London, Whitechapel, 1888 – a series of cruel murders shook the city. In the point-and-click adventure Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey by Salix Games, three heroes set out on the trail of one of the most notorious serial killers in history. We were allowed to play the first chapters and don’t want to withhold our impressions from you. Note: We have tested a pre-release version. This is an unfinished version of the game, so we will not give you a final rating here.
The adventure begins in Norway. The immortal knight Sir Lancelot Du Lac and the cursed sorceress Morgana Le Fey fight demons that threaten humans. When Du Lac has a vision after an encounter with one of these monsters, the unequal duo travels to London. Arriving in the city, they soon learn of cruel murders that keep the population in suspense and meet Mary Jane Kelly, who is also looking for the murderer.
Personalities known from legends and history
The three protagonists are made up of mythical figures and historical personalities. Du Lac was once an honorable knight who defended the kingdom and its king with all his might. Meanwhile he travels with Fey through the country and kills demons and monsters. He keeps his knightly virtues, so he always appears polite and is always ready to help someone in need. Fey is the king’s sister and was once a powerful sorceress until a curse forced her to take the form of a dog. At Du Lac’s side, she fights monsters that threaten the innocent and searches for the person responsible for the curse.
Mary Jane Kelly, a young woman with a special gift, works as a day labourer and prostitute in London. She is horrified by the terrible murders and determined to stop the perpetrator before more suffering happens.
London in autumn of terror
The scene is Victorian London at the end of the 19th century. Many facts, such as people involved, dates and events at Jack the Ripper’s time were used in the game. Mary Jane Kelly’s figure is based on the historical Mary Jane Kelly, who is considered the last victim of Jack the Ripper. Inspector Abberline, who investigates the murders in the game, is based on the inspector of the same name who was involved in the investigation of Jack the Ripper. The press also plays a role. You’ll find information about the murders in Lac’s newspaper.
Nevertheless, the developers have left room for their own story and themes. Supernatural and fantasy elements are present. There are trolls, demons and magic. You Lac and Fey come from the legend of King Arthur and Mary Kelly has a special gift. This creates an exciting mixture whose development you can be very excited about.
Graphically, Dance of Death uses its own style and a mixture of 2D and 3D elements to create a coherent image. The locations are rich in detail and very well designed and appear authentic. A small weakness, however, is revealed here: some places, especially the shops in London, are very interesting and detailed, but there are usually only a few points of interaction. It would have been nice to have the opportunity to look at something more often and hear a comment from the protagonists. The game is completely soundtracked and synchronized in a great way. Especially when you give Lac the noble knight again and Fey comments a bit bitingly, the characters come across great.
Dance of Death is a point-and-click adventure. You take turns controlling one of the protagonists. You explore, investigate, talk to other characters and collect information. There are no difficult puzzles so far, Mary Kelly has to mix a certain tincture at one point, but this does not really cause headaches. In some situations you also have to switch between the protagonists, because the heroes have different abilities, for example Fey can talk to animals, Du Lac can not.
You can find the current destination in the diary, where you can also view important information and items. You can move your selected hero with the mouse, which is unfortunately not always easy. In more spacious areas the movement and finding the way of the figures mostly worked, in narrower or nested rooms it is annoying to move the desired character to the desired place. However, since this is a pre-release version, it can be assumed that improvements will still be made here. If the character is close enough to an interesting object or person, it can interact. Objects can be examined, but not directly used or combined. They mainly serve to collect information. In dialogs, different options are occasionally available, and depending on what you say, the other parties react differently.
However, since some situations cannot be discussed out, even if you try Lac unsuccessfully with a demon, fierce arguments do not fail. In this case a marker will move back and forth on the display, if the marker is in the golden area, you have to click and hit it. You will have to repeat this several times and the victory will be yours. This may not be spectacular, but it is quite sufficient for a point-and-click adventure.
The first chapters of Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey make a very good and promising impression. Dance of Death isn’t the first game about Jack the Ripper, but the story is interesting because of the different elements of legends and history. Despite the partly quite dark topic there are always some funny moments. The three main characters are likeable, have their peculiarities and the high-quality dubbing makes it really fun to listen to the characters. The developer also promises that his own decisions will have an impact as the adventure progresses. What will happen next will be shown with the release. Dance of Death Du Lac & Fey will be released on April 5, 2019 for PC.