Just finished playing Dracula: The Last Sanctuary (AKA Dracula 2) and I guess I am playing the series in reverse order. I have already played and reviewed Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon, which is a good game that did really well with its new developer Kheops; And while it was completely separate story wise The Last Sanctuary contained a few Kheopian elements of its own, so it was completely believable to me to progress to playing a Kheops game for the sequel. Talking about sequels, apparently the Dracula series is getting a fourth title, but I cannot find out much about it.
So if you have not figured it out already Dracula The Last Sanctuary is a point and click adventure game. Additionally, it is node based, quite long and filled with tons of content, has a long interesting story containing many interesting characters showcased with numerous graphically impressive cutscenes, and features gameplay comprised of many different puzzles types and quite a few action sequences.
The graphics, while always setting a great horrific atmosphere, are all over the spectrum in terms of both technical merit and stylish good looks. While the cinematics always look great, with a few small technical glitches being the only problem, the in-game graphics vary quite allot. These graphics go from moderately low resolution but still great looking too extremely grainy looking and everything in between. For the most part it is quite good, sometimes great, and only once or twice did I ever notice a location looked bad.
The one thing that I found moderately distracting about the whole presentation was the character script, particularly Dracula’s. It was often somewhat corny and always executed with far too many and too dramatic hand gestures. I do not know what the animators were thinking, sometimes it is almost funny with the otherwise serious characters waving their arms around like lunatics. I also found the item interface very unpolished. In the inventory all you are given is a picture of the item, which more often then you would like leaves you with no idea of what you have. And in game the item you are currently holding does not even show up unless you are looking at something it can be used with; I found this very unintuitive, and was quite confused about how the game worked for quite awhile because of this. But other then that the presentation is fantastic. The OST is enjoyable and only adds to the scary atmosphere, and at times was very well done.
So now to the meat of it, the gameplay; And their are a huge range of puzzles types and challenges to talk about. Their are the action sequences that for the most part give you a limited amount of time to deal with a enemy. These serve to advance the story and add a sense of action to the overall feeling; Which is good, but they are not done all that well so do not expect any interesting gameplay or cinematics out of them. Other then that their are tons of logic and inventory puzzles. The biggest difference from other games being that the information and items used to solve some of these puzzles are often found far away from the puzzle(s) they are used on. The one noteworthy issue I had was with using the vampire glasses, which are used to see magic. These glasses are used like any other item, but since they are used to see something invisible you have no idea where you are supposed to aim them, or that you are even supposed to use them at times. I often found it hard even after looking up the solution to a puzzle using the glasses and telling me the general location to point them at to find it. This ambiguity is seen throughout the entire game in different guises, but never at bad as with the glasses.
Probably the only real drawback of the entire experience is the extreme linearity of it. Individual locations are quite small and very linear themselves and the player cannot go between these locations at will and can only follow a strict story progression through them. Thankfully this does not seem to exist in any other games of the series; As Dracula 3 is moderately open world and not more linear then normal, and probably a little less; And Dracula 1, from what I have seen, is very open world as well and starts you off in a huge open town.
Long and definitely not rushed, their is simply tons of content in all aspect of the game: cinematic, locations, puzzles, and story.
Some of the puzzles can be quite ambiguous.
A more then decent game in a more then decent series.
Windows or PlayStation