gaming since 1997

Druuna

The first thing that everyone who looks at the DVD box will think is: “Oh, looks like Lara’s days are over.” Indeed, this Druuna girl has no guns, but the rest that she’s got is enough to get the interest of every man, minus the blind ones. And that’s exactly the purpose of the artist who invented her, Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri. I had never heard of this man before, but that tells more about my knowledge of modern adult book art then of Serpieri’s success. Although a search for him on the Internet gives only 24 web pages, less then a search for Testkees…

Anyhow, he made semi-pornographic books, with this half naked Druuna as the girl with problems in a far future. The stories are not that important, the graphics definitely are, as they are responsible for the majority of the sales. The designer of this game, Riccardo Cangini, also an Italian, has been dreaming of making a game around the bizarre and imaginative world that Serpieri created. Years ago the power of our computers was not enough to do what he wanted, but now the day has come to show everyone how the world will look like if this Italian dream (or nightmare) comes true.

The first thing you have to do after installing the game, is read the manual. Otherwise you won’t understand a thing of what is happening, and you won’t be able to do anything without knowing what key to use on you keyboard. Yep, keyboard, because there is no mouse support in Druuna. I could add a joke about girls and mice, but I won’t. There is also the possibility to use a joystick. (No joke about half naked girls and joysticks neither.) If you play this game, you will definitely use the keyboard, you’ll die too much using a joystick…

In the manual, you will read the story of Druuna. Things go wrong in here world, very wrong. People are getting sick, they suffer of a strange illness, called Morbus Gravis, or ‘The Plaque’. The patient first gets very active (in a sexual way), but after a couple of days he (or she) starts to mutate. First the hands, the arms, and after a couple of weeks you can’t see any human form anymore. The ‘being’ starts to hunt innocent victims. Luckily the local police forces try to kill the mutants, and there is a cure. Not really a cure because the virus that causes the Plague can only be stopped for a short time. Druuna’s boyfriend, Schastar, is one of the victims. She searches for the medicine to slow down the mutation process as much as she can. Then something happened…

This is where the game starts. Find out what happened. The doctor is gone for a while, and you have to replace him. You enter a room, where the naked Druuna is wrapped up on a strange machine. All you know is that this machine gives you the possibility to enter Druuna’s memory. You must be very careful, or she gets too stressed, and when that happens, she dies. She will get more stress when you save…

The intro movie is very nice. If you are interested in half-naked woman that is. For all those (other) perverts out there, after this movie you will see Druuna only one more time without clothes. At least I was told so, I haven’t seen the second time yet. The quality of this movie is acceptable. And two seconds later, you wonder what went wrong during the making of this game. First of all, you’ll have the problem of finding the first room. Don’t press the forward key on the screen with a hole in the middle. That gets you to the second disk. Oh, by the way, can someone please tell me why I have this DVD reader in my computer? Because why would a game come on 1 DVD, when you can also put that game on 6 CD’s, resulting in a DVD box that barely closes because 6 CD’s in a plastic + the manual are thicker then the height of the box?

Anyway, to get to the first room, you have to press the back, not the forward arrow. Read the manual, like I said. Another movie, showing Druuna and her boyfriend. If you look at the screenshot, the red thing in the corner is Schastar. If I was Druuna, I would have shot him to help him out of his misery. But that would end the game, and the story has to go on. Besides, there are no guns in this adventure. And I quote the manual: ‘Druuna is very much a female heroine, the opposite of the traditional male hero: her fragility and apparent naivety are the only “weapons” she has to fight the dangers she encounters’.

So all you have to do is avoid the monsters. Run where you have to. Jump over the traps. And reload when things go wrong. Using that aforementioned joystick, this will be very often, as the response time is to slow. If you activated the joystick in the game menu, the movement keyboard keys don’t work anymore, so I had to stop playing completely and start all over again. Not that that was a problem, I did not get very far. After a mistake, you get another chance to do the action, but be careful, because this augments the stress factor. And too much stress will kill her.

Using the keyboard is not very difficult, so once you get used to the rather strange selection of keys to use the basic functions of the heroine, you’ll advance quickly in the game. It seems as if more then 60% of this game consist of movies, and those are the nicest part. Once you have to act yourself, the backgrounds are less clear, and the resolution of the girl becomes dreadful. The adventure part consists of finding things. Not hard, you’ll get a warning when there is something on the screen that you can pick up. Everything that you find will be combined automatically if necessary, so you do not have to use a single brain cell. What is left is a game that requires quick and precise pressing on keys.

So what do we have as a result? For the fans of Serpieri’s work, don’t hesitate, this game is a must have. Finally you can see Druuna moving around, and not only static. For people who are looking for something more adult in their games, there are not many other choices. But do not expect too much of this, Druuna teases but she will never deliver. For people who are looking for a story, this is a title that is certainly not the best around. The story is nice, and adventure fans have been neglected the last years. But for pure gamers: stay away from Druuna, as the game part only serves to get you to the next movie…

Our Score:
6.0
related game: Druuna: Morbus Gravis
posted in: Dreamcatcher, PC, Reviews
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