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Draugen the Norwegian fjord noir mystery review

Draugen

Developer: Red Thread Games (Oslo, Norway)

Publisher: Red Thread Games

Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genre: Exploration, Puzzle

Our Rating: ★★★ 1/2


 

Draugen is a mystery.

The year is 1923. You play Edward Charles Harden, an American traveller who’s come to Norway to find his missing sister. Accompanied by your ward Lissie, a lively and enigmatic young woman with a mind of her own, you’ll explore this scenic coastal community nestled amongst the fjords and mountains of rural Norway. But looks can be deceiving, as Draugen pushes you to unearth the darkness that lies deep within… 

When things seem to be unravelling another web is spun. Draugen is a mystery wrapped in an enigma in 1920s Norway.

 

Edward is dedicated in his search for his sister, so much, he is inflicted with a bit of tunnel vision. He is near blinded to the plight of those around him, focusing solely on his search for Elizabeth. There is an instant sense of mystery when we start Draugen, who are these people? Where have they come from? What has happened to the missing sister? One thing you learn quickly, Draugen is in no hurry to reveal its secrets.Draugen_screen_shawl.jpg

Visually Draugen is truly breathtaking, the scenery is beautiful. Standing in the shore, listening to the sound of the ocean, you really get the sense of the place. These creators know the world they are building inside and out. Couple the visuals with the haunting score and enjoy the immersive game play Red Thread have created. Slow paced

Slow paced

 

Draugen is not a quick paced adventure, it is a slow, methodical exploration. An exploration of a strange new place and the characters themselves. At times exploring Graavik is a slog, there is no fast travel, you have to pick your way through the landscape. The realism of the setting means you are walking around just trying to figure out what has occurred. It can be confusing and get somewhat repetitive after a while. I was driven by a need to figure out what was hiding just below the surface of Graavik, for such a beautiful place, there is a real sense of wrongdoing and something a little sinister. 

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Was the need to find out what happened to Elizabeth enough to keep me playing?

In short, yes. There are some twists in Draugen I did not expect and others I saw coming a mile off. However, Draugen is a well crafted mystery game nestled in gorgeous, isolated scenery.

Draugen is perfect for players who love:

What Remains of Edith Finch

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Gone Home

Return of the Obra Dinn.

 

About Red Thread Games

Red Thread was founded in 2012, with a mission to create games with soul for players who love stories. The studio is located in downtown Oslo, Norway. Draugen received critical acclaim upon its initial PC release in May 2019, and won “Game of the Year” and “Best Audio” awards at the Norwegian Spillprisen 2019.


 

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