Memoria Preview: A Double Dose of Fantasy Storytelling
Direct (and Indirect) Sequel
There’s a pretty big degree to which the story of Memoria depends on Daedlic’s previous title, The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, however. Indeed, Memoria is, in fact, the sequel to Chains, and Geron’s story in Memoria is an extension of that game’s. Much of Memoria’s opening hours concern things that happened in Chains to Geron and Nurie, the result of which has left Nurie in the form of a raven and Geron working to snap her back to original shape. Many of those details are easy enough to pick up along the way, but it’s pretty clear that the preceding adventure greatly enhances both those characters.
It’s a much better experience to play Chains before Memoria, although it might not be quite essential — I hadn’t played the former before the sequel and did a fair job of picking up the story threads as I went. Sadja’s story helps to carry things along so that players don’t get too lost with Geron, but the game definitely makes no secret of the fact there are lots of antecedents, and they’re mentioned pretty often.
From a puzzle-solving standpoint, while adventure games can sometimes get a bit esoteric and tough to parse in the logic of their puzzles, I was able to truck along fairly well in Memoria, and it was only when I didn’t think of the (somewhat obvious, in hindsight) solution to a problem that I got bogged down. There’s one rather extensive puzzle in which Sadja has to find her way through a set of maze-like forest passages by marking her way with colored berries, and this one hung me up for its sheer scale — I felt like I eventually ended up checking every single path, an endeavor that took at least an hour.
But Daedalic is pretty good about forcing these less adventure-y moments on players, and the path puzzle is skippable if it gets too frustrating. For the most part, like the developer’s other games, Memoria keeps from getting too frustrating, and it hits some great notes with its story. At least in its preview build, Memoria builds some intrigue that burns slowly over the course of the game, and fantasy fans are going to have something interesting to check out when the game launches later this year. Just note that it’ll be worth checking out Chains of Stanisav first.