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The year is 1920. Everything is ruined, the people are scared. The scares of the first World War are still fresh and “welcomes” you as you come. You are sent to Transylvania to investigate Martha Calugaru's death and to defend the interests of the church in this strange atmosphere.
Martha is a physicist and doctor. When she was young, she had a tragic accident - acid disfigured her face. Fully devoted to her work, she dies early, leaving the impression of being a saint. Even after her death you can see people at her grave, praying and asking for a cure. Maybe this also explains the appearance of this little orphan at midnight resting near her grave. Or maybe we have to deal with something worse...
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The game's setting allows the game play to be very interesting, combining the ancient times with the overall modern ones. You can use phones and trains, so we are not in the Middle Ages anymore like other vampire games.
The village you are in is very mysterious. There is no day or night, just a constant blurry fog over it. Here, the real game and your new main objective begins. After you start to ask around what led to Martha's canonization and if this is a plus or minus for the church, a local journalist drags you into a new investigation. The story leads us to the castle of Dracula and there are lots of strange deaths around you. The people say that when Martha was alive, she led the same investigation as the one we're doing. Her patients, after appearing to get better, were being found bloodless in the mornings.
Are there vampires in this century, or are they just cover for something else?
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Looking at the game's interface, there's nothing different from the other standard quests. You have a 360 degree radius view, a smart-cursor for everything, plus you can also skip the dialogues and the tiny little scenes where you move from one place to another that are actually quite boring sometimes.
Another con is that when you pick up items, they pile up. Unless you put them into their own places it's very hard to separate them in the pile.
The most considerable aspect of the game are of course the quests. And here we're not talking about simple tasks involving click here and go there. We're talking about quests, real hard and very puzzled quests. For the normal gamer, this is a con - he or she won't enjoy the complexity of the game. On the other side, for the quest fans – this is a challenge and a plus.
During the solving of the quests you will have to use your own logic, you will have to ask different people to give you hints, and you will read Latin texts and you will find answers in the Bible itself. While solving all this, you will also have to handle your very own problems: nightmares involving killing other people and even your own death. The problem is that in Transylvania those dreams seem to be very realistic while you explore the dark castle of Dracula and its darkest dungeons.
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The overall feeling and conception of the game are on very high level. Although the game is quite scary, it's not in the horror genre. I'd call it a very good combination of dark destinations, interesting and very well dubbed characters and a well known superstition that finalizes the atmosphere. There are so many small details that enhance the feel of this game that I could not fit them all on this article -- the people, their accents, the fear, the mystery.
I strongly recommend this game to everyone. Although it's very hard for an unexperienced player, it's still worth it.
- 800 Mhz Intel Pentium III
- 128 MB Ram
- 4 GB available Hard Drive space
- 16X DVD-ROM drive
- 64 MB DirectX 9.0c Compatible Graphics Video Card
- DirectX 9 - Compatible Sound Card
- DirectX 9 - Compatible Keyboard and Mouse