Broken Sword has been around for a good while now, but with Broken Sword 5 having just been released, have its glory days passed or is the latest entry a treat to fans of old? Read on as I give you my thoughts on Revolution Software's latest incarnation.
I'll be honest; I wanted to give Broken Sword 5 a chance because this is the first time I've ever played an entry in the series. I didn't know what to expect and didn't even know it was a point and click adventure. I just knew it had a vaguely familiar title and was generally liked by a select few old school gamers.
I've barely played point and click adventures, with Escape from Monkey Island, Sam and Max and the more recent Back to the Future titles from Telltale Games being the exception here. As such, I quickly learned what to expect and like I do with most new things, I kept my expectations low.
To begin with, you play George Stobbart - An American tourist who always seems to get himself involved in the strangest of situations. Accompanying him is Nicole Collard - A French journalist who tends to use her own charm to pry information out of unsuspecting men, which tends to lead her onto her next big lead. Alone, neither one of them would get very far within this adventure, but together, they lead a joyous, synergistic partnership.
The story begins with the theft of a painting and the death of a French Art Gallery owner. It's then up to George and Nicole to butt their heads together in an attempt to work out why the Frenchman was killed, why the painting (The Meridiccio) is so important to the people behind the theft, the motives involved and the origins and true purpose of the painting.
|You're late! "Actually, I'm dead on arrival".|
For the most part things seem relatively normal. It's a simple murder case that both George and Nicole have taken upon themselves (outside of the French Police' orders) to solve. One thing then leads to another and the pair eventually end up travelling cross-continent, warned by overly pious Priests to steer clear of the "evil painting" that was stolen and to stop digging further into the mysteries that lay ahead, if they valued their lives. Of course these warnings are ignored and as the pair reach the final, climactic moments of Broken Sword 5, things go all "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as both George and Nicole find themselves fighting to keep the world balance in order, with the added responsibility of preventing a crazed, power-hungry lunatic from bringing about the end of the world.
|This is one place Lara hasn't touched.|
Broken Sword 5 did make some pretty good use of Playstation 4's controller however, as you're free to move the cursor with the controller touchpad, while each in-game phone call you received would play out through the PS4 controller speakers. This distorted the sound in such a way where it sounded almost as if you were on the phone to the character speaking. Then we have the music. Broken Sword 5's score was sadly very easily forgettable, while the few tracks that weren't just came off as cheesy and incredibly irritating, almost unbearably so to tolerate. An important song of the story named "Jasmine" in particular quickly became the bane of my life, though it was quite clear here that the music wasn't Broken Sword 5's strong point.
What I felt to be the actual strong point of Broken Sword was in fact the pre-rendered backgrounds. I guess in a way my Final Fantasy nurtured spirit would still love to see a comeback of these fixed backdrops, but I believe this to be an unlikely case. I'm an art lover myself and sometimes it's just incredibly pleasing to see something that isn't made entirely of 3D graphics within a game. The characters within Broken Sword 5 have their own unique art style, but what takes the icing is the level of detail that's been added to each graphically hand-drawn backdrop the game has to offer. The guys at Revolution Software clearly chose a talented Photoshop user for this one as each piece of scenery and location featured within the game is a massive treat to look at. Everything is so bold and full of character that it really brings the game to life.
|The artwork's top notch.|
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