Review by Orb
Dracula Resurrection is everything done right in a horror-themed
adventure game. Originally released for the PC in May of 2000
by Dreamcatcher (in North America), this is the game that proves
the old Mac gamer's adage true: we may not get every port of every
game, we just get the best ones. And this one is well worth the
The story of Dracula Resurrection begins where Bram Stoker's
Dracula leaves off. It's probably not necessary to reiterate
the original story, or the real-life "Vlad the Impaler"
historical narrative; unless you've been living under a rock since,
oh, somewhere around 1930, you've had it beamed into your head
through a series of retellings, rehashings, and elaborations.
What separates Dracula Resurrection from the pack is that
it nicely captures the ambiance of Stoker and maintains the perspective
of the characters, using them to immerse the player in an extremely
well-designed adventure game, all accomplished while not shortchanging
the player in any aspectpuzzles, story, or graphicsa
The game is played from the perspective of Jonathan Harker, the
hero who had previously found and destroyed Dracula, saving his
wife Mina (who had been bitten and was under the spell of Dracula)
in the process. The story begins seven years later, in 1904. Mina
has once again fallen under the spell of the monster that Jonathan
thought he destroyed. Jonathan must once again battle Dracula
and save Mina.
The graphics in Dracula Resurrection are absolutely irresistible.
These environments are exactly as a player would want them to
be. From the dark snowy town to the eerie, musty castle, literally
every single area is a horror aficionado's delight. Dust hanging
in the air is visible. The environments are 3D, and to say that
they look pretty real is an understatement. The game boasts full
360-degree panning, and this helps the immersiveness considerably.
The degree of freedom of movement in looking around is wonderful,
more so even yet because of the fact that the environments are
so well-drawn and fun to be in.
Of particular note is the quality of rendering of the 3D characters
in the gameyou can literally see the pores in their faces.
And the characters themselves hold up to the original Stoker,
with maybe a bit of Dickens thrown in for good measure. The game
engine is of an equal caliber to the one recently designed by
Presto Studios for Myst III: Exile, and it's quite easy
to favorably compare the two. The cutscenes are of equal caliber
to some of the top animated films Hollywood has been turning out
recently, such as Shrek.
The only caveat I have is that because this is a French-designed
game, fixed up for an English market, the mouths of the characters
do not at all match the words coming out of them. This is a very
small complaint in the overall scheme of things, and it is not
necessarily distractingit gives the feel of a dubbed foreign
The navigation is extremely smooththere are no lags to
speak of in transitions. The game also has a smart cursor, so
there is not a lot of wasted time trying to figure out where the
game can or cannot go or what can be done next.
The gameplay is linear, but the design is such that this is in
no way a hindrance, and the game moves along at a nice clip. It's
much like going though the ultimate amusement park haunted house.
There is no red-herring inventory and no wasted or useless actions
to lose momentum on, as the design is very tight and well thought-out.
The game does not use a soundtrack except in cutscenes to heighten
the dramatic effect of the story. Rather, it uses a series of
unnerving ambient sounds in each locationthe sound of things
moving around, scraping stones being pushed, creaking wood, rattling
chains. In some places, there is the barest hint of what sounds
like human voices, a not-quite-discernable spooky sound, the kind
of special effect used in the film The Exorcist, which
had buried in the soundtrack the droning of hundreds of bees the
sound of which was enough to unnerve but not to invite examination.
Puzzles are inventory-based and very logical. As covered earlier,
there are no red herring items, and inventory that is no longer
needed is discarded rather than building up, making for very streamlined
gameplay in that there is no time spent trying too may wrong combinations
or items on the environmentthe frustration level is very
A minor point of complaint is that the game can only be started
from the first disk.
I played on an 466 MHz iBook, and I suggest that the Mac player
use a Mac with a decent graphics card so as not to not miss any
of the treats of the design. But nevertheless, I think playing
this on a low-end iMac would not diminish any of the gamer's enjoyment
at all. The system requirements do call for a G3 or better, so
to those of you limping along with a still-useful Power PC, this
is the call, time to upgrade to stay up with the newest games.
Dracula Resurrection is seriously scary and atmospheric
without being horrifying, more of an elegant Vincent Price scare
than an 80s slasher movie. Think Goth Disney, and you've got the
right idea. A must-have for the horror fan. And as far as Mac
gamers go, Dreamcatcher, bring on the next one!
Release Date: June 2001 (Mac version); May 2000 (PC version)
Four Fat Chicks Links
G3 or iMac
System 8.5.1 (or later)
64 MB RAM
6 MB 3D Accelerator Video Card
8X CD-ROM drive
Open GL Compatible
Pentium 166 (200 recommended)
32 MB RAM (64 with Win98)
16-bit sound card
4x CD ROM drive (8x recommended)
Where to Find It
Links provided for informational purposes only.
FFC makes no warranty with regard to any transaction entered into
by any party(ies).