Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Read reviews or write your own, rate a game.
User avatar
Phlebas
Hallowed Haunter
Hallowed Haunter
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:15 am
Zodiac: Taurus

Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Phlebas » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:18 pm

Here is the link to the Mystery Manor official review page:

http://mysterymanor.net/reviewdracula5.htm

Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy -- A review.

To recap:
ImageEllen Cross, art restorer with rare blood disease. Moderately intrepid. Protagonist.
ImageVambery, art collector, deceased.
ImageAdam Stoker, mysterious handsome guy with familiar-sounding surname.
ImageYanek, shady fez-wearing art dealer/forger.
ImageDracula, dark prince; vampire; dragon.

As you'll remember, Ellen has just stolen a case she believes contains a mysterious 18th (or was it 16th?) century portrait of Dracula. So we'll continue from there:

Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy is a mostly first-person adventure game continuing the story of Dracula 4: Shadow of the Dragon. We accompany Ellen Cross as she investigates the mysterious painting, undeterred by that corpse she found, and is inevitably caught up in a web of intrigue leading to Dracula himself. The game is well-presented - the voice acting isn't bad, the locations are nicely detailed and you can pan the view around freely. There's a good variety too, starting from the modern setting of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and ending - well, I'd better not say. But the atmosphere is effective and the sequence of environments parallels Ellen's emotional journey into darkness.

[take a blue pill and a red pill]

That emotional journey, however, presents a catch: we join her in the middle of it. If you have not played the previous game (as your humble reviewer has not), the effect is something like picking up a save point halfway through a game that someone else has been playing. You won't already know Ellen and while there are a few nice bits of character detail near the start (a conversation with her colleague springs to mind, balancing her instincts as an art restorer against her curiosity about the supernatural aspect) we don't really get a chance to get to know her before the plot takes over. Once that happens it's all sinister secret societies, ancient betrayals and hidden temples and while we learn more about the dark prince's character along the way there's less opportunity to know or care about our heroine.

[take a white pill, a red pill and a different red pill]

But maybe the puzzles will be enough to carry the game? That fancy-looking crate that Ellen stole looked interesting - no doubt we'll have fun getting it open.
Oh.
Apparently she's already opened it. Maybe that was in the other game.
There are some enjoyable puzzles along the way, though - the inventory puzzles tend to be straightforward (find a recipe, collect ingredients from around the room where you found the recipe, mix ingredients.), occasionally tediously so (I'll have to use my card to enter. I'll have to use my card to enter. I'll have to use my card to enter.) but there are some rather lovely mechanical tableaux to play with and appreciate. One or two puzzles involve colours; none involve sound unless answering a ringing phone counts.

[take two white pills]

There is also an ongoing puzzle involving choosing combinations of tablets to manage Ellen's rare blood condition, but sadly that too often feels more like a chore. The condition (conveyed effectively by short hallucinatory sequences, visual disturbances and creeping red edges spreading into the screen) mostly flares up at predetermined points, even if you've just dosed up. Ellen refuses to take any tablets unless she's feeling at least a little ill, so you'll have to try quite hard to get her to run out before the very end of the game. And if you do manage to run out - you'll be docked 50 points (yes, the game has a scoring system. And achievements. Do these things make the challenge more compelling, the story more intriguing, the characters more dramatically fascinating?) and then suddenly find you have more medication. The inconvenience and disorientation caused by Ellen's medical state are real to us; the threat not so much.

And then it's over.

So: Should you play this game? Will you enjoy it? Well, it's actually a decent half a game. It has some memorable moments and a proper ending. But I'm afraid it is half a game. If you have the series in your blood and have played (and ideally liked) the previous entry in the series then by all means go ahead - you'll know Ellen already and her story is, I think, an interesting one. If Microïds see fit to publish the two halves as a pack (or better yet splice the two into a single game, though I would guess that's unlikely) then it's probably worth a try. Otherwise?

THE END

Image
Image
Image
Last edited by Phlebas on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
draclvr
Monster-Slaying Administrator
Monster-Slaying Administrator
Posts: 13990
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:30 am
Zodiac: Virgo

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby draclvr » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:13 pm

Well done, Phlebas! Unfortunately even Draclvr is taking a pass on the last two Dracula games. This one sounds even more tedious than the first one. Did you feel that the game was "full-length?" I've heard a lot of complaints that people don't like paying full price for what seems like half of a game.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
User avatar
Rosaboobie
Dastardly Demon
Dastardly Demon
Posts: 9427
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:55 am
Zodiac: Cancer

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Rosaboobie » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:39 am

Great review, Phlebas.
Boobie
If people had hearts like dogs, the world would be a better place!
User avatar
Phlebas
Hallowed Haunter
Hallowed Haunter
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:15 am
Zodiac: Taurus

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Phlebas » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:39 am

Thanks, Drac and Boobie! Drac, the game certainly wasn't full length - both in length and content it felt like the second half of a game. My guess would be that the publisher needed something to release sooner than the full game could be completed so they chopped it in half.
If it helps, the previous game is currently available in a bundle for a dollar:
http://www.indiegala.com/
User avatar
LadyKestrel
Flighty Administrator
Flighty Administrator
Posts: 10350
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:40 pm
Zodiac: Aries

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby LadyKestrel » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:17 am

Excellent review, Phlebas! Thank you!
There's no such thing as too many books!
User avatar
Kickaha
Ghostmaster General
Ghostmaster General
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:07 am
Zodiac: Cancer

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Kickaha » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:06 pm

Thanks Phlebas! Not a review which makes me rush out and get the game!

(For some reason some of the different coloured text is not legible against the colour scheme I have.)
User avatar
draclvr
Monster-Slaying Administrator
Monster-Slaying Administrator
Posts: 13990
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:30 am
Zodiac: Virgo

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby draclvr » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:49 pm

I lovedd the changing colors and they showed up well on my skin which is the Blue Gray. Which one are you using, Kickaha?
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
User avatar
Kickaha
Ghostmaster General
Ghostmaster General
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:07 am
Zodiac: Cancer

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Kickaha » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:08 am

Prosilver Draclvr - the yellow is the biggest problem.
User avatar
Phlebas
Hallowed Haunter
Hallowed Haunter
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:15 am
Zodiac: Taurus

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Phlebas » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:59 am

Sorry about that, Kickaha! I use the default theme and based the starting colour on that - the darkest red gets harder to read but the rest was supposed to be legible - I'm afraid BBCode doesn't really allow for adjusting according to background colours. Highlighting the text should make it readable, at least.
User avatar
Kickaha
Ghostmaster General
Ghostmaster General
Posts: 1834
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:07 am
Zodiac: Cancer

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Kickaha » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:44 pm

Don't worry Phlebas - your idea was good just BBCode is limited as you said.
User avatar
Ghostlady
Mistress of the Manor
Mistress of the Manor
Posts: 7451
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 9:04 pm
Zodiac: Gemini

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Ghostlady » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:04 pm

Here is the link to the official Mystery Manor Review Page.

http://mysterymanor.net/reviewdracula5.htm
Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again...
User avatar
Rosaboobie
Dastardly Demon
Dastardly Demon
Posts: 9427
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:55 am
Zodiac: Cancer

Re: Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy review

Postby Rosaboobie » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:20 am

Thanks, GL :cool:
Boobie
If people had hearts like dogs, the world would be a better place!

Return to “Review or Rate Games”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest