That Broken Sword almost doubled its needed funds through Kickstarter is testament to the popularity of the series. When the 3rd & 4th series moved away from the popular 2-D style the games dipped in popularity & it was expected that the series would not return. 7 years, re-releases of the first 2 on HD on iOS & $750,000+ later & we finally have the return of Broken Sword & with a return to the 2-D style that is so loved.
Broken Sword 5: The Serpents Curse is coming in 2 parts, the first was released in Dec 2013 & the 2nd is due in January 2014.
Part 1 opens in fascist Spain just before World War 2 & shows a painting being stolen from a family during a shoot-out. The game then jumps to present day, France & the painting that was stolen is now on display in a gallery. George Stobbart is there working for the company that has insured the exhibition. He runs into Nicole who is there for the possibility of a story when a pizza delivery man comes in & robs the painting at gunpoint. He ends up shooting the gallery owner & makes off with the painting.
This crime begins an adventure that forces George & Nico to work together & uncover a mystery related to the Gnostic Gospels. As always it will take place across several countries & cities with Paris & London the first places you will visit in Part 1.
The story also sees the return of several characters from the series so far, most notably, Hector Laine, the art critic who George got drunk in the 2nd game. The moment when Laine remembers George as the absinthe guy & asks if he has anymore had me grinning from ear to ear.
There is a lot of nostalgic moments throughout, from how it looks (beautiful), to the music & voices, Broken Sword 5 feels like a perfect extension of the series. The classic point & click interface is back alongside a touch user interface depending on what system you are using.
Broken Sword games have relied on their stories to get a gamer hooked & No.5 doesn’t let us down. A mystery that starts with the theft of a seemingly un-important painting leads into murder, mystery & the resurrection of the devil. It is very addictive & you find yourself listening to every word the character says so as you don’t miss any minor plot devolvement.
What really impressed me was just how well the story flowed, even the puzzles fitted in well with it to the point where they felt like extensions of what was being told. George’s reason for being at the gallery & why he begins to investigate further afterwards makes more sense than other Broken Sword games have. The same goes for Nico & it is great to see just how well the characters seem to know each other now.
The puzzles seem easier then they have in the past but I think that’s because there is a much more logical conclusion to lot of them provided you take the time to think about it. There is a hint system in place should you really get stuck but I would suggest you avoid using it unless you’re really stuck.
The most disappointing thing in Broken Sword 5 occurs at the end of the episode. The episode signs off with a cliff-hanger & with a month to wait for the 2nd part it does leave you wanting more. It kind of depends on how you feel about cliff hangers really…me, I’m not hugely bothered.
Episode 1 clocks in at around 4-6 hours long depending upon your skill level with the puzzles. It doesn’t sound like much until you remember that Broken Sword 2 could be completed fully in a couple of hours.
To say I was excited about this release is an under-statement, it had a lot to live to & it did a great job of it. It does sting a small bit that you have to wait for the full conclusion with it begin split into 2 parts but with an extremely fair pricing it’s hard to really complain. If you’re a fan of the series then you have to play this – support a company that cares about its history this much.
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse, Part 1
The Final Score - 9/10
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