Review from April 15, 2010
Yes, I just got around to playing Dire Grove
after all this time. The demo wasn't immediately compelling like RTR's was, and I wasn't sure how I felt about the video tapes, plus I finished the demo in 45 minutes.(This is a large file game, and you only get to demo the first chapter, and whether you finish it in an hour or not depends on how experienced a player you are)
First, let me say WOW
I am SO glad I bought this, and even happier that I finally had a chance to play it! This is a game you really need to sit down with and just experience
. I don't recommend starting it if you're distracted, for you'll miss out on the true atmosphere of the game.
You NEED to have the volume turned on to truly submerge yourself into the story. If you haven't tried it yet, there is quite a bit of live acting in this game. You won't want to miss what the characters are saying, nor the music, which ranges from beautiful and haunting to downright disturbing (perfect for the tone of the game!!) The developers did a beautiful job integrating everything together!
This IS from the Mystery Case Files
series, so I, like so many others, can't help but compare it to Return to Ravenhearst.
I have to say that I liked this almost as much as RTR, which I consider the best IHOG of all time. Dire Grove
is now my second favorite, displacing Echoes of the Past
, Hidden Expedition: Devil's Triangle
So, the length. I read every word, every journal entry and watched every tape. I skipped most of the puzzles (not being in the mood for them today
), and did make use of the walkthrough when I was especially puzzled.
I consider myself an experienced player, and even though I skipped the brain-bender puzzles, it still took me almost 4 hours to complete the game.
This game is absolutely, positively worth every penny October 30, 2011 UPDATE:
My original review of the game is from when I first played it a year and a half ago, and it still holds true today: This is an amazing game. Last week my Sis-in-Law and I played it through together, side-by-side. It's just as spooky and beautiful as the first time I played it, and if not for the fact that I have soooo many games waiting to be played through for the first time, we'd have started it over again right there and then.
The video tapes were an issue for a great many players - too reminiscent of Blair Witch Project, they said. I never saw Blair Witch, myself, but I was still originally thrown off a bit by the videos. If you look at my original review, you'll see that my opinion changed pretty quickly, but I can now explain WHY the videos work so beautifully in this game:
Ambiance. The first couple of videos are done very much in the style of Blair Witch, but thereafter, they are telling the background story. What happened in Dire Grove, how the kids came to be there in the first place, the fear, the cold, the strange occurrences... all presented in a way that makes it so that those who don't like to read will be able to get the background information and the feeling that those who produced the game were trying to convey.
If you're one of the ones who didn't go past the demo time because of the video tapes, I urge you to give the game another try. Just think of them as extra story... This really is a spectacular game.