French PC cover-art
|Platform(s)||Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation, iOS, OS X, Android|
Dracula: Resurrection is a 1999 point-and-click adventure video game developed by Index+, 4X Technologies and Visual Impact, and jointly published by Index+, France Telecom Multimedia, and Canal+ Multimedia. In 2001, it was ported to the PlayStation as Dracula: The Resurrection, published by Microïds. In 2011, a slightly modified version developed and published by Microïds was released in a three-part episodic form for iOS. Later in 2011, this remade version was released as a single game for OS X, which was subsequently released in 2012 for iOS, and in 2013 for Android. In 2014, the remade iOS/OS X/Android version was made available on Steam.
The game is an unofficial sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula; set seven years after the end of the novel, Mina Harker finds herself inexplicably drawn back to Transylvania, and, convinced Dracula has returned, Jonathan Harker sets out to save her. The game was followed by a direct sequel later in 2000, Dracula: The Last Sanctuary. A third game, with an unrelated storyline, followed in 2008, Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon. A loose sequel to Path of the Dragon was released in a two-part form in 2013; Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon and Dracula 5: The Blood Legacy.
Dracula: Resurrection was most widely reviewed for the PC, where it received mixed reviews, with critics praising the game's graphics and some of the puzzles, but criticizing the voice acting, plot and the game's brevity. It was commercially successful, with 200,000 units sold worldwide by September 2000 and 170,000 sold in North America alone by 2003. By 2007, Dracula: Resurrection and Dracula 2 had reached combined global sales above 1 million units.
Dracula: Resurrection is a first-person point-and-click adventure game, which employs an "empty" HUD; the player's inventory is accessible through a button press, whilst another button press will bring the player to a screen with options to save their game, quit their game, or load a previously saved game. As such, the entire screen depicts only direct gameplay.
The game uses a basic point-and-click interface to move the player around and manipulate the game world. Within each static screen, the player is free to look around 360 degrees. As the player moves the cursor around the screen it can change into different styles depending on the situation; neutral cursor (no interaction is possible), an arrow (the player can move in the direction indicated), a hand (the player can take the object), a magnifying glass (an area which can be examined in more detail), a backwards arrow (the player can move backwards from an area with which they have examined via the magnifying glass), a cog (the player must use an inventory item to initiate interaction with the object), a cog with a hand (the player can operate the object without using an inventory item).
The most often encountered symbol in the game is the cog. When the player encounters this symbol, they must enter their inventory and select an item. If it is the correct item to operate the object, the item will appear in a green circle, replacing the cog icon. If it is the incorrect item, the cog icon will remain.
The 2011 iOS version adds several new features to the game, such as an optional help feature, which highlights interactive zones on each screen, and a "Compass Look" feature which utilises the gyroscopic-based iDevice accelerometer controls to mimic looking around in the 360 degree environment.
The game begins with the final scene from the novel; Dracula's gypsies are attacked by Jonathan Harker (voiced by David Gasman) and his men, and Dracula (Allan Wenger) is killed, releasing Harker's wife, Mina (Gay Marshall), from her psychic enslavement to Dracula. Despite Dracula's apparent death, however, Harker remains sceptical as to whether or not he is really gone. The game then cuts to London, seven years later, with Mina feeling an irresistible force drawing her to Dracula's castle in Transylvania. She leaves a letter for Harker, begging him not to follow her. However, upon finding it, he writes to his old friend Dr. Seward, asking him to investigate the matter in London as he himself must follow Mina.
Harker arrives at the Crown Inn in the Borgo Pass late at night and is advised by the innkeeper, Barina (Liza Jacob), not to go to the castle until morning, as it is Saint George's Eve, a night when demons are believed to walk the earth. As Harker ponders what to do, a man at the inn, Micha (Steve Gadler), tells him the fastest way to the castle is via an old bridge, but the way is strewn with traps. Unperturbed, Harker heads to the bridge but finds it guarded by a gypsy who won't let him pass. He is drawn to the nearby cemetery, and sees a mysterious blue light emanating from a grave above which a mural depicts Saint George slaying a dragon. Harker begins to dig, and soon finds a mechanical ring - a dragon eating its own tail. Returning to the inn, he shows the ring to Micha, who tells him he doesn't understand the powers with which he is dealing. Micha explains that seven years ago, Dracula's gypsies disappeared, but have recently returned, and that Dracula himself is pure evil. Harker also shows the ring to Barina, telling her of the blue flames. Shocked, she tells him blue flames only appear at a grave when the demon locked within has broken its chains.
