Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome Collector's Edition
very good game,enyojed playing it
January 7, 2012
A good game that didn't age well.
This review is based on a complete playthrough of the game plus bonus content.
This was one of the first games I bought here, but for some reason didn't play it until now. I've got to review it compared to new games in 2014, since this is when you'll be spending your hard earned cash.
First off, the Bonus Content (or Why should I pay double for this game?): there's not much. No achievements, morphs, collectibles, or a lot of the 'bling' that comes standard with CE games today. The bonus chapter is about an hour long, ties up a loose end from the main story, and ends on an 'unresolved' note of its own.
Personally, I think the SE is the way to go on this one. Now the game:
THE GOOD: Graphics were a 'realistic' style, with a darkness that worked well with the mood of the game. The map was also presented as though you were drawing it in yourself as you went: it labeled each room and showed 'points of interest', puzzles, HOS (very useful, this), and locked doors.
The puzzles were challenging - some very challenging. I had to skip a couple - something I almost never do. Not all were maddeningly difficult, but there were enough.
The storyline: it's a 'psychological suspense/thriller' and holds to that pretty well (no comic relief or other 'breaks'). The game does a good job of reminding you what's at stake so you always have a 'sense of urgency' in moving forward.
THE BAD: The map/layout. This game needed a jump map in the worst way. The entire game was in one continuous area that you kept going back and forth and back and forth over. Not just a few rooms either, often it's double digits each way.
The HOS - a monochromatic, dreary gray. Especially in the start of the game. I get what they were trying to do, but they sacrificed too much in terms of playability in the attempt. I think every scene gets repeated once: things you pulled out are back in the picture the second time. They aren't terrible junkpiles, but games today do it much better.
The story gets repetitive. You can only be surprised by the same thing so many times. The sound effects compound the effect as you hear the same ones over and over.
THE UGLY: Apparently you're asthmatic by the way you breathe in almost every scene. They were probably trying for fright or shock or something, but after hearing it so much it just got annoying.
BOTTOM LINE: Better than just an ok game: 3 1/2 stars rounded up to four. I still say the SE is the way to go, but if you want the resolution of the bonus chapter (and a nice 'twist' ending: not the switch I was expecting), you can do a lot worse.
April 20, 2014
Too much and not enough
I thought this was a good game, but there were several elements that got on my nerves. First, the concept of the Dorian Gray Syndrome. I am very familiar with the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I am still at a loss as to how this guy wearing a mask compared with Dorian Gray. "Oscar" never shows any desire to transfer his evil to anyone or anything else. I also thought that, although there were many hints and scenes obliquely referring to Oscar's tortured youth, there weren't enough details to fill in the blanks as to why he had become what he had. On the other hand, there was way too much going back and forth and WAY too much of Oscar's one-sided conversations with Sam: "Sam, I've always meant to ask you, do you think art is important?" "Sam, you'd better hurry, you're running out of time," "Sam, no one was ever nice to me, so I have preserved this victim for eternity..." blah blah blah To be fair, you can turn him off.
I did love the fact that this game was different, and the graphics and music were excellent. I also found Oscar's "art" genuinely creepy, and there were several moments that actually startled me. I'm not sure why I bought the Collector's Edition, but by the end of the main part of the story, I had had enough of Oscar and I did not play the bonus chapter. I would recommend this game, but if I had it to do over again, I would turn the voice off once I had the gist of Oscar's personality.
July 25, 2013
It seems that hidden object mystery games just get creepier and creepier, and Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome Collector's Edition is one of the creepiest by far. While there is no blood, there is one psychotic "artist" that is our antogonist, and is he ever deranged. We play through the POV of Sam Wilde, an investigative reporter, and even though the place names sound very English, the background looks to be in Central Europe. Well, Sam is getting a little to close to the truth, and even in 1950, the time when this is all taking place, some low tech can be used in finding what has been missing and saving more lives, including the one dearest to Sam, his girlfriend, Anna.
