The Dark Eye is a first-person point-and-click adventure, similar to Myst. Yet unlike Myst, The Dark Eye has characters with whom the player can interact. These characters are neither live actors nor sprites, but instead they are puppets animated with full-motion video. However, even though the characters' bodies are animated, their mouths do not move when they speak and their facial expressions rarely change. This makes interacting with the characters a rather unsettling affair.
From the manual:
"Is all we see or seem But a dream within a dream?" - Edgar Allan Poe
The world of The Dark Eye is divided into two states of consciousness. In the malevolent waking world, your friends and relatives involve you in a downward spiral of madness and intrigue. And as you wander through a fevered world of unsettling dreams, you encounter three alternate realities where those you meet fall victim to you malicious intent...or make you the object of their murderous designs.
The on-screen cursor is a hand which points in the directions available for the player to move.
Just as The Dark Eye takes the player through multiple Poe tales, the player also jumps from one character to another. The primary adventure takes place in an old mansion. As the player explores the mansion they can find links that take them to other locations and into other characters' minds. Eventually all side tales are completed and the player can finish the main storyline.
According to project lead Russell Lees, one of the goals of the game was to not only explore physical space, but to also explore the psychology of the characters you were playing. Also, according to Lees, the goal of the game was not to kill, or avoid being killed, but often to be killed, thus completing the tale.
The sound design was by Thomas Dolby
and his company Headspace.
Works Of Poe Referenced In The Dark Eye
- The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Masque of the Red Death
- The Premature Burial
- The Cask of Amontillado
- Annabel Lee