Dracula Unleashed (1993)

Video Game  -  Horror  -  1993 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 17 users  
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You play an American business in 1899 London that learns that your brother was part of a team of men that destroyed Dracula. Yet, the evil count of darkness has risen and you must kill him again, and save your finance

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Title: Dracula Unleashed (Video Game 1993)

Dracula Unleashed (Video Game 1993) on IMDb 7.6/10

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John Arthur Olson ...
Bill Williamson ...
Alexander Morris
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You play an American business in 1899 London that learns that your brother was part of a team of men that destroyed Dracula. Yet, the evil count of darkness has risen and you must kill him again, and save your finance

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1993 (USA)  »

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Superb follow up to Bram Stoker's classic novel!
5 July 2009 | by (Manchester, England, UK) – See all my reviews

Since I am the first to comment on Dracula UNLEASHED on the IMDb, I will express as far as possible the mixed feelings that both myself and those who wrote comments on other websites both have about it.

Dracula UNLEASHED is a Full Motion Video (FMV) video game made for the SEGA console and the PC. In 2002, it was given a new lease of life by a DVD distributor who remastered the game and released it in a format that enables anyone with a DVD player to play it. If only other interactive movie games similar to this one had been given the same treatment, more people would have had the opportunity to enjoy the delightful experience of playing them. This is a particularly important point coming from someone who believes many FMV games are of a standard so high that they surpass many B-movies on many levels.

The plot is very reminiscent of a sequel in the same vain as the Hammer Dracula franchise. Alexander Morris, brother of Quincey Morris in the original novel, is in London 10 years after the events of the novel took place. Whilst there, he has fallen in love with an attractive young woman but his real purpose is to investigate the events surrounding his brother's death. I include the spoiler warning but most would not consider it a spoiler when I reveal that the game involves tracking down the resurrected Dracula and sending him back to the hell he came from.

Whilst remaining consistent with the original novel, the story also develops the characters a little. Arthur Holmwood has married a young woman named Regina. Jonathan and Mina Harker now have a child.

The game brings some very interesting new characters, including the main character Alexander Morris. But the best character by far is Alfred Horner, a co-owner of a bookstore who is an incredibly sinister character very reminiscent of the Klove character from Dracula: PRINCE OF DARKNESS. The game is worth playing if only for the sake of seeing Nelson Williams's superb performance as Alfred Horner.

This FMV game does a remarkably good job of developing atmosphere, suspense and tension throughout. And at the same time it has its cheesy element (particularly gore and special effects) reminiscent of the Hammer Dracula franchise. All of the clichés used in vampire movies and games are here as well.

The acting is surprisingly good for a game of this type and helps to distract attention from some of its shortcomings, including the use of video instead of film for recording the cut-scenes, along with the incredibly cheap-looking sets. Indeed, the Hammer Dracula movies look like big-budget Hollywood movies compared to this game!

However, the gameplay is the real stumbling block and is the reason why I have not given the game a rating of 10. Gameplay consists of visiting various locations and triggering cut-scenes when entering. The challenge of the game is to visit the correct locations in the correct order and at the correct times. Whilst this sounds straightforward on paper, it is incredibly frustrating in practice. Indeed, few who play this would manage to make it to the end without a walkthrough or a hint sheet of some kind. There are dozens of points where the main character could die and backtracking is often very difficult.

Gameplay is more basic than most point-and-click adventure games of the interactive movie genre (i.e. GABRIEL KNIGHT: THE BEAST WITHIN or the Tex Murphy series). There are no sliding puzzles, no assembling bits of paper and no manipulation of objects stored in inventory. Objects do not need to be picked up, they are automatically added to inventory when the main character find them. Aside from visiting locations, the only other significant interactive element is the facility for selecting objects from inventory to hold before entering locations. This is particularly important in some scenes where failure to have the correct item can result in the character's death.

Overall, Dracula UNLEASHED is a great game with a story that provides us with an excellent, riveting follow-up to the original novel. Gameplay is limited but the story is riveting enough to appeal to the casual gamer. I would particularly recommend it for fans of the Hammer Dracula franchise.


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Anyone know where I can get the DVD version? Simon_Callahan
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