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Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon (pal)

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#1 RCP-90


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Posted 11 December 2003 - 11:37 PM

Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon (pal)
Revolution Software
Released UK 12/03

We are here in the presence of an adventure. This is high adventure at its peak, spanning the continents from the English countryside to the caves of The Congo. Broken Sword reveals, like its predecessors, a gripping tale of arcane intrigue, situated somewhere roughly between Indiana Jones and Tintin.

The folks have clearly been busy over at Revolution, busy transforming their impressive cartoony 2D world into a highly impressive 3D one. We all know that beauty is only skin-deep however, and this instalment of the Broken Sword series, like the others, will divide opinion as to its inner charms. Fans of the genre will be out buying a copy now, whereas adrenaline-junkies will probably just hear ‘point-and-click’ and move on, without giving it a second thought.

This is a shame, because the game holds some real treats for the dedicated adventurer. We are treated to lush, detailed environments, witty scripting and some genuinely great voice acting. George and Nico, the two player characters, are impossible to dislike, and many more bizarre personalities will be encountered along the way. These include a horny skater, a nosy neighbour, an alcoholic Aussie pilot… when was the last time you can say you truly liked a character in a game, or even gave a monkey’s one way or the other?

In terms of game mechanics, the title could be described as a largely puzzle-based adventure. Problems are solved by talking and acquiring information, exploring, choosing the right item (hint: try the metal rod) or sometimes through physical means - those damned block-pushing puzzles even seem to have weaselled their way in there. Whilst discovering the solution to a problem usually results in the cursing of one’s own brain rather than the designers’, you may find that trying to use every object in your inventory in times of need becomes tiresome - as, granted, it always has with the old point-and-click.

Broken Sword 3 has other problems. Loading does interrupt the action, especially when it signifies a ‘surprise’ action sequence (these are basically a joke – a single button push to dive out of the way of a car, etc). There are some minor glitches, the lip synching isn’t perfect, and there are only so many ways to say “this door is locked”. It’s also fairly short. But this doesn’t matter much, because The Sleeping Dragon is more than the sum of its parts.

The game holds you because it looks incredible, sounds spectacular with its impressive cinematic score, and feels epic. It feels like an adventure. The new 3D interface also works well – it may wrinkle the noses of hardcore 2D adventure fans, but should provide a happy middle-ground for most. The title will be rejected by some for its inoffensiveness (if your game collection consists of purely fighting robots and driving/killing games, you can knock 25 off the given score) but revered by others. Fans and newcomers unite - it might not technically be point-and click anymore, yet there has never been a better time to pay homage to the mighty point-and-click adventure.

Score: 85 smile.gif

#2 NooberTehGod


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Posted 14 December 2003 - 09:33 PM

it may wrinkle the noses of hardcore 2D adventure fans, but should provide a happy middle-ground for most.

I consider myself a hardcore 2d adventure fan, and even I'm loving it. I got the pc version, so the loading times arent bad, but im playing it with an xbox controller, so I dont have the control issues ive heard so many people complaining about wiht the pc version...

as for the single button pushing to dive out of the way of a car, I actually like these. They bring a little interactivity to an otherwise passive part of the game.

Also, I find the game has a very cinematic feel. To me it feels more like an interactive movie than a game...

Good review btw, and I hope this isnt the last we see of this type of adventure game!

#3 MagicTorch


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Posted 30 December 2003 - 03:44 AM

I had a few problems with this game, tbh.

The graphical glitches, especially when characters open doors (usually resulting in an incorrect frame of animation flashing on the screen) are not just sloppy but prevent from suspending one's disbelief and becoming immersed in the story. This and the frequent loading are constantly there to remind me this is a video game.

Some of the puzzles are just not logical. There are many times you have to use one item in your inventory because of it's physical properties when similar items with the same properties would have had the same effect. There have been too many times when I've had to resort to using every item on a puzzle to see which one was right. The puzzles in the old Lucasarts games were often quite zany but I always felt at least they made sense, even if they stumped me for a while.

Almost every character bar George and Nico is a stereotypical charicature (sp?). Some of them really grate and they're not very convincing as people.

Worst of all, the game is really linear and you're often forced to solve one puzzle at a time, which can be frustrating if you're stuck. As the game involves travelling it would have been better if you could go from place to place at will and solve puzzles in your own order. The story could easily have been tailored to cope with this (sorry to mention the Lucasarts games again but they managed this well enough).

Otherwise, a finely-crafted game that got my attention. Just a little disappointing, that's all...

#4 dazdastardly


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Posted 28 January 2004 - 01:32 PM

that single button diving milarky was present in the previous 2 games... it'd be stupid to not include it

Just off the top of my head, i remember it happening on top of the cliff on the first game when Kahn points a gun at you.

This game was enjoyable... start to finish

#5 bbagnall


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 05:14 AM

I've liked what little I've seen so far and will definitely sit down to play this through. Graphics, characters and storyline all seem very interesting. In a way it seemed a bit like the game was on rails so to speak, but I can't really say for sure since I just played until after the plane crashes and you're stuck on a cliff.

Nice review!

#6 warrior_ffs


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Posted 09 February 2004 - 05:15 AM

I borrowed this game and didn't get too far. I got to the other part with George where you are in that English street and did all that nonsense with the fire. Then I pretty much stopped playing to return it to the videoshop biggrin.gif I was a big fan of the previous two but I just wasn't as interested in this one, not sure why though. mad.gif

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