Dreamfall Chapters Book 2: Rebels - Review
Dreamfall Chapters Book 2: Rebels - Review
I look forward to seeing how this story ends; but this episode felt as though there were too much positioning and not enough fun.
Posted: 04/11/15 | Category: Review | Developer: Red Thread Games | Publisher: Red Thread Games | Platform: Linux, Windows, Mac

Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure
Release date: March 10, 2015

Note: This review contains minor Book 1 spoilers.

The second book of Dreamfall Chapters is out, subtitled Rebels.  It continues the stories of Zoe Castillo and Kian Alvane, and the parallel worlds of Stark and Arcadia.  Red Thread Games has called this the longest book in the Dreamfall Chapters saga.  Let’s see how they did.

The Story So Far

Zoe Castillo, our heroine, has suffered from amnesia since first using a dream machine. She is living her life in the industrial world of Europolis, although without purpose and in a state of uncertainty. In the world of Stark, dream machines have proliferated and many are addicted. This seems to be getting worse. Book 2 doesn't move along Zoe’s story that much, although she does have time to explore Europolis. I feel as though her side of the story is about putting pieces in place for something to happen in the future books. 

Europolis is a large city, and I spent much of Book 1 learning its layout. Unfortunately, so much time had passed between Book 1 and Book 2 that I had to re-learn how to navigate. Things were made worse by police shutting down roads; cutting off paths I thought I remembered.

Kian Alvane is our Arcadian hero. At the end of Book 1 he was rescued from prison by the Rebels. He now works for them in a tense relationship. His story is the more interesting one in Book 2; and we get to explore the city of Marcuria. One thing I love about The Longest Journey  is the balance between the industrial world of Stark and the fantasy world of Arcadia. Unfortunately, Arcadia is looking as bleak as Stark does. It is beautiful in a grunge song kind of way, but not like a meadow on a summer’s day.

Thoughts on the Game

While I was enthralled and cautiously optimistic about Book 1, I failed to reach an emotional connection with Book 2. I felt as though I were running through the paces without actually caring about the story. There are a few things that Red Thread Games could do to help us out.

All saved games are done automatically. Because choices matter and affect gameplay, the start of Book 2 should have come with a recap of choices made in Book 1. However, it didn't. I also had two ongoing saved games, but the game didn't automatically save at the end of Book 1. So, when I went back to Book 2 for a second playthrough with a different set of choices, I had to replay the end of Book 1. That was frustrating. I wish the save games were split to different ‘users’ similar to what Telltale offers. Then I'd just load the game from playthrough 1 and continue, or load the game from playthrough 2 and continue. I shouldn’t have to guess.

The puzzles are consistent with what we see in Book 1 and often consist of talking to people or using inventory items. Two of the puzzles stumped me -- one for each character -- but only one should have. I’m losing my touch.

Final Thoughts

I look forward to seeing how this story ends, but this episode feels as though there's too much positioning and not enough fun.  I bet this will make a great game to play from front to back, but playing in quasi-chapters is harming the momentum.  In standard Dreamfall fashion, I expect the future books to be quicker and more intense, leading up to an awesome ending.  [Hopefully without too many cliff hangers]

Grade: C+
You get to explore more of Arcadia
A good mix of different puzzle types keeps the game interesting
Saved game system not conducive to playing with different choices at different points
The length of time between episode releases disconnects the player from the emotional response to the stories
System Requirements
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Core 2 Duo 2Ghz or equivalent
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: Yes
OS: Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher
Processor: Core 2 Duo 2 GHz or equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: Yes 
Specials from Digital Download
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