Jesus christ, Daedalic really push out the stylised 2D adventure games like theyres going out of fashion, and good job. Their latest upcoming release, The Night of the Rabbit, is again a point and click adventure game due for release on the 29th of May. I have to stress that what I played was just a small portion of the finished version. It was a bloody awesome small part that I played as well, and I cant stress enough how much I’m looking forward to the final release.
So the game acts like any normal point and click game, you point your mouse, you click and then stuff happens. The prologue is really great, it manages to set the tone and feel by relaying the story and really captivating your interest. A wizened voice opens up the story and fills you in on the events leading up to game play, letting you know that what’s happening if just a fragment of a much larger story. Already, the game feels well put together and the narrative sets the ball rolling. After the initial storytelling you take controll of ‘the Rabbit’ and are cast off into the world and you quickly meet an ‘Odd figure’ who tells you that he knows all about you and guides you along your way to a portal which progresses the story.
You are then introduced to the main protagonist in the game, ‘Jeremiah’ just a few days before he goes back to school. Jeremiah, or Jerry is a young lad who dreams of far flung places and wants to be a magacian. Like most young boys in video games, Jerry is the adventurous sort, who likes exploring and creates fantasies from the smallest of chores. After one of your chores, you return home to find a magical flying envelope in the mailbox. The magical mail is a riddle, and the first of the game. The riddle is a recipe, and one for a flaming carrot which summons the Rabbit. The Rabbit will tell Jerry all manner of things, helping him on the way to becoming a magician. This knowledge will allow him to travel to far flung places and discover new magic and interesting characters. Items you find are often collectable and add to the lore of the game,. Instead of being meaningless.
I was told that the artwork was not completely finished for the preview game. But that being said, I loved the style of the artwork. It captivated me and at points left me breathless. There is something a 2d game captures which a 3d game really cannot. You literally feel that you are playing a game within a piece of artwork. The art style really lends to the game play and adds depth to the experience. Subtle details and animations were put into the game that reveal how much work went into the development. For example the character will not or shake his head depending on the answer the player gives to certain questions.
The voice acting too is astounding. Jerry is so well voiced and I would go as far to say that the voice acting is some of my favourite in any game. Its crisp, clear and evokes senses that make you feel part of the game. The game is scripted so well that the words hold weight and do not seem meaningless or out of character. One of the only negative points I picked up about the dialogue was the awkward silences that sometimes occur when people are talking, but these screws might be tightened before the final version is shipped. The music is subtle and not overbearing and adds to the overall theme that the developers were trying to capture.
When you are given a quest you are given the information and off you go, to complete it armed with the knowledge and your wanting of adventuring. There is nothing to direct you towards the goal, no markers or indeed any UI which again gives you the feeling that you are playing a piece of art instead of a game. Over the course of the game Daedalic do introduce gradually some UI. The highlighter is a ‘Magic Coin’ Jerry looks through and can be used to see hidden things too, and the hint system is a spell that connects Jerry to the Maquis. Granted from what I played the hints were about as useful as a sharpened Monkey Island 2guide through the neck, but hopefully they’ll be more useful in the final game. There were also traditional bad adventure moments when I basically had the right solution but the game gave me no clue I was on the right track, and also not making some locations obvious enough. I can live with these though if the rest of the game is great. It seems incredibly free roaming and not having any direction gives you the feeling of satisfaction when you actually finish the task. This is great and harks back to a simpler time within video games when the player had to find their way to the objective, instead of getting information thrown at them, making the experience all too easy. The quests in The Night of the Rabbit are not short and definitely require much thought. But in turn, this makes them memorable, enjoyable and fulfilling.
The Night of the Rabbit is really set to be an amazing video game. I have not played a point and click game in a while and this game bring me nostalgia, especially for Monkey Island. Visually its stunning and full of quickly cool features. The characters are sweet and lovable, the story and world already intriguing, and the puzzles currently seem to be on the right track. Unless it all falls apart later I think Daedalic could finally have an adventure that most people will enjoy. The Night of the Rabbit will be released if all goes to plan on 29th May 2013 on PC only.
Most anticipated feature – To see what else they can achieve but blending the artwork and puzzles.
Disclaimer:All Previews given are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.