Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse is another retro game that has been given a new leash of life thanks to crowdfunding. With a budget of some $800,000 raised mainly through Kickstarter and PayPal donations, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse is the fifth itineration of the Broken Sword series. When the series first launched in 1996 with Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars John Major was in No.10 Downing Street, Clinton was in the White House and Tom Cruise had just premiered the first of his Mission Impossible movies. At the time Broken Sword was widely regarded as one of the finest examples of the point and click genre and went on to shift millions of copies worldwide.
With Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse, developers Revolution Software have created what is possibly the finest homage to the franchise. As in other outings for the series, the plot in Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse wastes little time in grabbing the gamers attention. The story opens in a Parisian art gallery, where a valuable painting is stolen and the gallery owner is brutally murdered. Playing as both our hero, insurance investigator George Stobbart and his companion, journalist NIco, you are tasked with unravelling the mystery of the stolen painting. As the story unfolds you will find yourself travelling from Paris to London and then Spain, talking to numerous characters and solving puzzles along the way.
A word of warning though: if you’re looking for a fast paced, adrenaline fuelled action game then Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse may not be the game for you. Rather, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse unfolds at a steady, gentle pace. There is no sense of urgency here. Instead the game will often take you to a small area and encourages you to take your time in exploring every nook and cranny before you’re allowed to leave. Often you will find yourself back tracking to previously explored locations armed with that vital new item in your inventory. Sometimes you simply have to talk to NPC’s and look for clues in their dialogue.
At this point it’s worth noting that Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse has one of the finest scripts of any adventure game we’ve played this year. Each character has quirky idiosyncrasies and mannerisms that really help create the illusion that you’re talking to fleshed out identities. And the game offers a generous helping of in-jokes and self-deprecating wit that anyone familiar with the series will immediately appreciate.
Revolution Software have also attempted to cater for newcomers to the series by providing a generous help system that provides you with tips on what you should do next. Keep clicking the help icon and eventually the game will simply tell you what to do. Curiously enough there is no penalty for using this feature. We suspect that many gamers will opt to turn this off as it can be too easy to sneak a quick look at a hint and then another.
The art style in Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse remains faithful to earlier titles. The game offers amazingly detailed hand painted backgrounds with parallax scrolling and cell shaded character models that look simply gorgeous in HD. Character animation is smooth and the third person perspective works brilliantly for taking in your surroundings.
For anyone looking for an intelligent, challenging and yet accessible adventure game Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse comes highly recommended. Definitely worth giving a try.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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