Your Choices Matter in Dracula Review: Love Kills Collector's Edition
Vampires Do Not Sparkle
The story picks up some time after Dracula: Origins. After Count Dracula was forced back into his crypt by Van Helsing, he awakes to find out that he has been stripped of his powers and that the Queen has taken over his domain. In order to stop her, he forms an alliance with his nemesis. Will they be able to work together and succeed? Will you be able to help the count regain his powers or is he to be doomed to fade into memory?
Even if you completely missed Origins, don't worry. You don't need to have played the original game to enjoy this one. It's easy enough to follow the storyline of Love Kills. The characters do not fail to entertain. Between Dracula's heavy Transylvanian accent and Van Helsing's confident tone, the voice acting is clearly top-notch. The music is exceptional as well, masterfully manipulating the mood for every scene.
With Igor's Help
The game play of Dracula: Love Kills is a mix of elements from different genres. It is primarily a hidden object game with a generous helping of puzzles and mini games. The HOG segments are challenging, yet they manage not to cross the border to becoming frustrating. There are key items and object fragments scattered across the levels. Though this may sound confusing on paper, it's made more manageable with the addition of Igor, Dracula's trusty servant. Igor is always ready to offer a hint or two. Plus, levels that have been fully explored will be marked so as to lessen the guesswork.
In terms of the mini games, well, they may not be for everyone. Most of the time, they have little to do with skill or wits and are more of a practice in patience. If you are looking for a worthy time waster however, they will do. There are a whopping 44 of them in all and they successfully stall the big finale which is made all the more interesting thanks to the decision system they implemented for the game. Although it simply classifies Dracula's (we mean "your") actions into either good or evil, this is a unique feature for the genre. It isn't all for show either. The consequences of your choices do matter and the ending changes depending on the kind of Dracula you've created. For the Collector's Edition, the path you choose matters all the more as it alters the game play storylines you'll be able to explore.
Are You a Good Vampire or a Bad Vampire?
With its unique blend of HOG, puzzle and adventure game elements, Dracula: Love Kills is just one of those games that will get you hooked from start to finish. It has the whole package: an interesting storyline, humorous dialogue, an incredible musical score that will have you humming its tunes and, of course, challenging game play. The art is also stellar. The realistic lighting makes for an immersive atmosphere that lends realism to the fantastic scenarios. You can almost feel the cold air touch your skin through the fog.
It's not that it's perfect. There's the mini game issue and some outdated 3D clips but that's about it. Those are negligible compared when considering how polished the rest of the package is. Actually, we wonder why Waterlily did not just opt to remove the latter completely. They could have replaced the clips with more of the gorgeous art found in the rest of the game and none would have been the wiser. Of lesser concern is that the mini games could use a bit of work but at least they're just tedious and not terrible.
The Collector's Edition is a must-have if you want the full experience. Again, we loved the decision system and how it affects the entire experience. Finally, we're not forced to be just one type of character. The extra chapter is also lengthy, adding about 2 more hours of game play for those who don't rush through it. If you love hidden object titles or are looking for a game in the genre to get you started, don't hesitate to go for Dracula: Love Kills Collector's Edition.