Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
The Thing About sleeping dragons is that... Hmm, no. No good. Doesn't work. Let's see... We had a broken sword once. Well, not so much a sword, more a broken penknife... Better? A bit, but it still doesn't solve the problem of creating a gripping entry to this review. Let's think of something else. OK, how about if I push this paragraph over there instead, then pull this next one into its place, maybe then I can get access to the verdict box?
That's Broken Sword's main problem. The move to 3D brought with it puzzles that no longer required you to actually use the cognitive side of your brain and introduced all manner of pointless crate manipulation instead.
That and the story was packed with cliche stereotyping and unrealistic pacing. Yeah, that didn't help either.
Download Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
This Was meant to be the game that reinvigorated the adventure genre, with its bold new interface, fully navigable 3D world and Shenmue-style 'action points'. Well, this and Sam & Max 2. Less said... As it is, The Sleeping Dragon may have done more harm than good. While the transition to 3D is largely successful and the action elements mesh nicely, the game has one key problem - it's a bit dull. The dialogue is verbose, the characters stereotyped and the crate shifting puzzles interminable.
Worse still, the game trots out the same old conspiracy-laden, Da Vinci-code storyline that infects the whole genre, full of Knights Templar, ancient ciphers and mysterious Gaia powers. In every other way the game is sound, and if you're a fan of the series you'll probably love it. Indeed, your enjoyment will be exactly proportional to how much nostalgia you have for this sort of thing. Be warned though: Grim Fandango it ain't.
George Stobbart's adventuring days were finally behind him. Now a successful patent lawyer, George was headed to the Congo to file a patent that could make him rich. However, adventure seems to find its way to George anyway. Strange, violent weather and seismic events around the world put George and those around him in real peril, and his earlier dealings with sinister, secret organizations like the Neo-Templars seem to be drawing him into a new mystery. Join George, his old friend Nico Collard, and several other familiar and not-so-familiar faces as they travel the world in search of answers. Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, is the third in a series from The Adventure Company. From the depths of the Congo to the mean streets of Paris and beyond, you control several characters in order to unveil a mystery millennia in the making.
An adventure title, Broken Sword 3 is as visually stunning as it is easy to play. The keys (no mouse is used) are very simple, ergonomically set and easy to master quickly. Scenery, ambience, and mood are all well created and enhanced by an engaging, if somewhat linear storyline. Audio was also nicely done, with mainly well used voice acting and first rate sound effects, a must for this particular style of game. The developers also avoided the 'hunt the pixel'? style so prevalent in adventure titles, using instead a proximity detection system that only allows interaction with items of substance. Puzzles and action sequences ranged from extremely simple to mildly difficult, and for the most part, made perfect sense when applied.
However, some adventure/mystery aficionados may need more than Broken Sword 3 has to offer. I found myself guessing all of the answers on the puzzles quite quickly, and for someone who's not very Myst savvy, this is saying something. The fixed camera angles used in the game could become quite confusing after a time, when moving from scenes to new areas, sometimes directions and bearings could be easily lost. And a couple of minor gameplay flaws, such as selection issues particularly late in the game make this title come up just short of Recommended Buy material.
Still, a well conceived and nuance filled title, Broken Sword 3 is marred slightly by its lack of real depth of puzzles. Recommended for newcomers in the genre as well as those looking for a visual treat.