. However, the ending is completely unsatisfactory leaving all kinds of loose ends. One surmises that this was to lay the groundwork for a sequel, which years later hasn't materialized. (see development note) As a gaming experience, I would say this game is just average and nothing much to write home about. Just so you know, however, there are people who love this game, but I suspect it's the story that intriques and not the mechanics. If Dreamfall was a movie, it would be pretty good, but as an interactive game, it has decided weaknesses.

Game Issues Experienced
Don't confuse this with the game "The Longest Journey". Some sites did have the patches for both games listed together. The US patch #1 apparently removes Starforce on the non North American DVD as well, which is the culprit that makes this impossible to run on Windows 7. Gamershell or Game Watcher. However, I cannot personally vouch for this patch as I haven't tried to play my DVD version on Windows 7. Conversely, you could download a copy from Steam or Gog without the problem.

Using the mouse to control the character movements breaks the combat keys. In the menu, you need to switch the mouse back to camera mode before the combat scene starts
Development Note
This sequel to The Longest Journey takes place 10 years after the events of that game. The developers, Funcom, did not consider this a direct sequel, even though it takes place in the same universe, and therefore created a different main character. April Ryan does make an appearance, however and there are now plans for a game called The Longest Journey Home, which will return to the 2D point and click format and feature April Ryan.

The direct sequel to this game is Dreamfall Chapters, a game that is currently (2015) in the process of being released in episodic format but developed by Red Thread Games under license from Funcom. Chapters was funded through Kickstarter, however development has been slow going and as of May 2016, owners are still waiting for the final episode to be released.
Visit Basics for an overview on what every PC gamer should know for their own protection. Install deals on how to install your games and mods, Tech Talk explains the fundamentals of system requirements, and Features lists more games on review. GameClients gives a short bio on the most trusted distributors and their DRM status for purchasing and downloading games, and Home has a short commentary and a sneak preview of the next review.
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DOWNLOAD DREAMFALL - THE LONGEST JOURNEY NOW
Many digital distributors also offer "Online" CD keys that can be added to your Steam Library
Other games in series:  The Longest Journey,
Dreamfall Chapters
GAME INFORMATION
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer(s): Funcom
  • Publisher(s): Aspyr Media, Micro Application, Empire Interactive
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox
  • Release: Apr 2006
  • Mode(s): Single-player
  • Media: Download, CD, DVD
  • DLC Available: No.
  • OS: Windows XP (SP2)
  • CPU: Pentium 4, 1.6 GHz, AMD Semprom 2800+
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • Hard Drive: 7 GB free space
  • Video: 128 MB 3D DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • Shader Model:
  • Input; Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM: Non North American version DVD has Starforce (see issues)
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Official Modding Tools
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To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
  • Version: 1.0 CD
  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • CPU: Athlon 64x2 4200+ 2200MHz
  • Ram: 4GB
  • Disk Drive: DVD/CD
  • Video: ATI Radeon 4830
  • Shader Model: 4.1
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Input: Keyboard & Mouse
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