#422 The Longest Journey

Posted: 21st December 2013 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

294th played so far

256px-LongestGenre: Adventure
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1999
Developer: Funcom
Publisher: Funcom

Some games just attract you with their screenshot alone. This was the case with the one featured for The Longest Journey (as well as its sequel, also listed, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey). The market in which the protagonist is standing is filled with some weird masks and art objects, while the characters surrounding her just look slightly off.

Our Thoughts

Some games are difficult to discuss here without spoilers, spoilers you don’t want to immediately get into. The Longest Journey starts with a dream sequence that doesn’t explain much, but sets up some questions about April and her personality. After that, the game spends just as much time on world building as it does on setting up April and her friends.

Without giving too much away the game spends time in two worlds, the one April is in contact with during her waking hours and the other she can reach in her dreams. It’s a bit debilitating at first, what with the annoyed talking tree, but the strands of the two worlds do compliment each other.

And April is a very good protagonist for the game. Snarky and funny, but still firmly in the world – no fourth wall breaking. She’s got plenty of her own problems – mostly very relatable – and as a character she makes the world a lot more relatable.

One of the problems in making a world as diverse and weird as The Longest Journey tries to create is that it has to look that way. A lot of the weirdness comes from it showing you and convincing you that way. The game, due to its age, doesn’t always convince as much – it gets too blocky – but most of the time it works well to convey what it’s trying to do, and the dark, brown objects that are around are pretty much ugly enough to show us how bleak her life often is.

A bit stronger, the voice acting is wonderful. They really give you a good feel of the character, all of it flows together nicely and the whole just seems worth listening to. Counter to what we usually do, we skipped past it a lot less often.

So far, the game hasn’t really stumped us yet with its puzzles, but I’ve been told that will follow later. So far though, this is as good and together as an adventure game can be.

Final Thoughts

Again, don’t be put off by the game’s dated looks. They won’t be a problem for long and soon the game will be as gripping as any adventure. It was one of the last bigger ones in the genre before it was put to bed as a blockbuster genre, not to be revived for nearly a decade. And with that, it is a good one, together with Grim Fandango and the other final entries of its era.

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