Dreamfall Chapters: Book 2 Review
After a short and unexpected delay, the second book of the game Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey was released this March. Book One: Reborn, released back in October of last year was the first release for the series after an 8 year break during which the game’s creator Ragnar Tornquist reached out to Kickstarter to get support in making the third game in the franchise. Due to the huge gap in time, this third game offers much more advanced graphics and the ability for Tornquist to see more of his ideas realized. It is because of Tornquist’s perfectionism and love of his universe that the game’s second book faced a short delay, but was certainly worth the wait.
The Rebels and The Gangs
Book 2: Rebels takes place moments after the events of the previous installment. In the magical world of Arcadia, one of our heroes, Kian Alvane is recovering from his near death experience being rescued from the prison Friar’s Keep. Transported somewhere unknown to him by the use of magic, Kian awakens to learn that his saviors are actually his enemies. Leaders of the Rebel resistance, aiming to take down the presence of Kian’s people in their city. They convince Kian to join their cause, since the betrayal at the end of the previous game Dreamfall: The Longest Journey has caused his faith to waiver. He agrees to help them, and alongside his new friends Kian learns more about the inner-workings of the Rebel army including making a new ally in a former enemy named Likho, a cold-hearted Magical who lost his parent’s lives to Kian’s hands in a raid many years ago. Kian also encounters a mysterious new character named Anna, who offers both mystery and romance in Kian’s story.
Meanwhile, in the technology-driven world of Stark, our second hero Zoe Castillo finds herself once again at a crossroads. With her relationship failing, and her political camp realizing all may not be kosher in their finances, she is faced with many choices that will affect her life dramatically. Zoe is also experiencing strange dreams that are attempting to reveal her lost memories to her, but are still too obscure for her grasp. While exploring the city and attempting to understand more about the forces around her, Zoe meets a young homeless girl named Hanna (leader of a street gang named The Dragonflies) who seems to understand Zoe’s dreams in a way none one else can.
Content vs Gameplay
This second installment in the Dreamfall Chapters saga is a welcome change of pace. While the content in the first book felt at times too introductory, walking the player from place to place to establish themselves, this book feels more like a game. Book 2 sees the player making more relevant decisions, and leading their own quests in whatever order they choose. With the ability to free-roam and explore the contrasting cities of Propast for Zoe and Marcuria for Kian, the locations are starting to feel more comfortable. Each character is given a list of assignments to progress the story, and the content for this book feels longer and more satisfying that the previous did.
Using the same city, Marcuria that has already been used in the previous two games in the franchise, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey for the majority of Kian’s gameplay may seem like a cop-out but actually offers an amazingly nostalgic experience for fans of the franchise. Getting to see and explore the city for the third time with better graphics than the last is a glorious experience. On the same note, several familiar faces return in this installment, giving the players a bit of fan-service. This includes the hilarious Blind-Bob, the magical Na’ane, and even mention of the inn-keeper Benrime Salmin all of whom had fates previously unknown.
Chapters 3, 4, and 5
With three more books to go, Dreamfall Chapters has proven so far that Ragnar Torrnquist is taking every opportunity to tell a long, and fleshed out story and is taking his time to ensure that all ends get tied up from previous storylines as well. His appreciation for the fan’s desire to know more about the character’s actions and the world they live in is apparent more so each book that is released. Also while other games being released in episodic format offer only a small amount of play time, Tornquist seems to understand that the longer people wait, the more result they will be looking for.