Aggie Awards

2008 Aggie Awards

Best First-Person PC Adventure: Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon

 

 

At first glance, The Path of the Dragon seems to be just another solitary experience with a heavy reliance on puzzles. It doesn’t take long to realize, however, that this well-researched, riveting blend of historical fact, science, esoteric mystery and myth is one of the better, deeper games of its type. As Father Arno Moriani, a Catholic priest, players are sent to a small Transylvanian village to investigate the beatification of a doctor who devoted her life to helping her fellow countrymen, even during the World War I bombing that devastated the town. Haunted by his own nightmares, Arno soon finds himself entangled in a widespread conspiracy involving the Vatican, the mysterious Thule Society, and the epitome of the vampire mythos, Dracula himself.

Although numbered Dracula 3, this game bears no connection at all to Resurrection and The Last Sanctuary, its so-called predecessors. The depiction of Bram Stoker’s most famous creation here is both original and enticing, and everything in this adventure exudes atmosphere: the beautifully rendered locations are eerie and menacing, the musical score engrossing and suspenseful, the sound effects believably effective, and the cinematography swathes the player with its dense shadows, dim lights and cold colors suddenly ignited by sparkling flashes of vivid red. The plot unfolds slowly but steadily, with unexpected twists and moments of pure tension: occult lore, forgotten myths and secret conspiracy have been elegantly used by the designers to weave a brilliant story spanning almost five centuries.

Arno himself displays a convincing personality, struggling between faith and skepticism, loyalty to his priesthood and carnal urges, sacred love for God and human desires: his internal torment leads the game to a powerful ending that will leave you craving more. Such characterization of the playable protagonist is unusual in first-person adventures, and one of the key reasons for its broader appeal that sets it apart from its contemporaries.

Runners-Up: Penumbra: Black Plague, Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice

 



Readers’ Choice: Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon


Obviously you see what we see in The Path of the Dragon, but then we all have an up-close view from its first-person perspective. With the Dracula franchise in the hands of Kheops for the first time, the "series" took a substantial leap forward, and its refreshing approach to the vampire theme was able to fend off challenges from Penumbra: Black Plague and Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals.
 



Next up: Best Third-Person PC Adventure... the envelope, please.

Continued on the next page...

Time Hollow can be purchased at:

Affiliate Links

Related Games

Time Hollow

Platform(s): DS

Sam & Max: Season Two

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360

Also known as Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space

The Experiment

Platform(s): PC

Also known as Experience112

A Vampyre Story

Platform(s): PC

The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure

Platform(s): PC

Also known as Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim

Lost: Via Domus

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Dracula 3: The Path of the Dragon

Platform(s): iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch, Mac, PC

Also known as Dracula Series: Parts 1-3


About the Author
Other articles...


Comments

Fantasysci5 Fantasysci5
Feb 18, 2009

Yay!!! At least “The Lost Crown” got honorble mentions. Wink It HAS to win “Best Sound”, though!!! Wink

Mikane Zaprick
Feb 18, 2009

Tragic.

That last one of day one will not do anything to stem the tide of mind-numbing inanity taking over as a “concept” appreciated by adventure gamers.

It’s not true, developers! Please, disregard! Heed not the death knell!

Jonathan Boakes! Matthew Clark! Arberth! Save Us!

Fien Fien
Feb 19, 2009

Heh… apparently I’m a “traditionalist” because I share your sentiment.
I take back everything I said about being able to predict the Award results. It now seems to me (and of course I may be way off)  that the people who voted are not the same crowd populating the forums… for instance, Overclocked was severely criticised on the adventure forum.

Ascovel Ascovel
Feb 19, 2009

Actually, Overclocked is the only game I’m happy about that it won.

Askobar
Feb 19, 2009

Funny. My votes and all the awards are a perfect match so far. The jury has a good taste. Smile

Fienepien. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that people who voted are not the same crowd populating the forums. By that crowd you probably meant the active members of the forums. But then again there are a lot of “lurkers” like me, who read the forum very often but participate rarely. And yet I feel that I’m part of the AG community and part of the forum population. One more thing.

