It has almost been a year since Cultured Vultures had a first look at Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey at EGX Rezzed 2018. It tells the story of immortal Arthurian legends, Sir Lancelot Du Lac and Morgana Le Fey, as they end up on the trail of Jack The Ripper in Victorian London.
I was highly impressed with this point and click adventure during the 2018 demo. A beautiful art style that blends hand-drawn backgrounds with cartoon-style, 3D characters occupying the world. Dance of Death also had some rather interesting mechanics, so naturally I wanted to play more.
The visuals are actually better than I remember. Despite really liking them the first time, I was concerned that having an artistic, hand-drawn style background mixed with more conventional 3D models in the would would look out of place, and could run the risk of looking totally at odds artistically. Luckily, this isn’t true at all, as the flat background manage to look artsy, yet believable, with a real sense of depth. There’s nothing worse than 3D models walking around an obviously flat world.
Essentially, Du Lac & Fey is very much a traditional point and click adventure. As with most games in the genre, there is a huge focus on the exploration of your surroundings, as well as gathering information and finding clues. But Dance of Death does manages to differentiate itself from those point and click games of old.
Dance of Death sees Du Lac & Fey team up to work together to clue their way through the game. Whereas Lancelot Du Lac is your standard protagonist, at least from a investigative point of view, Morgana Le Fey is a sorceress who has been cursed, and is now taking the form of a dog. Far from this being a disadvantage, this situation offers some unique plusses.
Du Lac and Fey can chat away to one another to their heart’s content. But Fey cannot talk to other human characters. She can, however, gain extra information by talking to animals. She also has a better sense of smell, so she can detect things that Lancelot cannot possibly hope to find. A simple click of their icon in the top left of the screen will allow you to swap characters seamlessly, as long as they are currently available.
During the opening act, discover that this ancient pair are confident detectives, as they investigate a murder in a snow covered town. Discovering that the killer is a demon who they are forced to track down, this leads to a quick time event style battle which involves you stopping a progress bar at a precise moment. It isn’t very difficult, however is an different change of pace to the slower, investigative gameplay.
During my playtime with Dance of Death, I also managed to experience some gameplay featuring a third playable character, Mary Kelly. Those with some knowledge of the Jack the Ripper cases will know Mary Kelly as the Ripper’s final victim, so it’ll be interesting the role that her character plays in the game.
All-in-all, Dance of Death looks set to be a good, modern take on the classic point and click formula. Blending stylish visuals with great exploration and investigation aspects, much like their forerunners, but adding some interesting features to the genre to help set it apart from the competition. Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey is due for release on the 5th of April, and I can’t wait to play the game as a continual piece of work.