Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire - Chapter 1: the Awakening

by Marco Vallarino

Episode 1 of Darkiss

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Number of Reviews: 4
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Strong implementation, didn't really enjoy the setting as much as others, November 20, 2015

You are a vampire who somehow survived having a stake driven through his heart, and wakes up several years later. There's a bit of amnesia going on, which serves as a justification of having the first game in your lair (to introduce the character) while still having obstacles; I don't really like amnesia, but why not.

The tropes of the vampire are there (rich, immortal, big library; and particularly the thematic of seduction, which is at the base of the vampire myth - but there's a hint of a strong female character too which I find nice), and more, since you also have (Spoiler - click to show)the Necronomicon, demons, magic spells to resurrect the dead, telepathy, talking paintings, a torture chamber, and you live in a mountain (instead of in a castle on top of it, I guess). It's kind of a mixed bag, really; but I guess the point of the game is more to be cast at an evil supernatural character and riff off of it, and about the fun of being evil, as the writing seems to emphasize with glee and sometimes over-the-top/clichéd phrasings. There are a few English mistakes too (not that I can say anything), but in this case it gives the movie a sort of B-movie texture that's actually pretty fun.

I must admit I didn't really like being that guy: he seemed like a particularly sadistic vampire, (Spoiler - click to show)torturing people with glee (with descriptions), and it didn't really make me feel really comfortable - I didn't think this was fun, but others might find it entertaining.

There's about a dozen puzzles, involving recovering your powers and getting out of your lair; the puzzles are fair, but mostly of the "get X use X don't use it again" kind. There are a few non-standard verbs, usually used in one puzzle. The implementation is excellent: I found that almost all the actions have custom responses, and there's even amusing commands to try (there's a NPC that reacts to various topics, including Zork, apparently). The parser is rather helpful and everything was very, very smooth.

The game is fun, with a B-movie-like atmosphere but I didn't like the PC; the game is also very smooth, and all in all very enjoyable.

Random comment: the fact that the vampire would take advantage of his immortality to master the art of painting intricate, beautiful ceilings struck me as a delightfully Italian thing to do.

Random comment #2: this is a game about a vampire where >count is one of the non-standard verbs. I don't think that's intentional, but it made me smile.