Archive for Draugen

My thoughts on Draugen

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives with tags on July 2, 2019 by Occult Detective

From Red Thread Games comes Draugen, a first-person psychological mystery set in Norway.

“The year is 1923. You play Edward Charles Harden, an American traveller who’s come to Norway to find his missing sister. But you’re not alone: at every step of the way, Edward’s accompanied by his ward, Lissie; a gregarious, independent and enigmatic young woman. Together, you must explore this scenic coastal community — nestled amongst the fjords and mountains of rural Norway — in your search for Edward’s sister, and unearth the darkness that lies beneath the picturesque surface.”

Draugen

First, let me explain that I reached out to Astrid Rosemarin, who works in marketing and PR for Red Thread, requesting the opportunity to review this game. She supplied me with a code for Steam and off I went.

In full disclosure, I rarely play PC games. I prefer console (XBoxOne), but the theme of this game piqued my interest and I wanted to share my thoughts with fellow occult detective fans.

The gameplay was simple, which was a big help to me, not being very comfortable gaming with a keyboard. If keyboards aren’t your thing either, no worries here. You’ll have no trouble navigating the world.

Draugen_screen_village

The visuals are stunning. The environment, settings, and characters are all extremely believable and immersive. I was never drawn out of the narrative because of graphics. Red Thread Games’ attention to detail is admirable.

I was also quite taken with the voice acting and sound effects. While Lissie was quite annoying, I can’t help but feel she was spot on and exactly right for what was needed for the story.

Draugen_screen_letter

And speaking of story, well, that’s the defining grace of the game. Billed as a psychological mystery, that is exactly what you get. It’s not horror, but there are elements of the genre to keep you more than satisfied if that’s what you’re looking for.

Of course there are some hiccups, narratively speaking, but I found the game more compelling than other similar games, such as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter or Kona.

All in all, a very positive experience and one that I think occult detective fans will find interest in. There are Lovecraftian moments, with a Ligotti sensibility.

In summation, it is flawed, but compelling, with an excellent sensory immersion that will often leave you breathless. The pacing is slow, painfully so at times, but I believe this is by design, as the isolation, desperation, and descent into madness as the core themes is simulated by the narrative structure.

On a scale of 1-10, I rate it a measured 7.5 stars.

Draugen_screen_farmhouse

 

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