Tuesday, May 29, 2012

S&S Mobile Review: Broken Sword: Directors Cut

Title: Broken Sword: Directors Cut
Format: iPhone/iPad
Release Date: January 24th 2010
Developer: Revolution Software Limited
Price: £2.99 ($4.99)
Size: 270MB



Broken Sword is known as one of the all time classic point and click adventures. Originally released on Playstation 1 and PC way back in 1996, that's 16 years ago! Broken Sword has been rereleased on many different formats and seen many different versions so this one, the Directors Cut is the culmination of all these versions and should be the most complete iteration available. The question is however "after so long, can Broken Sword still be considered an engaging game with a narrative that makes you want to keep on playing or has age finally caught up with one of classics of the adventure game genre?"



Presentation and Story
Broken Sword is all about the story. If you don't want a game with a heavy narrative then go else where as that is all there is here. Set in the great city of Paris you play as American tourist George Stobbart and his French companion and journalist Nicole Collard. The game starts with an explosion in a quaint cafe in the heart of Paris and quickly escalates into a gigantic mystery about ancient manuscripts, Knights Templar and secret cults. In fact the story is quite similar to the book and movie The Da Vinci Code, if you liked that you'll love this and it came out first soooo...
The story is told through a wonderfully colourful cartoon style that even this many years after release still looks good. The animation is a little stiff and jerky when compared to newer games like the revamped Monkey Island 2 but still looks unique enough to stand up on its own. The audio however always sounded like it was quite cheaply recorded and in places sounds very poor now. It's not a massive issue but can be off putting at times. The actors do play their parts well though and this shines through the bad audio.
Considering how old this is now any problems with the graphics and sound can be forgiven for the still awesome story though.

Gameplay
Broken Sword is a point and click adventure. For those who don't know what a point and click adventure is (because they're possibly to young). A point and click adventure is heavily narrative driven game where you have to complete puzzles and mysteries to advance the story. They are usually fairly difficult games that require a lot of lateral and logical thinking. The reason they are called "point and click" is that when played on a PC you literally point at what or who you want to interact with and click the mouse.
As I said earlier these types of game are all about story. They don't really have side quests or extra missions. They focus purely on the story and that is all there is to them. Broken Sword is no exception to the rule. It's like a book that you play through. You will find items that you need to unlock or complete puzzles and you will talk to and interview people who will lead you to new places.
Broken Sword takes place in many different locations across the world and ends after a great build up where the mystery finally comes together and you understand the truth behind the things you have been chasing.

Final Thoughts
This game is old. There is no getting around that fact and it is showing its age now which will undoubtedly put younger gamers off (especially the Call of Duty generation). This is a great shame as these kids will be missing one of the best stories ever told in a video game.
Broken Sword is an absolute stone cold classic, one of the first modern narrative driven games and probably one of the reasons we now have amazing stories like those found in games like Max Payne 3 and the Uncharted series.
Download this game now!

Final Rating: 9/10
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