The Patient Gamer

Completed: Dracula Origin


Some games stand on exciting or interesting gameplay. Some games stand on cutting edge graphics and sound. Some stand on beautiful artwork. Some stand on writing and an intriguing plot. Dracula Origin stands on none of these, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it.

As a genre, point-and-click adventure games are susceptible to two big problems characterized by words that are not often used: illogicality and dullness.

Thankfully, Dracula Origin rarely struggles with the first one. These types of games can often require combinations of items or actions that seem completely arbitrary until you realize the final result. For instance, say you’re confronted with a locked door, and you have in your inventory a key, an axe, and a banana. Likely, you’d try the key first, only to be told it’s the wrong key. Then you’d try the axe in an effort to break the door in, only to be told that the door is too strong. If you’re lucky, you’d try the banana on the door so that your character would use the banana to lubricate the door hinges, or insert the banana into a special banana shaped slot in the door, or some other such nonsense. But more likely, you’d leave the room looking for another key until you got frustrated and looked up how to proceed in an online guide somewhere.

Outside of a couple of spots, Dracula Origin did a very good job of avoiding this issue. The puzzles were mostly logical, and where they were not the game provided some clues to help figure them out.

The second problem, however, was fully evident. Point-and-click adventure games are boring. They tend to be slow, cerebral games without a lot of action. They’re extremely dependent on good writing, voice acting, and pretty scenery.

The plot of Dracula Origins is nothing remarkable. There was some some good backstory on the good Count, but really the plot was just a mechanism to move the game from one location to the next. The scenery was well done, but there were only a few scenes in the game, and some of them could be tough to tell how to navigate -- the same objects were shown from two different angles in two different scenes, which was occasionally disorienting. But the most disappointing aspect was the voice acting. It was bad enough that it disrupted the players immersion in the game, to the point where it might have been better to just use text rather than recording anything at all.

The reviews on Steam were mixed and I realized going into it that I was not dealing with a triple-A title, but I’m a big fan of the point-and-click genre and I was hoping that would make up for whatever the game lacked. It only did so in that I don’t feel like my time was completely wasted. If you got it cheap and have nothing else to play, then have at it. But overall, I’d recommend just skipping this one.

Roosky’s rating: 1.5 / 5

At the time of writing, Dracula Origin is available for $9.99 on Steam.

Currently unrated