So there i was, booting up The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav (TDE:COS hereafter) for the the first time. The game started straight away, a blessing after experiencing major compatibility issues with Daedelic's The Whispered World, and soon I was in game, launching into a somewhat abrupt beginning. Suddenly, the game stopped, seemingly frozen, before launching into dialogue, followed by the same thing EVERY TIME I spoke to someone. Now, I don't have an amazing computer, but I can handle fully 3D games just fine, no hangs. So I went to the options menu, turned everything down to low and it WAS WORSE! After some forum hunting I finally found out that TDE:COS needs to run in native color depth. So, I went to the configuration tool, changed it to 32-bit (from the lowest option, 16-bit) and, lo and behold, a fun game began to emerge.
I will say, that this was the most frustrating experience that I had with this game. The puzzles were fairly logical throughout the first half, with only a few leaps in logic towards the end, where some of the physics are more maleable. The dialogue ranges from stilted to quite engaging. The over-arching storyline has enough going on that I was fairly invested, though it did not bring much novelty. However, shortly after I worked through the aforementioned flaws, I began to really, REALLY, enjoy myself. The visuals are very effective and there is an ambience throughout the game that plucked at my fond memories of The Longest Journey.
Yes, this game is flawed. Yes, the graphics cause delays and hangs. However, once you look past that, there is a really great game here (anyone remember the flawed, but fabulous, Soulbringer?). Well worth a budget price.
Pros: Beautiful. Enjoyable puzzles. Fairly engaging story. Some of the voice acting. Solid musical score.
Cons: Running it. Some of the voice acting. A few of the later puzzles.
3.5 out of 5 Stars/Thumbs/Turnips