Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
Review by Good King Indy
"I'm afraid of clowns..."
Broken Sword is a point 'n' click adventure title for both the PC and Playstation. In this game you venture around Europe trying to solve a mystery involving a clown and an old man. Hardly the most exciting thing you've ever heard, I'm sure. And this ain't an exciting game, lemme tell ya. Most of the game involves talking to people from various European countries (all of which have the most phony, terrible and pathetic accents ever to be heard in a video game.) and picking up objects which you use in many puzzles.
You play as a stereotypical American and you begin your adventure outside a bombed coffee shop in Paris. From there, you watch the plot unfold (at a very slow pace) and travel around Europe with a stereotypical French girl.
Graphics are very good. It actually looks like you're watching a cartoon. Details given to the characters and backgrounds is fantastic. You control your cursor and click on people to talk to them, and to pick up or investigate anything that catches your eye. This is a very simple formula and works very effectively. If I were to complain, I'd say that the characters can be a little fuzzy looking once and a while.
Music is a little faint and off in the distance. It's typical moody detective music for the most part, but you don't hear music that often. The sound effects aren't bad, but they could have been better. But my biggest problem with the audio of Broken Sword is the awful voice-acting. The accents of the French, Irish and Spanish people are over the top and extremely fake sounding. Our hero, named George, has the most boring and dull voice to ever be fitted for a main character in a video game that I have ever played in my life. Spoken with no emotion, it's just horrific. Maybe one or two characters have half-decent voices, but these are just small characters that you only hear for about two minutes. Who ever hired the voice actors for this game must have pretty low standards, that's for sure.
When speaking with people, you select different pictures at the bottom of the screen. This effects the direction the conversation will take. You've probably seen this all before in other games that you've played, but it's a pretty good system. However, most of the characters don't even have to be spoken to, to progress through the game.
The script is terrible, which goes nicely with the voice-acting. I can tell you for a fact that Irish people do not wear fuzzy jumpers, speak in high-pitched voices, and drink on a daily basis. I should know, I'm Irish and I don't even drink. So there!
Broken Sword is quite long, but most of the time you'll be just trying to solve some strange logic puzzle, like wiping a statue with a snotty hanky. Great stuff. I finished this game in about thirteen hours, but I probably fell asleep at the screen listening to George making a boring speech. The gameplay is decent, but the puzzles often just involve placing item A into socket B, and things like that.
+ Very nice graphics
+ Some of the puzzles are well put together.
+ Uh... Did I say it had nice graphics?
- Awful voice-acting.
- Lame music.
- Boring as heck.
- Offensive to most of Europe.
Broken Sword just isn't fun. You'll squeeze a little enjoyment out of it, but not much.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/21/04
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