The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav – Review
Follow Genre: Point-and-click adventure game
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Basic but solid gameplay that manages to keep you engaged
Bad: Janky character animations
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

With Chains of Satinav, Daedalic Entertainment is introducing The Dark Eye series to the Switch. For those of you unfamiliar with The Dark Eye, it’s a German tabletop RPG in the same vein as Dungeons & Dragons. Much like its more famous sibling, The Dark Eye has also spawned a host of video games, including the subject of today’s review. While the game originally debuted in 2012 on PC, it only arrived on Switch and PS4 very recently. So how does Chains of Satinav hold up after over eight years? 

Story

Set in the universe of the acclaimed The Dark Eye series of RPGs, Chains of Satinav provides a standalone story that is focused on the exploits of a young bird catcher named Geron. While the actual story starts with Geron participating in a competition, seeking the king’s favor, there is quite an intricate backstory to our protagonist as well. Thirteen years prior to Chains of Satinav’s story, a seer prophesied that Geron would bring doom to the world. As a result, Geron has become a bit of an outcast and he is shunned by the villagers. The fact that he appears to have some kind of magical power doesn’t help either. Geron sees the competition as a chance to turn his life around, but little does he know, he’s about to get caught up in a web of intrigue, with the fate of the world in his hands. 

Chains of Satinav is very much a story-driven game, with most of the backstory delivered through conversations between the various characters that Geron encounters on his quest. The story is well-written, although it starts off slowly and the game never makes any effort to break through the clichés that you’d expect from this kind of setting. While we refrain from spoiling the plot in our reviews, rest assured that once you’re actually playing Chains of Satinav, you’re going to have an idea of where the plot is taking you quite quickly. The linear nature of the narrative also leaves very little freedom for exploration, which is a bit of a shame. 

Graphics

Visually, Chains of Satinav is a bit of a mixed bag. The game looks fantastic at first glance, with beautiful illustrations and atmospheric environments. However, the animations are very limited and janky, with stilted character movement. Seeing characters talk is especially jarring, with mouths moving in a choppy and unnatural way. Even the few cutscenes that are present in the game don’t feel really animated at all, hurting the game’s overall appeal. 

Sound

To our delight, the game features full voice acting. The cast’s performances range from excellent to mediocre, but there weren’t any real bad performances. One thing that stood out though, was that some voices were very similar in tone. This can be slightly confusing when characters have a conversation between them, but this is only a minor gripe. Music is used very well, with the soundtrack becoming more grim and sinister as you progress through Geron’s adventure, staying in line with the events. 

Gameplay

Chains of Satinav is a classic point-and-click adventure game from German studio Daedalic Entertainment. Over the last few years, Daedalic Entertainment has proven themselves to be worthy successors of LucasArts and Sierra, delivering a slew of modern takes on classic point-and-click adventure games. While Chains of Satinav lacks the humor of Daedalic’s Monkey Island-esque Deponia series, what you’re getting here is still a solid point-and-click experience, even if it is on the simple side. Players take control of Geron himself as they navigate through the story, walking from screen to screen, interacting with objects and talking to characters. Controls are quite simple, if a bit iffy at times. Objects and characters you can interact with are marked with a circle, allowing you to talk to people, pick up items and put them in your inventory, or perform certain actions. 

Geron’s adventure will take you roughly twelve hours to complete. The game manages to keep your attention throughout its entirety which is no small feat. The varied cast of characters really helps here, as does the pacing of the story. What helps tremendously here is that the game never really overcomplicates the situations Geron has to overcome. Things are quite straightforward most of the time, something that other point-and-click titles sometimes fail to keep in mind. The downside is that the title might not feel very challenging to die-hard fans of the genre, but if you’re a new or casual player of point-and-click titles, then you can’t really go wrong with Chains of SatinavWhile Chains of Satinav’s gameplay is in essence quite basic, it’s also par for the course when it comes to the point-and-click genre and the fun isn’t in what you can do, but how you do it. This is where Daedalic Entertainment shows its mastery of the genre. Despite the clichéd story and the game never straying from the beaten path, what is present here is genuinely fun. The situations Geron finds himself caught up in are engaging and the puzzles are easy enough to figure out without feeling tedious. 

Conclusion

Daedalic Entertainment decided to stay in their comfort zone with Chains of Satinav, with the game not bringing anything new to the table. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because what is present here is still solid. The game suffers from a few flaws, especially when it comes to its animations and originality, but if you can overlook these, then you could do worse than with Chains of Satinav.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
SebastiaanRaats


1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | The Dark Eye: Memoria – Review
    February 21, 2021, 00:02

    […] arrival on the Switch: Memoria. We recently took a look at Daedalic’s previous Dark Eye title, Chains of Satinav, and while we enjoyed the adventures of protagonist Geron, we did feel there was some room for […]

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