 

Overclocked was criticized but that’s no surprise. People give negative feedback much more often than positive one. IMO a game has to be of a superb quality before you start to see a lot of positive feedback.

Fien Fien
Feb 19, 2009

Ascovel, I’m also happy Overclocked got an Award, I thought it was a great game. Correct me if I’m wrong, I still feel that the game was received much better in Germany.

Askobar, yes, I meant the active members. Btw, I do remember your nickname from the forums. Smile Of course silent lurkers are also part of the AG community, so did we just hear them vote for the Awards in large numbers or did the active forum members change their minds?

Jackal Jackal
Feb 19, 2009

Bear in mind this wasn’t simply a forum poll. Whether silent or active, forum members represent only a small part of AG’s overall reader-base, so these poll results include plenty of other people out there we don’t generally hear from. Not everyone who casts a ballot attends the rallies. Grin

DEMON
Feb 19, 2009

Critised by some, praised by others. Yey Overclocked! Tongue Way to go! Smile *screams O-V-E-R-C-L-O-C-K-E-D with the funny stuff cheerleaders have in their hands*

Fantasysci5 Fantasysci5
Feb 19, 2009

I was surprised “The Lost Crown” didn’t win the Best Sound design, which Jonathan Boakes’ is known for. But Iw as so ecstatic that “The Lost Crown” won the best setting!! I thought it had it and it did!!! Wink

GhaleonQ
Feb 19, 2009

The most obvious question presents itself: how many PC adventure gamers own DS-es?

DEMON
Feb 20, 2009

I´ve got to say I´m quite satisfied with the results. Not all the games I voted for got to the list, some aren´t even runner-ups, but all in all, I believe the results are fair, from the overall point of view.

Martin Gantefoehr Martin Gantefoehr
Feb 20, 2009

Hey, AG staff and readers,

now that the the final results are in, I’d like to take the opportunity and say ‘Thank You’ to the staffers and readers who voted for (and awarded) Overclocked. The team here at the HoT WHQ is happy that the game was amongst the nominees in four categories, and recieved recognition.

Personally, I’d like to thank you all for the ‘Best Writing - Drama’ Award. It’s a meaningful thing to a writer to see work recognised and appreciated (by both staff and readers). I’m pleased that some of what I’ve tried to put into this difficult project has found its way to you, our audience.

Congratulations to all winners!

DEMON
Feb 20, 2009

MG - I thank you and whole production team for the opportunity to play a game I thoroughly enjoyed, despite some minor drawbacks. For me, Overclocked was one of the most enjoyable experiences (in AGs) in 2008.

mszv
Feb 22, 2009

Ok - you’ve done it Adventure Gamers!  Aside from waiting for Momento Mori and Sill Life 2, I’m going to buy Overclocked tonight (Oh god, thank you, a download from your site, no blasted DVD to find and install) and Time Hollow.  I can play Time Hollow on the plane when I go visit my parents.  I can play Overclocked at my parents.

I like the whole award thing - clever and informative.  Nicely done. It gives me ideas.

jaap jaap
Feb 22, 2009

Great feature!
I missed though:
1) The best puzzle
2) The coolest easter egg

wildcat
Feb 25, 2009

Enjoy both Time Hollow and Overclocked mszv, they are truly little adventure gems Smile

Fantasysci5 Fantasysci5
Feb 25, 2009

Best puzzle would be awesome!!! And best easter egg, except I would be thinking a game from the past. Wink

Melanie68 Melanie68
Feb 25, 2009

Best puzzle was in the original set of awards, but the nominators didn’t come to a consensus on those to put up for a vote after all the nominations were tallied, so it got scrapped.  We thought of it, though! Smile

Lee in Limbo Lee in Limbo
Mar 2, 2009

Some fantastic games. Wonderful write-ups, too. Games I hadn’t heard of before sounded utterly brilliant. It gives a guy some small hope that things aren’t as bad as they’ve seemed lately.

Thanks to the AG Staff for all of the time and work that went into this presentation. And I like the clever use of the name ‘Aggie’ for the award. Fantastic picture, too.

Post a comment

You need to be logged in to post comments. Not a member? Register now!