People just don't appreciate the hard work put into creating the lush backgrounds found in games like this. They never take the time to sit back and admire the toil that goes into the dull landscapes and skewed buildings the artists took so long to draw. So why not force them to take notice by making them move their on-screen character from one end of the screen to the other in every location, so they can really take time to savour them? Well that's exactly what Microids has gone and done with Syberia.
What's more, it's made sure that for every location with an interactive object, there’s another four with nothing in them at all. It has also taken care to omit any hint of a red herring when it comes to the object orientated puzzles, which on many occasions are stupidly simple to solve. And the plot doesn't help much either. A lawyer sets off on a clockwork train to find a retarded engineer who's searching for woolly mammoths in the frozen wastes of Syberia, (it’s near Siberia, wouldn’t you know). To make matters worse, it feels as though the story is only half told when the game abruptly stops. However, it's slightly superior to many of the other static-screened adventure games currently available, as some of the puzzles do occasionally tax the brain and the quirky story does keep you guessing even if it is short lived. It’s still pretty dull, though, so I wouldn’t get too excited.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
With a special graphics and atmosphere quite suggestive Syberia recurs as a game to be slowly enjoyed in all its splendor: with a complex and compelling storyline the game from Microids will lead to the discovery of mysteries in a distant land and dangerous as Syberia.
A lawyer in the mystery
Kate Walker, this is the name of the beautiful protagonist, is the woman with whom you will be involved in the representation of an important multinational company interested in buying a toy factory specialized in the construction of charge automata. The presentation of the game will take us to the arrival of the lawyer in front of the hotel where you will stay but, even before reaching the entrance of the structure, you will meet a funeral procession, which will later be discovered by Anna Voralberg, owner of the factory of the aforementioned automatons. In the beginning you won't find many problems in the negotiation, but shortly after you will come to know of the existence of an alleged heir brother of Mrs. Voralberg: Hans Voralberg. He is said to have disappeared many years before. You will therefore be forced to a close search for man in the middle of the Syberia between mysteries and dangers, traps and pitfalls of all kinds in a whirlwind of twists.
You may be thinking of a game setting that is typical of this genre. In this case you are wrong: the view will be in the third person and you can move Kate Walker using the directional cross. By moving your character within the game environments you will be able to perform pre-defined actions and, to make you understand when and where you can do them, the programmers have inserted an icon alert system: whenever you turn to an object with which you can interact, a specific symbol will appear on it that will allow you to perform a specific action using the appropriate button. Communication with the characters will not be left to chance but you will be given the opportunity to ask questions (obviously related to what is happening at that precise moment): all this can be done through a menu, which includes some questions to ask the various characters you meet. This control system will be rather inconvenient, especially at the beginning; unfortunately the programmers could not do better given the absence of the mouse for the Xbox. The riddles and pitfalls that you will find yourself having to solve will never be too complicated, on the contrary: very often it will become even too simple to find the solution to the question.
Graphic adventures of this level have not been seen for a long time, masterpieces such as the Monkey Island series have remained in the hearts of all fans of this genre.
Three-dimensional models on two-dimensional backdrops: this is what parried me in the beginning of my Syberia adventure. The backgrounds are made with really impressive touches of mastery; small objects appear detailed to the bone and the nuances make it look like a hand-painted painting. The automatons that meet in the game are very well animated giving the right impression of robotic beings: their movements are disturbing as well as suggestive and they know how to leave a mood in the player full of mystery.
The only flaw, if this can be defined, that I found is in the too static nature of the game environments, as everything appears too immobile, even if some animations, like the flight of a bird in the distance or the smoke coming out of the house fireplaces, push my judgment towards a subjective opinion depending on what you are looking for in a video game. The movements of the protagonist and of the various characters instead are really woody, especially in small environments: this is what I would dare to define one of the few, true defects of Syberia. However, it must be said that after you have been involved in the game's events, you will no longer notice the aforementioned problem and if you love the genre you will certainly have some fun.
As for the music, I have to admit that the songs are highly sought after and never repetitive, giving a particular atmosphere to each area visited, making it all special and effective.
If we have talked so far - dutifully - more than good of Syberia, it is undeniable that the game in question has a longevity not worthy of the name: the most expert will in fact complete the adventure in a few hours, given the general low level of difficulty which had already been mentioned. This does not mean that the gaming experience itself is absolutely remarkable.
Overall - 7.8
In conclusion, I can say that Syberia is a game that could give you emotions never experienced before with any other game or, better, only with those - of the same kind - that appeared several years ago. Almost a return to the past, therefore, and to the poetry of the past. If, however, you have never played an adventure of this kind, I suggest you try some before buying Syberia. In fact, one finds oneself in front of a game devoid of unbridled action, shootings and the like, which might not be appreciated by those of you who are used to a completely different kind. For adventure lovers it is a product more than recommended.