Dark Chronicles: The Soul Reaver is a bit of a jumbled mess, if I’m being candid. It’s one part adventure game (complete with obtuse puzzles), one part puzzle game (with the difficulty varying wildly) and one part hidden object game. It’s competently made, but a better focus on one area, as opposed to trying to bring a lot of variety would have served it better.
The artwork is basically what most would consider industry standard for a game of this budget and style. Some scenes are more or less attractive than others, but aside from a couple of overly-generic character designs, nothing’s really bad. The hidden object scenes in particular are very detailed without resorting to cheap tricks to pad out your time in them. The music is decent, as are the sound effects. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but nothing that’s really annoying or bothersome. The story, however, is BAD. It’s bare-bones, often seeming to omit context that might have made things either better or actually make sense. The ending is beyond anticlimactic, with the main character essentially saying, “Okay. That’s it then.” Also, the main character is kind of a dumbass, to put it bluntly.
One thing I really appreciated was the ability for the player to customize the experience beyond just difficulty. You can choose whether you’re penalized for a bad click in a hidden object section, and how fast you can get hints, or even how quickly (if at all) you may auto-complete puzzles that are frustrating you. It might sound minor, but it definitely is a quality of life feature that I can get behind. More games in general should do this sort of thing, particularly within the casual gaming market.
One thing I do feel I should address: there’s one scene with a minor character that engages in a bit of Asian stereotyping. He speaks in less than perfect English, and I could see his overall depiction being seen as offensive to some segments of the Asian community. I don’t think this was done callously or maliciously, but I felt an inner cringe when I encountered him, and I would encourage the devs to be more mindful of this sort of thing in the future. I understand that the game is set “in a different time” (seemingly faux-Victorian), but we don’t live in that time period any longer, and some stuff can chafe folks even if it “doesn’t really affect them”.
Overall, I feel like this was a perfectly fine game, despite its weak story. That being said, I’d generally advise anyone to wait for a sale, because while it’s not a BAD game, it’s definitely not one of the stronger ones in the genre.
Click here to purchase Dark Chronicles: The Soul Reaver.
The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.
The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.
When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.
Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.