Posted: February 26
This game is a sequel to The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav... sort of. It more uses the previous game as a backdrop to space out the telling of a different story in the same universe, while resolving some hanging threads from the last game. More on that later.
Just like the last game, the artwork is gorgeous, music is pleasant but more theatrical than catchy. Voice acting feels more robust this time around too. Thankfully many of the puzzles are more interesting than the last game, with fewer obnoxious red herrings or arbitrary conditions for progression. Its not to say that its a vast improvement as there are still numerous obtuse moments, and there is at least one absolutely stupid puzzle in the game (shadow wall / mirage memory recall
) where the game suggests memorizing a pattern that as far as I, four other people, and a few guides I had to peruse, absolutely could not identify and may as well have not existed. Some of the functionality for viewing possible interactions is polished a bit better, and for a few sections the game even offers to let you skip a portion where you have to navigate a fairly mundane maze.
The story in this game is actually REALLY good compared to the original. The story of the previous game with Geron and Nuri is a backdrop for a retelling of a story of a woman named Sadja from a time long before, and the premise of that story and the cosmology around it was very compelling to me. The weight of Sadja's story and the twists and revelations were very enjoyable and compelling. Additionally, there's a genuinely depressing feeling and heart wrenching response from me over Nuri's and Geron's plight in a few scenes. With the strength of both scenarios in this game, its kind of disappointing when the actual impact of Geron's scenario ends up as more or less tertiary. Its resolution leaves me wholly unsatisfied because of how much it takes backseat to the other, despite being the hook of why you should care about this other story with Sadja in the first place. I wonder if the dev's just didn't think Sadja's story could have stood out well on its own, and maybe it might not have, but as it is the rest of the game more or less exists to give Sadja's story one more twist to it at the end before saying 'Oh, and that stuff from Chains of Satinav, lets resolve that in just a few seconds and move on to the credits.' That being said, the twist in Sadja's story that wrapped everything up near the end was for me on par with the oft-touted 'Would you kindly' of Bioshock.
Overall... I'd still reccomend it. Like the previous game, it clocks in at about 10 hours. Its beautiful, its got a good setting and premise, just expect that you'd have to look up a guide for a section or two. You play these sorts of games for the story and the characters, and its got some good ones.