Where is the Game?
The story was interesting. Not quite as epic as The Longest Journey, nor as long. It was a valiant attempt to expand the universe beyond the first game, which told a self-contained story. The graphics are excellent for both the fantasy world of Arcadia and high science world of Stark. They also brought back of the original voice actors for the English release of The Longest Journey, April in particular. The music is top notch and the voice acting generally is professionally done.
The story "has a message", wants "to be relevant to our times" and drives it home in a very unsubtle fashion. The game's length is heavily extended due to the all the voice acting. It would be a lot shorter if you only read it.
The actual gameplay is very weak. The adventure gaming is mostly of the walk and talk variety with few puzzles. I recall there was one chapter without any actual puzzles. None of the puzzles are as intricate or as maddening as The Longest Journey.
Before the game's initial release, there was some controversy as the developers included fighting and stealth elements into the game. Some of these can be avoided, but these features are amateur hour at best. The fighting is only slightly more complex than the game Urban Champion for the NES, and the stealth elements are scarcely more advanced than the original Metal Gear for the MSX/NES. In 2006, these felt like such an afterthought or a weak attempt to get the game onto consoles where a pure adventure would have no chance.
Almost seven years later and this game with its cliffhanger ending still has no sequel. One does feel cheated after spending a not inconsiderable period of time with this game. However, thanks to Kickstarter and the Norwegian Film Institute, a sequel is finally going to be made.
The Bottom Line
A fine example of digital storytelling, with the occasional nuisance of actually having to do something.