Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy

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Dracula 5:
The Blood Legacy
Dracula 5 - The Blood Legacy.jpg
Developer(s) Koalabs Studio
Publisher(s) Microïds (Anuman Interactive)
Writer(s) Olivier Train, Marianne Tostivint
Composer(s) Pierre Estève
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, iOS, Android
Release date(s) Windows
  • WW December 2, 2013[1]
iOS & Android
  • WW April 29, 2014[2]
Genre(s) Adventure, Point-and-click
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Digital distribution

Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy is a 2013 point-and-click adventure/horror video game for Microsoft Windows, OS X, iOS and Android, developed by Koalabs Studio and published by Microïds. It was released for Windows on December 2, 2013,[1] and for iOS and Android on April 29, 2014. An OS X release is scheduled for later in 2014.

The game follows 2000's Dracula: Resurrection and Dracula: The Last Sanctuary, 2008's Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon and 2013's Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon. The plot is unrelated to Resurrection and Last Sanctuary, but is instead the second part of a two-part loose sequel to Path of the Dragon. The game picks up directly where Shadow of the Dragon ends. Blood Legacy is the final part in the Dracula franchise.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay is identical to Shadow of the Dragon. The game is played from a first-person perspective with the direction in which the player is facing controlled by the mouse, although the game is also fully touchscreen operable on Windows 8.[4] On each static screen, the player is free to look around 360o. The game's interface is very simple; there is no HUD, instead the player has access to an inventory in which all items are stored. From the inventory, the player can also access objectives, review dialogue and examine any documents they have acquired.[5]

To speak to people or interact with objects, the player must click on them with the pointer. As the player moves the pointer around the screen it can change to an arrow (meaning the player can move in that direction), a blinking eye (meaning the player can inspect something in more detail), a cog (meaning the player must use an item on the object or can operate the object without using an item) or a hand (meaning the player can pick the item up).[6] When the player clicks on a person to whom they wish to speak, a list of conversation topics appear on screen.

A gameplay mechanic not used in the previous Dracula games is a player health system. The player-character (Ellen Cross) suffers from a rare blood disorder which must be managed with medication. During the game, Cross' health continually decreases, and if it goes below a certain level, she becomes unable to move or perform tasks. The player has access to various types of medication throughout the game and can experiment with combinations to continually top off her health.[4]

The game can be played in either "Adventure Mode" and "Casual Mode". In Casual Mode, hotspots are automatically shown on-screen rather than needing to be located by the player by moving the pointer over them. Also in Casual Mode, after a set period of time elapses, players are given the option to skip puzzles.[7] The game also features a points system and a serious of in-game trophies.[4]

Plot[edit]

The game begins with the final scene of Shadow of the Dragon - Ellen Cross, an art restorer from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening the mysterious sixteenth painting from the Vambery collection; a portrait of Dracula. Ellen is shocked, however, to instead see a portrait of Vambery's former assistant, Adam Stoker, great-grandson of Bram Stoker, which comes to life and grows fangs. However, this is revealed to have been a nightmare. Ellen has in fact returned to New York with the painting unopened. Upon arriving back at the museum, the director tells her that the Turkish police found no body at Yanek's, who probably cleaned out his attic after discovering Ellen had broken in. As such, they still have no idea who Yanek is working for and why he had in his possession several of the lost Vambery paintings. Meanwhile, in the restoration lab, Ellen opens the painting to find it has been tarred over with a large black cross. Lab technician Gerry Berowski tells her that crosses painted in black tar were often painted on people's doors to ensure vampires couldn't enter the house. As Vambery seemed to have been afraid of the painting, Berowski speculates that Vambery himself may have defaced it for protection.

Ellen is able to remove the tar, revealing the portrait of Dracula. She puts the painting in storage, and Adam calls, asking her out to dinner. She then reads an unpublished biography of Vlad Tepes, Bram Stoker's inspiration for the character of Dracula. The book paints Vlad in a more positive light than is usual and speculates that his brother, Radu, was responsible for the suicide of Vlad's wife, telling her Vlad had been killed in battle and giving her a knife with which to kill herself. Vlad was unable to recover from her death and turned to evil soon thereafter. The book explains that Radu hated Vlad because when they had been held prisoner by Sultan Murad II, Vlad had been released fourteen years prior to Radu. The book also reproduces a letter written by Radu in which he says that until he has had his revenge, Vlad will never be at peace, stating "the day will come when the Dragon will yield to its own shadow."

When Adam arrives to take Ellen to dinner, she shows him the painting, but faints whilst doing so. Waking up in her apartment, she and Adam sleep together. The next day, she finds a note from Adam saying he has returned to England but promising to see her soon. She then heads back to the museum to find the painting stolen. Checking the surveillance footage, she is shocked to see Adam taking it. Meanwhile, a librarian friend of Berowski leaves a message on his answering machine telling him that whilst she was researching Radu, she found a poem he had written called "The Shadow of the Dragon." Several hours later, a government official came to see her demanding to know why she had looked up this poem. Ellen reads the poem, which seems to be both a threat from Radu to Vlad and instructions on how to find the headquarters of a secret order called the Shadow of the Dragon. Ellen realizes that the poem is referring to the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. She then gets a phonecall from a woman telling her that Berowski is dead and advising Cross to be careful. The woman also says that her master knows the painting is missing and would be very grateful to Ellen if she could bring it to him.

