Dreamfall Chapters Book 5: Redux Review
Dreamfall Chapters Book 5: Redux Review
This is a fitting conclusion to the saga, but I still want more.
Posted: 06/24/16 | Category: Review | Developer: Red Thread Games | Publisher: Red Thread Games | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Release date: June 17, 2016

I just finished the last episode of Dreamfall Chapters.  The final episode was marketed, subtly, as the conclusion to The Longest Journey Saga. Does this mean there'll be no more games in The Longest Journey saga? I hope not. But before we think on the future, let’s focus on the present. How'd they do? I enjoyed myself!

The Story
 

At the end of Book 4, Zoe wakes up from her coma. This was the game's big WTF moment. It made for a great cliffhanger ending. Was Zoe’s story a dream?  At the time we didn’t know. Kian was at a prison camp. He had infiltrated the tower and subdued the Administrator. The game ends as General Hami enters the room.

This game is primarily split into two stories, one focused on Zoe and one on Kian  Kian and Hami join forces in an attempt to stop the machine from being turned on and save the magicals. Zoe deals with the ramifications of waking up from her coma. These two threads are intertwined despite never explicitly crossing.

The Production Values
 

Since this is an episodic game, I’m not sure what to say about Book Five that hasn’t been said about the first four Books. I prefer the game graphics when they're bright and vibrant; not when they're dark and in the shadows. This episode spends more time in the shadows, but both work.

In The Longest Journey series, the further you get into the game, the less interactivity you have. Story becomes more important than cut scenes. This was true for The Longest Journey and it was true for Dreamfall. I think one benefit of Dreamfall Chapter’s episodic nature is that they had to force some interactivity in this Book to avoid it being one constant cut scene. The puzzles here feel really good—except for one pixel-hunt in the beginning. Despite that, this Book has a lot of cut scenes. Once you finish the game, I think there are more endings than Star Wars Phantom Menance.

The game has choices sprinkled throughout all chapters, and those choices affect the game in different ways with character deaths and other subtle choices. These choices increase replay value and make the game more interesting. However, these are really just diversions with no effect on the final outcome.

The game world contains a rich mythology in a complex world. In The Longest Journey a lot of this was unveiled during expository dialog. Dreamfall Chapters doesn't load up the game with lots of world-explaining exposition. As such, I felt like I was only grokking half the story. I had a sense of detachment to the characters, their motivations and the world in general. I was going through the motions to finish the story, but had not become emotionally vested.

The game provides plenty of fan service. It wraps up some of the big mysteries of the series, providing nods to everything from Lady Alvane’s appearance in The Longest Journey, to whom Faith was in Dreamfall Chapters. It even solves the mystery of Brian Westhouse, the Stark resident who ended up in Arcadia.

I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the social nature of the game. Some of the current political issues were brute-forced into the narrative, such as Kian’s sexuality and Mira’s poor treatment of Wit. I personally didn’t mind these aspects of the game.

Final Thoughts
 

I enjoyed the trip, especially the fan service parts which made me squeal a bit. I haven't had a chance to play all Dreamfall Chapters Books back to back; but I hope to soon. I think playing the game as one entity would minimize the detachment I feel about the world and characters. This is a fitting conclusion to the saga, but I still want more.

 
Fantastic Visuals
Lots of Fan Service
 
Too many cut scenes, with none of the cinematic artistry present in earlier games.
 
 Logo
 
 
Trailer:
 
 
System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
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
 
MINIMUM Mac:
OS: Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher
Processor: Core 2 Duo 2Ghz or equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
Sound Card: Yes
 
Specials from Digital Download
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