Review by Randomer

"It's a good game, but for fans it may be unsatisfying"

Introduction:
Broken Sword 1 and 2 are the kind of game that lots of people have probably played but don't really seem to talk about much. They are heralded as awesome point and click adventure games and the third seems to be slated by the fans with its new 3D graphics and controls. Broken Sword 4 aims to please everyone and for this reason it seems to be a little lost and washed out. Still however it is a quality game and a must for Broken Sword fans.

Gameplay:
No different from a lot of adventure games, relying on a tested and working system of events. You go somewhere, you look around, talk to people, uncover clues, progress through the mysteries, travel to nearby areas, sneak into places, break out of places and all sorts of things like that. There is variety in the puzzles, you will solve ancient riddles, plot escapes from mafia gangs and even hack into the Vatican City's computer network. Whilst there is nothing particularly new, there is Variety and it is satisfying.

The controls have been changed this time around. although you can control the main character directly using the direction arrows on the keyboard, there is now WASD command system like Broken Sword 3 had. Instead it is back to the point & click, or you can use complete point & click controls with there being a happy middle ground. Direct control for accurate sneaking and point & click controls for investigating and more relaxed game periods.

The game is not a particularly difficult one, whilst some particular moments will give you a lot of trouble, the sneaking and action has been turned down a bit and it is more relaxed, so for those less action hungry, you need not worry. One particular addition I must mention is that George now has a PDA, he can make phone calls whenever he wants to get updates on what other characters are doing, he can check his notes and at certain points there is a complex hacking mini-game used to break into computer systems, this can however be frustrating.

This game appears to have fewer locations than in previous games, however there remains the variety we have come to expect from Broken Sword games. From sleazy New York hotels to Turkish palaces. Military bases to communion wafer factories. It's a fun ride.

Story:
The staple of an adventure game like this. The story starts with a bang, like all the previous Broken Sword games. After the events in Glastonbury, George was questioned by the secret service and rumour spread about the world over what happened. George and Nico went their separate ways once again and George seemed to lose his friends and his patenting work went under. He works at a Bail Bonds, the only job he could get. One day a beautiful woman comes rushing in, screaming about manuscripts and the mafia. George jumps into action and the player begins his journey to recover a manuscript, translate it and find the treasure. But this is Broken Sword, things are never that easy.

This is an important point for fans of the series. One problem I have had with this game is its lack of returning characters. Whilst George and Nico are there, none of the other characters are and all the games have had their memorable characters. For example, you will impersonate BBC reporter Eamon O'Mara, and break into his hotel room, but you never get to meet him, I found this a great disappointment. Nico also seems different, there is less of the chemistry between her and George and long time fans may be left a little lost.

Still there are plenty of fresh new characters, a Viscount hobo, a man with a passion for geese, 'odd' priests, a mafia member who believes he is Elvis and more Nuns than any game before! It's a fun ride.

Graphics:
The graphics in this game are very nice and a bit less cartoon like than the previous game,, whether or not this is a good change or not is completely down to the player, I personally prefer it. This game has not had a console release so you really do need a computer that is up to the challenge as the game requires a lot of power for what it puts out graphically. Some of the animations are also lacking and there are some little graphical glitches that can annoy sometimes. Still however the graphics are nothing to be complained about, the designers really have gone into detail with things and the environments (particularly indoor ones are great).

Sound:
George remains George, the humour is still there, but he seems to be taking this venture more seriously than before. The great jokes of broken sword are there and the conversations are clear and fun. The soundtrack does not intrude upon the gameplay and is mostly not noticed unless you are paying attention.

Replay Value:
Like most games, this game is best played one and possibly not again. There are some extras but they are nothing really fascinating as such. This game has a poor replay value.

Buy/Rent:
Buy it, its worth it!

Conclusion:
I am giving this game 8/10. It is a worthwhile game and is really a lot of fun to play, it may be a disappointment to some fans but most should find it a great continuation of an awesome series.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/29/07

Game Release: Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (EU, 09/15/06)


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