The latest instalment of the point and click series is another Kickstarter success story. Revolution Software took to the crowd funding site to get the latest of George and Nico’s detective stories off the ground, but was it worth it?
Broken Sword 5 sees us return to Paris, and George Stobart in an art gallery. If you’ve played any of the games, you’ll know by now that wherever George goes, trouble can’t be far behind. A bit like a less exciting John McLean. George is now working for an insurance firm, who are providing the cover for a new exhibit at the Blue Lizard art gallery. Moments into the game, a criminal, face concealed by a motor cycle helmet, walks in under the guise of a pizza delivery man, pulls out a gun and takes the painting. The gallery owner Henri (who could quite easily be mistaken for a camp Tony Stark), is shot and killed. Another day in Paris, another mystery to solve for George and Nico, who happened to be there covering the exhibit for her news paper. As things develop, the mystery uncovers Russian mob bosses, religious cults and drunk cockneys.
This is the first point and click game that I’ve played in some time and the stately pace of looking for clues and talking to characters, was something of a shock to the system. Games these days tend to frantic and fast paced, but The Serpent’s Curse seems like a leisurely stroll in comparison. The main elements of Broken Sword that we know and love are all accounted for, taking in the odd eccentric characters, collecting items, regardless of how obscure their use at the time, as we know they’ll always come in use at some point, and then there’s scrutinising the evidence, scenes and characters over and over, to progress further into the game. The game retains the 2D art style of the originals, although the character models are 3D, which was a little jarring at first. The visuals are richly detailed and retain that look seen in Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror. It’s great to be requianted with the characters again, with George being as dry and deadpan as always.
You’ll get plenty of value for money with Broken Sword 5, as although it is episodic, there’s a meaty game to get your teeth into. Maybe it’s because I’m used to the sort of content you would get over Xbox Live Arcade, etc. but The Serpent’s Curse really surprised me with how long it lasts. After each scenario I’d think, “This is probably it for now, seems like a good place to end on a cliff-hanger.”, but it carried, much to my delight. Those who enjoyed the original Broken Sword games (the first one is also available on iOS), shouldn’t be disappointed. The opening video in Paris, feels almost like the first game. Only change the creepy clown for a thug in a helmet. And it’s less explodey I guess. It’s great to see the genre make a comeback, and with Episode 2 on the horizon, lets hopes it’s the first of many. It’s great to see George and Nico back, even if it is on the (very) small screen.