Dark Eye 2:
My first look suggested a longer
one was required, and having gazed at Memoria over two weeks or so, it
is indeed a thing of beauty.
I mean that literally. The lush
and detailed backgrounds are a joy to behold.
It sounds good too, if a little
sparse. Ambient sounds are the basic background details you would
expect, and the music is varied and not always present. I liked the
latter, as not everything has to be accompanied; watch an old movie and
see how overwhelming a soundtrack can be. Some more dynamic ambient
noise would have helped in some places, but by and large that aspect did
what it needed to.
The character modelling is
disappointing, all the more so because of the canvas against which the
characters are presented. “Flat” is the description I used first time,
and flat is apt.
Flatter still is the voice
acting. Not all of it, but lots of it, and it's pancake thin for some
minor roles. Which is a shame, because the rest of Memoria deserved a
cast worthy of its creation.
Sadja though is different. But
more of her later.
Characters abound, but
predominantly in a supporting role to Geron and Sadja. Geron we have met
before, a bird catcher who, as he says, “rescued a fairy and freed a
kingdom”. He may seem more grumpy peasant than hero, but he knows what
he did and who he is, and so “doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone”.
Now he has to save her all over
again (or does he) but in a different way.
Four hundred and fifty years in
Geron’s past is Sadja, a warrior princess determined to go to war, to be
immortalised and to be whispered of 1000 years hence as the greatest
heroine the world has ever seen. Four hundred and fifty years later and
she is utterly forgotten, just a mystery in a dream. The tales of both
flip back and forth as Memoria moves on.
I did seriously like the two
converging story lines. A little convoluted at times, perhaps a little
disjointed as a result of the flipping, but deep and ambitious fantasy
indeed. I can imagine it as a novel, 600 pages thick and difficult to
If the tales converge, so to
some extent do Sadja and Geron. His seemingly self-centred I don’t care
protestation is exposed as he tends to a wounded bird. Sadja’s conquer
the world princess persona is also less than it seems. Sadja’s tale
tends to dominate, but I didn’t find that a bad thing. We are familiar
with Geron from Chains of Satinav, the first part of Dark Eye, and so
getting to know Sadja against a background of the familiar added further
depth to the world that is Aventuria.
Puzzles are generally well
integrated into the game, and range from the reasonably logical to the
somewhat fanciful. This is though a feature of this style of game, and
pleasingly there were none that were completely ridiculous. The capacity
to use magic added a little something that I enjoyed.
Playing is point and click, and
adventure game players will find the controls familiar. Just in case,
you can choose to play a tutorial at the start. You can set how much
help you get within the game, including hot spot indicator and something
called combination helper, which results in a hotspot glowing if the
item you are holding can be used there. Subtitles are available (they
distract me so I never turn them on), and you can tweak a bunch of
The length is worth mentioning.
The trend these days, especially given the growth of episodic games,
seems to be for shorter and shorter games. Perhaps I have just played a
lot of short things lately, but this stood out like a beacon of longness.
Compared to older games, it’s still too short, but it clocked in at
about 20 hours playing time which I was happy with.
It was also a sequel in the true
sense of the word (well, my sense anyway). It took some of what had
happened first time around, but was essentially a standalone whole in a
familiar setting. It wasn’t the continuation of a single story line,
broken into bits. Another aspect I enjoyed.
Daedalic do this stuff well.
They don’t take the genre anywhere it hasn’t been, but most of what they
deliver is solid and enjoyable adventuring. Memoria doesn’t let them
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz