Preview: Dracula: Origin (PC)

Of course it only makes sense for ol’ Vlad the Impaler’s namesake to do a preview on this game…

Dracula: Origin is the latest game being developed by Frogware Studios. Frogware gave us last year’s Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened which was an excellent Holmes vs. the Cthulhu Mythos title that took runner up for both “Best Horror Game” and “Best Action-Adventure” title from us in 2007.

This is also the third Dracula based title being published by Dreamctacher Interactive. Their first title, Dracula: Resurrection made it to #19 on our Best Horror Game countdown. As you might imagine, this pairing of developer and publisher is a match made in Heaven for me.

Dracula: Origin has nothing to do with the previous Dreamcatcher published titles and casts gamers in the role of Abraham Van Helsing, something longtime Dracula fans will no doubt enjoy. Don’t worry though, this isn’t the horrible Hugh Jackson movie variant, but the died in the wool Dutch doctor and occult expert that led Harker, Morris, and Seward through their fateful quest to destroy the Transylvanian Count.

From the official Dracula Origin Website:

Dracula: Origin reveals the origins of the Dracula curse. Once the ardent defender of Christendom, Dracula loses his faith in God when he is abandoned by his one true love after she marries. Dracula then makes a pact with the Prince of Darkness, and becomes a vampire.

As time goes by, Dracula discovers the existence of a manuscript that allegedly details a rite which brings damned souls back from the beyond. On the body of one of his last victims, Dracula finds the photograph of a pretty young woman, Mina, who looks so disconcertingly like his beloved one; he determines that her body would be the perfect host for the damned soul of the woman he worshipped.

In Dracula: Origin, the player takes the role of the famous Professor Van Helsing whose life’s aim is the destruction of Dracula. Van Helsing must stop the vampire from finding the manuscript. A rich adventure that takes him from London to Egypt, Austria and through Carpathian Europe right into the terrifying home of the Dark Prince.

As we can see from this plot description, the game is following its own continuity, and one that more mimics the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola than the actual book by Bram Stoker. As well the whole “Dracula’s true love marries someone else” actually stems from the Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting of Ravenloft as this scenario is plucked straight from their chief vampire, Strahd Von Zarovich.

From the graphics (check out the gallery below!) we see Frogwork’s Dracula to resemble Tom Cruise’s portrayal of Lestat and Van Helsing appears modeled after famous hammer horror actor, the late but great Peter Cushing. I am absolutely loving the character designs and backgrounds for the game, and can’t wait to see how it looks with actual gameplay and cut scenes.

The gameplay for Dracula: Origin will be in tried and true adventure gaming format. This means all you need is your mouse, a good set of deductive reasoning skills and the ability to point and click. Longtime adventures gamers such as myself will no doubt have a lot of fun with this, and due to the topic and intricate story promised, it might even win over a few new converts to the genre.

Dracula: Origin is currently scheduled for a release date of April 7th, 2008. Along with Ben Tiller’s A Vampyre Story, it looks like 2008 just might be the year of the Vampire Adventure game!

Gallery
Click on the thumbnails below to see the full sized images


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