Dark Eye: Memoria and Chains Of Satinav Review (PS5)
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The Dark Eye series has finally landed on console. As someone unfamiliar with the series – and the point-and-click genre of gaming – I just knew I had to give The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav and The Dark Eye: Memoria a chance. Here is my Dark Eye review.
These two point-and-click adventures offer extensive stories with wondrous worlds and characters. They are rich with lore that makes them all feel real. Without a doubt, you’d assume that they’d be a breeze because of the nature of the game style. But the difficulty truly conveys the maturity of what The Dark Eye series has beneath its surface. This isn’t the style of game I grew up with, but it definitely has opened my eyes to the genre that’s for sure.
The Dark Eye Story
Both stories follow a bird catcher named Geron on a multi-layered quest. In Chains of Satinav, Geron’s mission is to find and destroy an enemy that was long believed to be dead, and bring back peace to Aventuria. Along this expansive quest, he comes across a sarcastic raven and a fairy whom he finds himself partnered with in his race against the clock.
In Memoria, we again journey with Geron following the events of Chains Of Satinav. However this time, we have a second playable character, Princess Sadja. A story within a story, it is now up to Geron to resolve the fate of Sadja and her long-lost land, Fasar.
These tales are told in a very concise way and there is A LOT of exposition within each one from both the main characters and side characters. It’s made very clear that these worlds and the stories that inhabit them are very thought out. It will definitely scratch the itch for those lore-lovers out there.
However, with the enormous amount of information you are given, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with it all. In both a good and a bad way.
The Dark Eye Gameplay
Both Chains of Satinav and Memoria play very similarly and really don’t deviate far from the path when it comes to gameplay mechanics – making it a truly seamless experience from one game to the next.
The vast majority of the game will have you pointing and clicking around beautifully realized scenes and interacting with various items or characters within. Often an item you require is in a different area and you’ll have to bring it back by using what you have or by negotiating with other people and figuring out what they would like in return.
The three main modes of figuring out the solution to what’s needed are the interaction option, the examine option, and the placing option. These interactions normally enable you to pick up an item and add it to your inventory. From that point, you can save those items for future problems you need to solve or combine them with other items to then resolve other puzzles.
The examine option usually gives some exposition to what you clicked, and a very subtle hint on what is needed to be done in order to progress. I didn’t use this option all too much but found it useful when I got stuck. Lastly, there’s the option of placing the items you have onto other environmental objects or giving them to another character. This option and the interact option go hand-in-hand most of the time.
The visuals on display across both titles are extraordinary. The developers over at Daedalic Entertainment did an outstanding job in creating a beautiful-looking world. The characters and environments look like a work of art at every step of the journey. There is nothing more to say other than that this game is worth its price of admission purely to experience the true art that is on display.
Potentially my biggest tripe with both of these titles is down to the voice acting. As a result, I often found myself completely taken out of the experience because of how corny it is.
There is a lot of cheesiness on display here – more so in Chains Of Satinav as opposed to Memoria. Nonetheless, this isn’t a complaint, because I am interested in the characters and the world I was in – it was off-putting more than anything else. Furthermore, I was happy to hear that Geron’s voice acting had matured when I played through Memoria.
The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav and The Dark Eye: Memoria are expertly crafted stories set in an intriguing and beautiful world with deep and rich characters. It did its best to stump me in its puzzles and did it with ease time and time again. In addition, some puzzles felt intentionally unfair, it’s hard not to appreciate the outside-of-the-box thinking that went into them. The main selling point is the visuals, the expansive story, and the characters that inhabit it. Furthermore, the pros most definitely out-way the cons – even if the voice acting is a little bit jarring.
Summary: Follow Geron on his journey across a beloved franchise. Save the world, explore some in-depth lore, and meet a host of wonderful characters.
Genres: RPG, Strategy
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 (Review Version)
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment GmbH
Publishers: Daedalic Entertainment GmbH
Initial Release Date: January 27th 2021 (Updated Versions)
Are you familiar with the point-and-click genre within gaming? Will you give the Dark Eye series a chance? Let us know in the comments below.