By: Infinite Ventures
(PC, PS2, X-BOX / $19.95-$24.95)
Features: Over 90 minutes of captivating video draws you into the center of the action. Intuitive interface has you calling the shots. Over 150 riveting scenes propel you down multiple pathways toward the final deadly confrontation. Essential tools arm and equip you in your pursuit of the elusive Count.
Description: 'Dracula Unleashed' is an exciting sequel faithfully based on Bram Stoker's classic legend. The Prince of Darkness is back, driven by revenge and a hunger for human blood. If you dare, assume the role of Alexander Morris as you follow a grisly trail of decapitated corpses, vampire brides, and wolf tracks through the blood-drenched streets of London. You direct the drama, suspense, and passion as you are drawn into a world of evil where every decision and action you make is inextricably tied to the fates of those you love. Meet some of your friends and Londoners who help you on your journey. But beware, you never do know who is lurking around the next corner!
Verdict: Taking this release one step at a time, it was always going to be obvious as to the generic setting of this late 19th century London. But, that said it really is the only perfect setting, full of cobbled streets and morning/evening fog and yet still the ultimate stereotypical one for such classic Vampire tales! Everything from the utilization of props, clothing, and other aspects from that time period make the whole game seem very euthentic. Of course, this is filmed on a budget, but the actors are fairly good as is the music, and though mostly not original, is perfect for the whole gothic horror genre and is ever-present when needed by the storyline.
Being that this is bred from the same cloth of a full motion video game, it's limitations and restrictions do somewhat box you in to exactly whatever the story is scripted to show you. Put it this way, you can only have encounters when and where they are assigned and your actions are very restricted. In fact, your only true choice of 'actions' is in the item that you currently have active in your inventory before you engage in that scene. This makes the game very frustrating as you sometimes have no clue what you may need for a particular scene before you see it. Being unable to change an item halfway through the scene hampers your ability to react. More often than not, you are forced to watch the scene and possibly die, reload and be more prepared next time! For most gamers, this is not a truly enjoyable way to play a game. For those who just wish to watch the videos, find a walk-through somewhere to save you from the frustration! The bottom line is that 'Dracula Unleashed' is still a surprisingly good addition to the usually sub-quality genre. Fans of full motion video games and those Dracula fans willing to fight their way through the interface to see a decent vampire movie should catch this game. Adventure game players or those seeking more options and depth should avoid this and protect themselves with garlic!