"Oscar" has kidnapped Anna, and has brought Sam to his "gallery", where he has created life-sized works of art from the perfectly preserved bodies of his young and beautiful victims, dressed to reflect the image he wants them to portray, Icarus on the ceiling, his mechanic always in the garage, The Vitruvian Man, a flower girl in the indoor garden. So "Oscar" is a man of resources, but his insanity had lead him to using them for all the wrong reasons, and I was a little disappointed that in this very creepy mystery that there were not man HO puzzles to go through. Many logic puzzles, and lots of running back and forth to take one item to make another thing work, and so on, which is pretty common with these kinds of games. Had this been a horror film, I would have been riveted to find out more about Oscar. Perhaps the writers of this game might want to consider taking this script to an independent studio, because it would make one amazing scary movie. I've played my share of creepy games, and was glad not have run into swarming spiders in this one. You might even consider reading Oscar Wilde's works or at least watch LXG after playing this to learn more about Dorian Gray, but I was glad for the reprieve when I chose the more upbeat "Legally Blonde" to view after playing this game.
June 20, 2012
Great HOG with lots of backtracking
Bought this from the CE sale last weekend, I am not disappointed. The graphic is great and the voice over sounds pro, there are a lot to do although I checked the strategy guide I am already in Chapter 3 while playing for about 1 hour.
The storyline is not unusual, but it is twisted so it's kinda unique in a way. I would give this game a 5 star if only there is not many backtracking.. You go back and forth, back and forth, and although there is a map, you can't click on them to move from one location to the other. Once you acquire an item, you have to go back many scenes and then go forward again to find item and them go back again... And I notice there is a 2-3 seconds loading between scenes which takes it longer if you have to go backward 5 scenes, for example. But in short, I enjoy this game and I think you should give this one a try.
April 16, 2012
Very reminiscent of Saw movies. So if you like that kind of stuff, this is right up your alley. Been a while since i played it, but the puzzles were good, its a dark game not only in storyline, but also color/brightness on your screen. Would recommend if you like the psycho/serial killer premise.
April 1, 2012
It's just okay
I'm glad I played Dorian Gray Syndrome once, but I'm not expecting to replay it anytime soon.
The music and graphics are beautiful, first of all, and I'm impressed with the voice acting in this game. Oscar's voice actor is very Vincent Price-like and he's really what makes this game. But in terms of game play and story, it falls flat.
For game-play, it's your standard HO game. You collect items, find hidden objects, and solve puzzles. So, it's pretty standard. My only criticism is there is a LOT of backtracking in the game and the world is so big it gets tedious way too early. A "go to" option on the map would have really helped.
The story is essentially a rehash of Vincent Price's "House of Wax", but lacked the suspenseful build up the film had. If the story took its time gradually building up Oscar's psychological profile and what happened to the victims, I would have enjoyed it so much more. It's not a bad story - I just think it needed to slow itself down for a bit.
The bonus game for the CE is a bit too short for my liking (although I enjoyed the twist). I would have liked a longer bonus game that went into Oscar's head a bit more.
Overall, I'm glad I played it. It was a pleasantly creepy and atmospheric game, I just wanted a bit more from it.
October 25, 2013
Not that great.
This seemed like an average HOG. I have played so many others that were more fluid with a better story.
The reason I had to write this review is because of the sound. Many people commented that the voice overs were great. I found the voice of the adversary to be truly annoying. You didn't know when he was going to start talking. Yes you could click to stop the talking, but what a pain to have to do that every time. An option to turn off the voice would have been nice. I still wanted to hear the music and other sound effects, so I didn't want to turn the sound completely off. And the coughing sound....who thought that was a good idea??????????
September 2, 2012
A little disappointed
I am writing this after just completing the standard version, so my disappointment is still fresh. I thought the storyline was good, so good that I had built up in my mind that Sam, the role you play, perhaps was the killer. I was really expecting a good twist at the end. If you want a dissent ending and some closure, you have to get the collector's edition for the bonus chapter.
The games and challenges were good. There were about three or four I had to skip because I really just did not understand the directions or couldn't conceive how to accomplish them without manipulating something during play. The game really just makes you hunt down items to manipulate other items. The most challenging aspect of the game is recalling where you need to use an item. After a while, it got a bit boring.
December 30, 2012
I found my self on the verge of losing consciousness
This is a hard game to review: on the one hand it had a brilliant storyline; the voiceover of Oscar was excellent; some of the mini-games were incredibly fun. One the other hand: I found several glitches in the game and it wasn't my computer; there were many many many back and forths. It was very difficult to navigate between areas even with a map, but perhaps that is my own lack of experience; some of the mini games were so easy as to have been a waste of time.
Overall though I thought the game was excellent because of its coherency. But there were small things which just bugged me.
I will recommend it...and have given it 3 stars. It seems like an update to fix a few things would make this a 4-5 star game.
August 6, 2012