Review by JW ACE

"Not Roberta Williams, but not too bad"

I have always been and adventure game fan. Two people I would like to get an autograph from are Roberta Williams and Jane Jensan. Hell, Sierra could probably consider me a benefactor for the amount of games I bough from them. When it comes to Syberia, while its no Kings Quest or Gabriel Knight, its still a fairly decent Adventure game. However there is an issue or two.

Graphics - This game has some of the best graphics I've seen. Its obviously an in-house engine and since it only requires a 350mhz cpu, its a pretty damn good engine design at that. The water effects are amazing, and some of the cut scenes are awe inspiring. There is an issue with shadows and reflections, there are none! This would probably attest to the fact that it requires such a low processor speed. And furthermore, its hardly noticeable.

Sound- Music is pretty cool. But here is one of the game main flaws. While the voice of Kate, Oscar, and the other robots,(or should I say Automatons) are done very well, some of the other character voices are kind of...well, non-character fitting if you will. Could this be because Microids had issues with translating from French, or something similar? Its not a show stopper, but its something that could have been done better.

Story- The story, I think was done pretty well. As I read the back of the box, I almost wondered what was so good about the game. You are a lawyer going to settle a claim. I mean it didn't sound really interesting at first. But I wanted to play another Adventure game, and this was first decent one to come out since The longest Journey as I was told, so I got it. And let me tell you the story turns out to be very interesting. I was quite sad once I found who I was looking for, and the game was inevitably going to end. But thankfully, the ending hinted to a sequel, and The Adventure company has confirmed one.

One other thing to mention is that since the game is published by Adventure Company, which is a division of DreamCacher, the game was only $29.99 upon release!!! I mean, for a bran new game, you are not going to beat that.

Gameplay - The interface was very simple. Which is good I think. That's what I liked about all of Sierra's games. It does get a little tedious when you have to run from one end of the map to the other, but other than that the interface is fine.

Now here is what's keeping this game from a 9 or higher. Puzzles. There are plenty of puzzles, yes, but there aren't any rip-your-hair-out-and-pray-you-find-a-solution-on-some-message-board kind of puzzles. For those who don't know who Mrs. Williams or Mrs. Jansen are, let me elaborate on that.

In almost every adventure game made by one of those 2 goddess that I played, and furthermore any one from Sierra, each game has caused me at least once to literally not continue with the game until I found some clue on a message board, or here at gamefaqs. There was always at least one puzzle in the game that I couldn't for the life of me ever figure out without some sort of help. This almost happened in Syberia but not quite. Towards the end of the game is the famous bar puzzle. I did have a hard time figuring out. After replaying the dialog and listening more carefully, I realized I needed to get the mixture from someone. I then read on a message board that you had to call someone and it hit me. I was able to figure the rest out.

The game would have been perfect for an adventure game if it included another 1 or 2 of a similar puzzle. Maybe one for each town, maybe a logic puzzle to unlock the train controls each time it got re-wound up. A good example would be Onimusha, because every other treasure chest or so has a small logic style puzzle. Purhaps something similar to open up a door somewhere?

Some more advance Adventure gamers could actually say the game was way too easy. While it was on the easy side, it wasn't a breeze. You do have to use your brain. THe basic strategy is pick everything you can up(which any adventure veteran would do without hesitation) and use that object somewhere. I don't mind these at all, hell, there a part of every adventure game. But they are usually the warm ups to the bigger puzzles.

While the minor flaw of the game being a little easier than expected Syberia is still an excellent game and will leave you pre-ordering Syberia 2. Adventure game pro's may think it easy, but should still like it. And this is an excellent game for beginning adventures. Now try and tackle a Kings Quest or Gabriel Knight game(if you can find one for sale still).

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/18/03

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