Legacy: Dark Shadows is a game with some charm but unfortunately lacks just about everything else. It is a real shame too because this game really seemed to have something going for it. Dark Shadows is a simple point and click adventure game reminiscent of the classic adventure game The Longest Journey. Essentially the game consists of moving Ren Silver through various artistic, pre-rendered environments in search of clues or puzzles to solve. The concept is very simple and with games such as The Longest Journey as a model, you wonder how they could have done such a poor job. It really is just sad when a game can’t even compete with a game that came out over 4 years ago.
Dark Shadows is very misguided. Throughout the entire game, you really won’t understand what the point is, and you’ll care even less. The game just never really seems to point you in any real direction. You just work from puzzle to puzzle not really knowing what you’re doing. Even when some story is presented, it usually seems completely unimportant and is never really explained well. For instance, early on Ren is called back from vacation due to the kidnapping of Ted. Ted is your friend; that is all the reason you’re given to come back, but neither Ren nor her boss seem the least bit distraught. The entire game is made up of these incidents that don’t really seem to matter and are not ever fully explained or made to seem the least bit important. And during your attempt to derive any meaning out of the story, you will find little solace in the puzzles. They are all, with a few exceptions, very bland and very simple, most of which involving using an item you found in the previous room. The only time you will ever find yourself scratching your head to figure out a puzzle, is when you aren’t even given a general idea of where your going or what you should be doing in a location. So you either constantly searching for a puzzle to solve or solving them way too quickly. This can get very frustrating very quickly.
During these fits bouts of frustration, Dark Shadows also treats you to some of the worst dialogue and voice acting you will ever experience. Whether you’re talking to a Russian soldier or your cybernetic boss nobody really comes across as intelligent. Everybody talks in very simple sentences that will show absolutely no cohesion with anything they said previously. Also, the first thing you may want to do is turn on the subtitles so you can skip the voice acting. Every character speaks in a very monotone, very simplistic manner often with horrible accents. Ren’s voice even seems to change and be voiced by someone completely different at different points during the game. Occasionally you find yourself laughing at how bad the dialogue is but most of the time you’ll simply find yourself wondering how it could be this bad.
Legacy: Dark Shadows tried hard to be a classic adventure game, including graphically. Dark Shadows is graphically on par with all the great adventure games-- that came out 5 years ago. Within 5 minutes of playing, you begin wondering how this game could possibly be a recent release. All the models are horribly blocky and very bland by today or even last year’s standards. The pre-rendered environments can often look interesting but are not interactive at all. Sadly, the graphics have no redeeming features, either, even the character design seems rather boring.
Legacy: Dark Shadows just isn’t fun. It tries so hard to mimic great adventure games like that of The Longest Journey but, sadly, only does so graphically which isn’t a good thing. The majority of Dark Shadows is spent going from easy to very frustrating without much in the middle, and you will find no consolation in the story or lack thereof. Of course Dark Shadows may have a deep story within, but you would never find in any of the horrible dialogue throughout the game. Other than a little charm every now and again, Legacy: Dark Shadows just doesn’t have anything to stand on, and is impossible to recommend to anyone other than the most hardcore adventure gamers looking for another title to add to their collection.