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Broken Sword: The Director's Cut Review

One of the great point-and-click games is back

It's strange how a genre that was so popular a decade ago can be all but dead these days. And yet that's the case with point-and-click adventures. Although the games still exist and the odd exception does relatively well (see Sam & Max, Strong Bad and Zack & Wiki), the vast majority are released on the PC, sell very poorly and are quickly forgotten about. This is a far cry from the halycon days of the early '90s when the likes of Monkey Island and Simon The Sorcerer were immensely popular.

One of the best point-and-clicks at the time was Broken Sword for the PC (and later the PlayStation and GBA). It had fantastic animation and beautiful, hand-drawn backgrounds, and its conspiracy-based plot was so gripping that it did a better job of a Da Vinci Code storyline seven years before Dan Brown's book had even been published. So we're extremely happy to see its return on the Wii and even happier to see that it's not just a quick port, but an all-new 'Director's Cut' version which actually adds a good deal of new content.

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This new content is apparent from the very beginning of the game. There's an all-new prologue in which the player follows Nico Collard, a female journalist, as she interviews an influential French statesman and witnesses his assassination. For those familiar with Broken Sword, this effectively leads to a couple of hours of brand new scenes and gameplay before you even get to the scene with the bomb at the café and the 'proper' game starts. Even the scenes that were present in the original game look better, with insets appearing on the screen showing characters' faces as they talk, adding to the game's sense of character. There are also a bunch of new puzzles which break things up a little and add variety to proceedings.

Broken Solved

Speaking of the puzzles, the main problem people had with point-and-click games back in the day was that some of the puzzles had bewildering solutions, and the games' linear nature meant if you couldn't figure out what to do you were stuck. Broken Sword was no exception (if you've played it, the words 'the goat puzzle' will probably make you break out in a cold sweat). So it's nice to see that this version offers a hint mode for perplexed players.

If you're stuck on a puzzle, a question mark will eventually appear at the top of the screen. If you choose it you'll get a hint giving you a vague idea of where you should be looking next. If after a few minutes you're still stumped, the question mark flashes and selecting it offers another, more specific hint. It's a nice addition because it forces people to spend a few minutes thinking about it and only gives them the answer if they've finally decided they're stuck. And the game logs the number of hints you use so your save file looks rubbish if you keep taking the easy way out.

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Broken Sword is a fantastic adventure game which still looks superb even after all this time. Those new to the series will fall in love with the engrossing storyline, and those who were smitten the first time around will enjoy the new scenes which add depth to the plot. Highly recommended.

Comments

15 comments so far...
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  1. Oni-91 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 12:52

    I loved Broken Sword as a kid, so this is on my MUST GET list.

    I think your +/- points are a bit skewiff, no?

  2. fisher2007 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 13:14

    i will be getting the ds version when its out and broken sword was a great game to play and i had the gba version and i accidentally broke the game and i never buy another one and also this is better. :( :lol:

  3. Chinweazle Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 15:26

    Not sure fisher2007's reply makes any sense... :)

    Anyway, I loved this when it was out on the PS1. I'll get it if i can find it a little cheaper, it's worth buying for Ł20 or so.

  4. ibarnaby64 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 17:23

    To be honest, I find point & click games much too restrictive and linear (although I did buy SBCG4AP); I think I'll pass.

  5. Dark Toad Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 18:03

    i will be getting the ds version when its out and broken sword was a great game to play and i had the gba version and i accidentally broke the game and i never buy another one and also this is better. :( :lol:

    Too many 'and's'.

  6. DBZFan355 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 18:36

    To be honest, I find point & click games much too restrictive and linear (although I did buy SBCG4AP); I think I'll pass.

    Yeah, same here. Zack and Wiki was good though

  7. adamwalker222 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 20:52

    The +/- points are off.
    + for fuzzy videos?

    Anyway, looks fantastic. Definite buy for me.

  8. maxmatt Tuesday 24th Mar 2009 at 07:38

    I'm loving this game. The new puzzles and expanded story are great and I'm glad they didn't spoil it buy making it 3d. (in my opinion when broken sword went 3d it lost a certain somthing) Hopefully it will just fly of the shelves and then maybe Revolution will give broken sword 2 the same treatment

  9. ploiper Tuesday 24th Mar 2009 at 10:51

    i'll be ordering this to hopefuly arive on me birthday next month, i still play the gba version and im looking forward to playing this wii version now.

  10. Onna76_NL Wednesday 25th Mar 2009 at 11:34

    Nintendo owes me money, I'm seriously getting broke :lol: This game, Little King's Story, Klonoa, Arc Rise of Fantasia, Pikmin 2, Punch Out etc. etc. Still waiting for Pikmin and Rune Factory to arrive :(

  11. xXVeranXx Wednesday 25th Mar 2009 at 22:08

    Wait, only one negative point of fuzzy scenes and it gets 86%? I haven't read the whole review, I thought the summary would be enough but it doesn't explain where it loses points...

  12. LEGEND MARIOID Friday 27th Mar 2009 at 09:54

    I suspect you would give the DS version a gold award if you are going to review it.

  13. DBZFan355 Friday 27th Mar 2009 at 13:15

    Oh, and that picture shows the guy lying on the floor, but in the mag his jacket is slightly down a bit and reveals a small amount of blood. Did you need to censor it or something?

  14. AMthedude Sunday 29th Mar 2009 at 19:58

    I take it that the DS version of this is just as good, right? I plan on getting this on DS as I prefer to play these types of games on a handheld.

  15. Sabrewulf Tuesday 7th Jul 2009 at 13:03

    I take it that the DS version of this is just as good, right? I plan on getting this on DS as I prefer to play these types of games on a handheld.

    Exactly want I want to know, as if the game is exactly the same on both versions I would opt for DS, but no mention of the DS version worries me...

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