She heads to Turkey, and using clues in the poem, navigates the underground water-filled room and finds the Shadow of the Dragon headquarters. In display cases, she finds several items, including the diary of Fr. Arno Moriani (the protagonist of Path of the Dragon) and notes on a series of eugenics experiments called "Operation D" (referred to in the final scene of Path of the Dragon). The dagger used by Vlad's wife to kill herself, and allegedly one of the few items capable of harming Dracula, is also supposed to be in one of the cases, but it is missing. Ellen further examines the room and learns that the present day leader of the order is Adam, who is actually a direct descendent of Radu. She concludes that Adam plans to kill Dracula using the dagger, and stole the painting as a way to draw Dracula out. With no other leads to follow, Ellen reluctantly heads back to see Yanek.

In Yanek's home, she finds a secret room containing a coffin. Yanek reveals that he is a vampire, and serves Dracula, who has forbidden his followers to harm Ellen. Yanek explains that he is really Kaneyek, the original painter of the portrait, which is more than just a painting. In fact, the painting also serves to allow Dracula to see through it, which was why Vambrey was so afraid of it, and why he covered it with black tar. He also tells Ellen that she is pregnant with Adam's child. He tells her that Dracula became a vampire by drinking his dead wife's blood. However, because all vampires originate from Dracula, no vampire can kill him. Only a vampire born independently of Dracula can destroy him, and the only way for the creation of such a vampire is if someone were to drink the vial of Dracula's wife's blood, which he wears around his neck. Yanek and Ellen conclude that drinking this blood must be Adam's goal. With Yanek's instructions, Ellen then heads to Chernobyl to meet Dracula.

She finds his lair in an underground castle. She descends into the castle and meets Dracula, who tells her that Adam is imprisoned nearby. He asks her to retrieve his portrait. She goes to Adam, who tells her that if she saves him he will give her the portrait and they can escape together. She opens his cell but faints upon doing so. Adam carries her body back to Dracula, and then tries to stab Dracula with his wife's knife. Dracula easily avoids the attack, and throws Adam across the room, knocking him out. Dracula then offers Ellen his wife's blood. The player is given the choice as to whether to accept the offer or not. If the player does so, Ellen becomes a vampire. If the player does not, Ellen knocks the cup of blood across the room and is killed by a furious Dracula. On the other side of the room however, unseen by Dracula, Adam is able to drink some of the spilled blood.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 60.00%[8]
Review scores
Publication Score
Adventure Classic Gaming 3/5 stars[6]
GameBlog 2.5/5 stars[9]
GameBoomers C[7]
Multiplayer 6/10[10]

Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy received very little attention in the gaming press, and what attention it did receive was mainly negative. The PC version holds an aggregate score of 60.00% on GameRankings.[8]

Mervyn Graham of Adventure Classic Gaming scored the game 3 out of 5. He was critical of several aspects, including the plot and the graphics ("the character animations are abysmal. When speaking, they lack any facial expression and show no body movement. The voice dubbing in the English localization is also terrible. There is no lip synchronization at all, making the dubbing look and sound amateurish and cheap"). He concluded that "despite being better than Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon, Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy still leaves much to be desired. Further [...] even if both games are joined together, the compilation will still be shorter than any of the previous sequels. Given the strong pedigree of the Dracula series, there is an element of disappointment that simply cannot be ignored in this game."[6]

GameBoomers gave the game a C, making a similar point about the length of the game; "It's essentially Part 2 of Dracula 4, takes about the same time to play, and has the same shortcomings. Both Dracula 4 and Dracula 5 together are still shorter than the games we used to get from Kheops and older companies that used to make first person games."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dracula Series". Facebook. December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Microïds Announces The Release Of Adventure Game "Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy" On iOS And Android". Microïds. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dracula 5 - The Blood Legacy : Release is due for the end of the year". Microïds. August 23, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon Developers Diary #2: Mechanics of a Rebirth". Microïds. May 15, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ Franklin, Rob (July 8, 2013). "Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon (PC) Review". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Graham, Mervyn (December 27, 2013). "Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy Review". Adventure Classic Gaming. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Jenny100 (December 28, 2013). "Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy Review". GameBoomers. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy (PC)". GameRankings. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Lafleuriel, Erwan (December 20, 2013). "Dracula 5 : L'héritage du sang Review" (in French). GameBlog.fr. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ Rubbini, Andrea (December 24, 2013). "Dracula 5: Il Retaggio del Sangue Review" (in Italian). Multiplayer.it. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]