Continuing to explore the area, Harker finds a pan flute at a nearby house. Micha explains that Dracula's gypsies use the flutes to call to one another. Harker uses the flute to call the guard at the bridge to the inn, where he knocks him out. He then tries to cross the bridge, but it collapses before he can do so. He returns to Micha, who tells him of rumours of a secret tunnel to the castle leading from a nearby cabin, but no one knows how to access it. Meanwhile, the other gypsies find their unconscious companion outside, and surround the inn. Barina tells Harker that prior to his death, her husband told her there is a passage in the basement leading outside. She gives him her husband's journal, where he learns the ring he discovered in the grave is the key to the passage. Using the passage, he leaves the inn, heads to the cabin, and finds the secret tunnel, which leads to an abandoned mine shaft. He uses a mine cart to cross the lake blocking him from Dracula's castle, unaware he is being watched by the gypsies and by Dracula, who reveals he wants Harker to bring the ring to the castle; Harker's discovery of the ring is all part of Dracula's plan.
Upon arriving at the castle, Harker meets Dorko (Gay Marshall), an old woman locked in a dungeon, she claims she once ruled the castle with Dracula's father, but now Dracula has no need for her and has banished her to the dungeon. She vows to help Harker find Mina if he helps her to escape. She says Mina is in a secret tower guarded by Dracula's brides, and explains Harker must find an amulet to open the tower. In the library, Harker finds a note from Dracula, who is now in London, congratulating him on getting so far, but taunting him about his imminent failure. As he searches for the amulet, he finds another letter from Dracula in which he talks about meeting Leonardo da Vinci and how he has built a flying machine of his own.
Eventually, Harker finds the amulet. He returns to Dorko, who takes him to Mina, but she betrays him, locking him in the tower in an effort to regain Dracula's trust. However, the tower in which Harker and Mina are locked is also the tower where Dracula has stored his flying machine. As Harker attempts to escape using the machine, he is attacked by Dracula's brides, but is able to elude them and flee, with an unconscious Mina beside him. As he leaves the vicinity of the castle, Harker muses that Mina can never be safe whilst Dracula lives, and as such, upon returning to London, he must defeat the Count once and for all.
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Dracula: Resurrection was commercially successful. According to Index+, combined global sales of its computer and PlayStation releases had reached 200,000 units by mid-September 2000. In North America, PC Data reported 27,798 retail sales of Dracula: Resurrection's computer version by the end of that year, of which 6,012 were sold in December. The firm estimated another 21,050 retail sales for the computer version during 2001, and 3,709 in the first six months of 2002. According to DreamCatcher, Dracula totaled 170,000 copies sold in North America alone by early 2003. The computer version's jewel case re-release achieved 20,910 sales in the region during 2003.
IGN's Scott Steinberg scored the game 8 out of 10, praising the simple interface, the logic of the puzzles, the difficulty level and the graphics. He concluded "We've been waiting for a respectable point and click adventure since Grim Fandango came along, and although Dracula: Resurrection is a quick ride, it's well worth the price of admission." Marc Saltzman of PC Gamer US likewise wrote that it "proves there's plenty of blood left in this genre."
In a 2014 "Flashback review", Adventure Gamers' Pascal Tekaia scored the game 3.5 out of 5, writing "With a presentation that aptly places it within the titular universe, Dracula: Resurrection is an enjoyable series debut that is kept from greatness by its short duration and several puzzle faux pas." He criticised the game's lack of explanation as to how Dracula resurrects, and felt the overall story was too similar to the original novel. He praised the sound effects and music, but was critical of the voice acting. His main criticism was "the uneven, artificially inflated difficulty curve of [the] puzzles; there comes a point in each area when the game turns into a pixel hunt and resorts to hindering your progress until you've found an awkwardly placed item." He concluded "It isn't going to blow your socks off with revolutionary story-telling or production values, but it does offer a few fun-filled hours immersed within its dark and dreary world."
GameSpot's Ron Dulin scored the game 6 out of 10. He too criticised the fact that Dracula's resurrection is never explained, and was also critical of the core gameplay; "simply clicking every object in your inventory on every object in view will get you through the majority of the puzzles. There's no way to die in the game, so there's no real punishment for simply trying everything and anything." He was impressed with the graphics, calling the NPCs "some of the best-looking rendered human characters ever to appear in a PC game." However, he was critical of the voice acting. He concluded "Dracula: Resurrection is somewhat interesting only because it's quick, easy, and atmospheric. It's very short, so even novice adventure gamers won't have much trouble finishing it in a few sessions."
Adventure Classic Gaming's Zack Howe scored it 2 out of 5, calling it "an entertaining but somewhat disappointing adventure." He too praised the graphics, calling them "sublime" and "state-of-the-art," and referring to the NPCs as "the most amazing 3D character modeling you shall ever see." However, of the gameplay, he wrote "the game is played out feeling like a showcase only for the designers to show off the latest and state-of-the-art animation techniques." He concluded "Dracula Resurrection is a good adventure game, but I cannot help but think that this game can be much better. It feels like the game is trying to be another Myst clone. If you are someone who is interested in long gameplay, then you are well advised to better look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are someone who loves to feast on state-of-the-art graphics, then by all means try this game."
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