Dreamfall Chapters is an episodic adventure game which will have five episodes in total, purchased as one package. In this first episode you play as two characters, Zoë Castillo, the main character and Kian Alvane, a sort of secondary character. In the Dreamfall universe, there are two worlds: Stark, a kind of dystopian future version of earth and Accadia, a contrasting medieval magical fantasy land. You get to play in both worlds in this first episode.
Gameplay wise, you will be mostly exploring, solving puzzles or involved in dialogue. The puzzles start out pretty basic but get more complicated later on. Dialogue is handled with a spherical picker system, each dialogue option is usually accompanied with some dialogue explaining the characters inner thoughts and expanding on that option. I quite liked this, usually games give you a few words to describe the choice and then your character goes off and says something completely unexpected; at least this way you fully understand the direction the dialogue is going to take.
The dialogue system is sometimes used for choices, at one point you decide if someone lives or dies. There were quite a few pop ups telling me that x person will remember that or y dialogue option made this happen. Some of the decisions had an immediate impact while others will impact on later episodes. At the end of the game you've shown a summary of the choices you've made and how they compare to other players.
Games like this run the risk of not having enough interaction, but I did not get that feeling with Dreamfall. Dreamfall is all about the story and there is plenty of story to be had.
The graphics are pretty good and made even better by the excellent use of lighting. As you can see from the screenshots, the game is very picturesque.
From the atmospheric music to the voice acted dialogue the sound is brilliant; easily one of the best sounding games I've encountered. All dialogue is voice acted, even the characters thoughts.
The cursor only appears when it is over something that can be interacted with which is somewhat irritating because you can't see the cursor to point it add the object you think you should be able to interact with. This means you end up moving your mouse around until you manage to get it in the right place for the cursor to appear.
This episode has taken me 6 hours to complete at a leisurely pace. Providing the rest of the episodes are a similar size, we should get a lot of content for our money.
For reasons I expect will be explained in future episodes you play briefly as an baby in an interlude at the end.
If adventure games are up your street and you're in the mood to listen to a great deal of dialogue then I highly recommend Dreamfall.