Most of you remember the first two Broken Sword’s as being ‘Point & Clickers’ that were very addictive and offered a wide range of enjoyment. While not as involving as other Lucasarts’ adventures of their time, they still held their own degree of charm and were received well by the biggest of adventure fans.
Six full years later, Lucas isn’t making the third installment, rather a smaller shop named Revolution. They have changed the Point and Click style of the first two to a full-blown 3D adventure. Cause for concern? Well no, Revolution have done a great job in turning Broken Sword into a 3D Adventure while keeping the ‘Pick up anything, anywhere, no matter what it does’ mentality that fuels the genre. Revolution Software have done a tremendous job taking the old 2D series and bringing into the 3D age.
The story behind Broken Sword 3 is very good, as you would expect based on the previous games in the series. The game is played through the eyes of either George Stobbart or Nico Collard. This is not Resident Evil, so don’t expect to be able to choose who you are playing with, it is determined by where you are within the game. But eventually both of their paths will meet. The main objective in this game is quite simple, travel through steaming jungles of the Congo, castles in Praque, the chic back-streets of Paris and the historic English village of Glastonbury, unravel the mystery involving the ?Voynich Manuscript’ and, most importantly–save mankind from an evil power.
The controls in the game were designed with a gamepad in mind. But as a true Adventure fan, I of course played with the keyboard. Using the arrow keys to maneuver my way through the levels. There are also a set of four interaction buttons (W, A ,S and D). By using these action buttons there are a lot more object interaction within the game world, for example you can climb ladders, push and pull crates, jump platforms etc. This adds so much more depth to the puzzles. For instance, needing to move blocks over pressure pads in order to open doors. This might sound like a huge change for the Broken Sword series, but in the end, it works out well and makes the game that much more rewarding. And adds to the overall game time, which for me was about 20 hours. Considering I am a Video Game reviewer and have been playing this type of game for over 15 years, 20 hours is pretty darn good.
The second you click start, you are smacked with a stunning cut scene, which sets the mood of the game and drives you to start. Cut scenes are great as long as you can skip them if you want. BS3 does not allow you to skip them, which can annoy even the most passive gamer who just wants to get right to the game. The actual in-game graphics are very realistic and detailed making you feel as though you are right there, in the game. I do have some problems in this department though. The backgrounds are static, meaning, tress to sway with the wind; leaves aren’t flying around, just still pictures. But remember this is still a point and clicker not a full blown 3D adventure, so this isn’t that big of a deal. There are cars and people and such moving in the distance, so that helps cover up the fact that it static. There are also references of BS1 and 2 within the game, like posters and other items lying around within the game. As you travel to the different parts of the country the environments look stunning, with the exception of the rain within England. I don’t know why but it looks as though they rush that environment. But anyway over all the graphics hold up well.
Where is the music? There is a serious lack of music throughout the game, although the environmental ambience benefits from this and when there is music it works quite well. The sound effects, such as birds, cars, and other simple noises within the background draw you deeper into game. The dialogue does not let you down, as you would expect after the other games of this genre. The character voices are very well recorded and scripted. The conversations are quite witty and keep your attention.
With all this gameplay and the average gamer taking over 30 hours to complete gives the replay value a seriously high score. You will be finding yourself loading your saved game every free second you have. Trying to get passed the next level or figure out how to solve a puzzle that was giving you a hard time the night before.
Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon is a very enjoyable 3D Point & Click Adventure with a great story and believable characters. Whether you are a fan of this genre, a Broken Sword fan or just someone who wants to have a good old adventurous time, Broken Sword 3 is the perfect game to get. With only a few small overlookable problems Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon holds up well to scrutiny.