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If the universe of The Longest Journey, which includes Dreamfall, were female, I would be attempting to buy it drinks with a view to later marrying it and having crazy universe/human children wandering the worlds like a… like the start of an interesting scifi/fantasy plot, as it happens.

Dreamfall:The Longest Journey is a scifi/fantasy adventure game and a sequel to 1999’s The Longest Journey, which had no such supertitle. The game is absolutely beautiful, the dialogue is mostly very good, the adventure bit of the game is awesome and the runny/hidey/fighty bits of the game are… mercifully short. Apart from the cave bit in Chapter Five, which required you to solve puzzles whilst running and hiding from patrolling bad guys and causing a fight you couldn’t win if they spotted you. That’s the reason it’s taken me over a year to complete the game.

The end of The Longest Journey was nice. It finished the story arc, but didn’t tie everything up into a little bow and present it to you. There were other stories to be told in the world, and it left loads of room to tell them. This meant that the six year gap between games was annoying – because I wanted to see more of the universe – but not irritating.

The end of Dreamfall? Isn’t. Having started a dozen plot threads it only actually finishes two and then starts another in the pre-credits sequence and then another in the post-credits sequence. I can wait five years for a new story in an interesting universe, but five years and another £30 to see the end of the story I’ve just finished? That’s annoying and irritating. The important and really vital thing about trilogies is that the second part is hard, because you’ve got to complete enough to make it feel like a whole, but leave enough open to make it feel like a part, and it’s this second that I feel that Dreamfall doesn’t work very well with.

I hope that they get better, because they recently announced that the ending of these stories is going to be released episodically (as Dreamfall:Chapters), which means we’ve got another dozen or so mini-cliff-hangers to live with, assuming that they all get made (Although the only large episodic series to really work so far – IMO, and not counting Half-Life Episodes until they get around to releasing them – has been Sam and Max, another adventure series).

Also, if you’re going to put your players in narrative limbo, you should at least tell them how long for, instead of:

What’s our window for release?
It’s a big and open window. With white curtains. And it’s on the other side of the room from where we’re sitting. I think I can see a beach through it.
Wait. Wait, is that… Is that blood?
(Happy now?)


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