Sir Lancelot and Morgana le Fey versus Jack the Ripper.

Title: Dance of Death: Du Lac and Fey
Platform: PC (Reviewed)
Developer: Salix Games
Publisher: Salix Games
Price: £25/$28
Release date: Out Now
TL;DR: Arthurian legend and Victorian history collide as Jack the Ripper terrorises London.
Family Focus?: Click here for more information

Well it’s been a little while since our preview of Salix Games’ Dance of Death: Du Lac and Fey, so now it’s time for myself to have a crack at the full-release version and see what’s changed or hasn’t changed and experience the Arthurian/Victorian fantasy horror story that intrigued me since I caught a glimpse of the first trailer for Du Lac and Fey way back when.

Dance of Death: Du Lac and Fey is set during the Victorian era, a time when London was a grim, dark, and dangerous place to frequent. Disease and poverty were rife in the lower classes, especially around the Whitechapel area, which had earned a reputation as a suburb of sin and disrepute. The year is 1888; Jack the Ripper is stalking the streets terrorising the community and brutally murdering the ‘ladies of the night’.

The adventure starts with our two heroes Sir Lancelot Du Lac and Morgana le Fey resting in a log cabin in a foreign land. ‘Fey’ as Du Lac calls her has been cursed by the great wizard Merlin, and transformed into a dog – to spend her days roaming the earth as a beast to reflect her heinous crimes against the late King Arthur.

With Fey complaining about how hungry she is, a scream draws them both outside to investigate its origin. It’s not long before they come across a corpse and we begin investigating what could have caused such horrific injuries. Dance of Death: Du Lac and Fey is a point-and-click adventure, so expect heavy doses of interacting with the scenery to check for clues and interrogating witnesses. You can also switch between the characters to open up more options for investigation – as Fey, you have the ability to talk to animals, so an interview with a horse gives you your first clues to who perpetrated the crime.

It turns out that the culprit is a Seer Demon, and with Fey’s knowledge of magic, Du Lac’s combat prowess, and a magic mirror you capture the demon – but not before Fey has used this opportunity to command the Seer Demon to give Du Lac a vision as to the whereabouts of Merlin. Fey needs Merlin to be able to reverse her condition and this is where the adventure takes us to London, the possible location of Merlin’s hiding place and the start of our quest.

The art of the background scenery is sublime and the voice acting of all the characters is really good. It helps to set the atmosphere of this narrative adventure perfectly, and complemented with the haunting background music it really keeps you invested in the story. The only major drawback that I’m experiencing is the god-awful movement controls.

The game takes place in quite a small map, with you going back and forth over six or so different scenes. There’s a lot of walking about, and bloomin’eck do they walk slowly. Some quests require you to walk from one end of the map to the other and it feels like an eternity waiting for the character you’re controlling to walk from point A to point B. This is made worse by the game’s very unhelpful habit where some of the quests ask you to talk to a certain person etc. but give you no clue or hint as to where they might be lurking, so you can spend ages wandering aimlessly through all the scenes trying to locate them.

The story of Dance of Death: Du Lac and Fey is its saving grace. It’s tried to be as historically accurate as possible for a fictional tale, using fact as well as fiction to weave an intricate plot. I’ve really enjoyed finding out about the characters, their reasons and motives for doing what they do, and the relationships they have with each other – so hats off to the writers.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Du Lac and Fey, getting to play as one of the ‘Rippers’ victims was a nice touch and had me guessing on what was going to happen to poor old Mary Kelly, and what role she would play in the outcome of this tale. I do wish there were some puzzles to solve akin to ‘Broken Sword 2’ as the only time the game differed, was to concoct a potion or two or take part in some awkward combat which involved a timed click on a coloured bar.

You also had some different conversation options to pick when conversing with some characters, but although told they affect the trajectory of your adventure, it was hard to see if they had any effect during a single playthrough. Worth a play if you’re looking for a great story, but that’s it, unfortunately.

The Good:

  • Interesting premise.
  • Superb voice acting.
  • Great musical score.

The Bad:

  • Movement.
  • Lack of puzzles.
  • Character animations get worse the longer the game goes on.

Family Focus

ESRB: No Rating as of yet for this review. PEGI: 16.

There are some gory parts and plenty of sexual references and bad language, not suitable for kids.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by PR for the purpose of this review.