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Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon review

AT A GLANCE
  • Puzzles hurt so good
  • Gorgeous 3D artwork
  • Engaging storyline
  • Some dreadful voice acting
  • Some puzzles hurt so bad
  • Requires major time investment

Kheops Studio is one of the brighter lights on the 3D adventure gaming scene, and the French developer’s latest offering - Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon (a different company created chapters one and two several years ago) - is one of the most mentally taxing and imposing point-and-click puzzlers you’ll ever aim a mouse at. The plot follows a young Vatican priest, Arno Moriani, who visits Transylvania in 1920 to investigate a deceased local physician’s candidacy for sainthood. Some wicked events involving shady supporting characters and townsfolk quickly ensue - voiced by an uneven mix of good, mediocre, and dreadful actors - and shift Father Moriani’s focus from saints to vampires (where Kheops’ research into the game’s numerous folklore and literary references is exemplary).

Some gorgeous 3D artwork and equally impressive cut-scene animations keep the narrative flowing as you converse with key characters, collect new inventory items, and solve an increasingly challenging series of puzzles and unlockable dead-ends. Some of these brainteasers - including a tricky Enigma decoding machine segment and a complex darkroom sequence - are brilliant additions, while others will strain your patience and gray matter to the breaking point. That’s because the game often requires you to employ university-level math and science skills to decipher its Byzantine codes and conundrums; without a walkthrough, some of these will literally take hours. Multiply this tenfold, and you end up with a point-and-click adventure game that makes the SATs look like child’s play.

If that’s appealing - and not all of us have that kind of free time or superfluous brain capacity - then Dracula 3’s high production values and engaging storyline will likely seal the deal for hardcore puzzle fans.

PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.

PCG Final Verdict: 76% (good)

Sep 24, 2008

More Info

Release date: Aug 12 2008 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Encore Games
Developed by: Kheops Studio
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Mild Violence
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending

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