The Dark Prophecy is both a blast from the past in terms of visuals and gameplay as it channels both things from classic adventure games that many older gamers like myself grew up playing. It comes by way of publisher Ratalaika Games and developers Start Warp and Meridian4 but while it is inspired by classic adventure games, is it any good? Here’s my review of the PlayStation 5 version.
The story in The Dark Prophecy has you playing as a boy named Jacob who is relaxing by a lake. Suddenly, a projection of Darth Sidious appears and tells you that order 66 has been executed. OK not really but almost as a projection of a wizard appears and tells the boy that Prophecy 13 has occurred and you need to find the missing Merlin and inform him of this. From here you set off your adventure which surprisingly doesn’t last very long. The controls in the game are pretty simple as you’ll move Jacob around by clicking on various things in each scene to interact with. Your choices are usually Use, Pick Up, Talk To, and Look. It’s pretty standard stuff for a point-and-click adventure game and doesn’t do anything to differentiate itself.
The game takes places in two different segments mainly as the first will have you trying to find a way into a castle where Merlin apparently is and the second will be in said castle. You do a lot of the usual stuff of interacting with objects, combining them from your inventory, talking to people, and so on. Most of the puzzles won’t be hard to figure out for anyone that has played these types of games before so those people will likely breeze through it in no time which brings me to one of my issues with the game. You can finish this whole game in an hour and that’s probably leaning on the generous side. If you really know what you’re doing you can probably finish it in half that time. I’m not one to tell people how to spend their money but for $10 I think there are probably options out there that give you a bit more bang for your buck. It isn’t just the length either but rather much of the game just doesn’t do anything to stand out. I already mentioned the gameplay is pretty vanilla for the genre but the writing also isn’t anything special and isn’t as funny as it tries to be either.
Visually I actually liked what they went for as the pixelated visuals are done well and there are some really nice scenes throughout whether you’re in the village, by the lake, or in the castle. The music also fits the fantasy setting quite well. Trophy hunters are likely wondering about the list since this is from Ratalaika Games and you’ll find a very easy list comprised of 13 trophies with a Platinum.
The Dark Prophecy tries to capture some of that magic that old school adventure game had but ultimately falls well short. The visuals and music are actually the best part of this game and while the gameplay is solid it just doesn’t have satisfying puzzles or writing to make it fully worth recommending.
*The Dark Prophecy is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.