Preview of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
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UK Boxshot of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
US Boxshot of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
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UK RELEASE: 28-Apr-2006 (Released)  | NORDIC RELEASE: 28-Apr-2006 (Released) |  US RELEASE: 17-Apr-2006 (Released)
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  Preview of: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey | By: Justin Fenico
13 May-2004
 

Still nearly one and a half years away from being completed, and only eight months of production under its belt, Dreamfall has already managed to capture my eyes and stir my imagination. A sequel from the widely successful title, The Longest Journey, Funcom aims to stay in the same world as TLJ. As for now they are keeping a tight lid on the storyline.

  PREVIEW  
The only information being divulged right now is about the characters. In Dreamfall you will have three characters to play with during the game. When, however, is still unknown.

Zoey, our main character, is a black hair, brown eyed, 20 year old college drop out. Sheís not exactly happy with the way things are going on in life and isnít really sure of what she wants for her future. We also have April, heroin of The Longest Journey, who has a bit of a darker look this time around. What part she plays in Dreamfall is still unknown. Finally there is Kian, a dark, broody character who plays the role of a warrior. How these characters and their stories play out have yet to be seen but judging from the demo, Dreamfall is a game of ď3 Worlds, 3 StoriesÖĒ

The biggest difference from Dreamfall and TLJ is the change of pace. While TLJ was a point and click puzzle solver, Dreamfall aims to be an action/adventure, focusing on exploration and most importantly, telling a story that gamers will hopefully become emotionally involved. While Funcom is aware that the changes might scare some fans from TLJ, they feel itís necessary to evolve the gameplay in order to tell their story. The focus wonít be on one particular aspect of gameplay. Dreamfall will have some combat, though nothing too in depth or confusing. Fighting wonít always necessary in most cases. Zoey for example, will rely on stealth and her talent with speech to get out of certain situations. But Kian, on the other hand, might be able to fight his way through.

Right from the start of the demo I could tell exactly how emotionally powerful this game can be. The piano playing during the video was captivating as was it beautiful. Meeting with project manager Oivind Scharning and creative director, Ragnar Tornquist, I was told that Dreamfall will feature some excellent contemporary music as well as quality voice acting comparable to TLJ. They are even going the extra step to encode 7.1 surround sound to make the game sound as good as it looks; and thatís saying a lot. Dreamfall is using a brand new graphics engine touting some very impressive visual effects, texturing, and shadowing. The environments shown look breathtaking. Pebbled streets covered with snow, water shimmering lightly in a pond, even a simple candle flame waving back and forth ever so slightly are just a few examples of what to expect. Though lip synching and speech were absent in the demo, the character model of Zoey looks absolutely gorgeous. If itís an indication of what to expect, we are all in for one hell of a sight. With only eight months working with a brand new graphic engine, the look is impressive as well as captivating.

The bad news is that Dreamfall will be going back into the shadows until next E3. Funcom is putting a lot of talent, not to mention a lot of hype on this title. From what Iíve witnessed I canít wait to see more. Iíll go out on a limb here and say Dreamfall will be my nomination for best graphics, sound, and story for 2005. Weíll just have to wait and see if Iím right.
 
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Click to enlarge this screenshot of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC)
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