Sometimes a developer surprises you… for good or for bad. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. When the original game came out, I was excited and wanted to play it as soon as I could. I walked away happy, but wanting more. Now there is more, and I had to come back to play it. Step in side with caution, however. This review is written like the expansion: assuming you played the original Among the Sleep. If you have, you are in for a nice little additional romp. If you are not, this review could be very SPOILERRIFFIC and I want to urge you to read the original review and consider the game based on that. You have been warned.
Story: Prologue takes place before the events of Among the Sleep, but how much earlier is not really explained. Rather, all you know is you are outside in the snow and there are footsteps before you. Following them will lead you to a set of five stuffed animals standing around a fire, but you don’t get to do much with them before the screen goes white and fades back to your room with snow coming in. Apparently, someone left the window open and let the room get really cold and someone is here crying for help.
From this simple opening you will find your mission to find the stuffed animals from your dream around the house, but they are not the only ones here… but a nice touch to this expansion is how much this is just a surface story. As you enter rooms and progress through this immediate plot, you will notice outlines of your mother and a man with audio bits of memories playing at various points. If you have played the original Among the Sleep game (and you should before you play this), you will probably put together exactly what this name suggests to set the events in motion of the original game. There is not a lot here, but what is here is exceptionally well written. Enjoy.
Graphics: If you played the original game (and again, you should before even reading this review), you know exactly what to expect in the look of this review. The notes for the current version as of writing suggests that they upgraded the graphics to this game, but I didn’t notice personally. What is here, however, fits the theme very well still.
Sound: This is a section that took a slide with this new expansion. It’s not so much the quality went down, however, as there just was a lot less to give audio to. You don’t have Teddy talking to you as the game goes on and there really isn’t a lot of things that make any noise. In fact, the audio of this expansion really consists of wind blowing threw windows, a few things falling, a little bit of ambient music and noise, and a few child voices saying “I’m cold”, “Help me’', and “more happy.” In short, there just isn’t much here, which is why I can’t call the audio as good this time.
I just wish there was more because what is here does a great job pulling in the atmosphere, there is just not much that needed to be done. There were many times when the sound alone kept me on edge again, much like the original game.
Gameplay: If you played the original (and I keep telling you you should, in fact, why the hell did you read all this if you haven’t), then you know exactly what you are getting into, just for one additional hour or so. You will spend the time wandering the house, hiding from a monster wandering around, and figuring out how to complete the ten real (and exceedingly easy) puzzles in the game. These puzzles will consist of finding the window to close in rooms with snow coming into them and how to save the stuffed animal trapped by the snow and ice (usually by turning something on that would make you as a toddler happy). It’s simple, it’s direct, and it’s over. Much like the original, the strength in this game is the atmosphere, not the gameplay.
Bugs: This time around contained a lot less bugs the the original. I did see some clipping when I moved from standing to crawling and back when in snow, but other then that, this expansion ran perfectly.
Overall: Prologue is pretty much exactly what is advertised: a little more gameplay to add to a rather good game that helps explain why things happened they way they did in the original game. It still has all the original flaws and strengths, but at the same time, it only adds a little more much needed meet to the package since it is included with the original game for free. As such, I have to recommend it to anyone who has the original. If you are playing the game for the first time, you really should not have read any of this for concerns of spoilers, but since you have, I would still recommend getting the game if you can on sale. There is now enough content to consider the full $20 price, but I can’t say for sure just yet… just make sure if you are a horror fan not to miss it entirely.
Source’s Listed System Requirements:
- 2.4 Ghz Dual Core CPU
- 2GB RAM
- 512MB video RAM
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8
- AMD Phenom II 6X 1100T (6 core) processor running at 3.3 Ghz
- 8GB RAM
- Nvidia Geforece 760 GTX with 2GB VRAM
- and Windows 7