Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse review for Xbox One, PS4

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4
Publisher: Revolution Software
Developer: Revolution Software
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I never would have thought that Broken Sword would come back to the traditional point and click adventure. The reason is simple. We have a larger demand for narrative adventure games ever since Telltale released games like Back to the Future, The Walking Dead, Borderlands, and Game of Thrones. I am a fan of old school point and click adventures like the original Broken Sword titles, Escape from Monkey Island and even earlier games like Shadowgate.

It has been almost 20 years since the first Broken Sword, which says a lot about the series. There have been multiple sequels over the years and for the most part, they stayed true to the formula. The exception to this was the PS2/Xbox release, Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon. This was the first time the series changed over to 3D character models and gave you complete control of the protagonist. The game received great reviews, so I thought this was where the series was headed.

Broken Sword 5 - the Serpent's Curse - George and NicoIt is great to see Revolution go back to the way Broken Sword should be played. I warn you though, if you have never played a game like this, you need to be opened minded if you want to enjoy this game. I personally am really enjoying my time with Broken Sword 5 for many reasons. For one, the puzzles were always something that would be a highlight to the gameplay. I will break the style down for those not familiar with the genre.

Broken Sword takes place in Europe and you play as George Stobbart, and Nicole “Nico” Collard, both returning from the previous titles. There is a lot of story to cover so I will hit some bullet points. George and Nico are witnesses to a robbery in an art gallery and George sees the owner get shot and killed. This is when you begin the game. You have to search the room for clues, as well as talk with everyone in the area to gather clues and progress. Something that helped the game be more accessible to new players was how the controls were adequately adapted from the keyboard and mouse on pc to the analog stick and face buttons.

Broken Sword 5 - the Serpent's Curse - Laine and NicoInterviewing people is a core component of the game play. Solving puzzles in a whodunit scenario. Some of the puzzles and clues are pretty straight-forward, but others can be outright frustrating. I feel they are well balanced throughout the story and it will take a good number of hours to complete. The cast of characters are varied and you have to really focus on each personality when speaking with them. This is key to finding out who may know more than they are letting on. This is something that was prominent in the previous entries.

While the voice acting is solid, most of the people you interact with are dull, angry, and generally unhelpful, unless you either do something for them or have some evidence toward them. The dialogue is the meat and potatoes of this series so prepare for a ton of it. Another thing that may disinterest some players is the overall pacing. The story is extremely slow and the whole game feels longer than it initially is. I personally didn't mind, since this is the type of game I expected to play.

Broken Sword 5 - the Serpent's Curse - MontserratI won’t go in depth about the story, since most of it involves spoilers. This experience is more about the story and classic point and click nostalgia. The puzzles may be simple and sometimes repetitive, but if you enjoy solving puzzles, can appreciate the colorful canvas-like design, and have an open mind for classic point and click gaming with a bit of retro and modern elements, I would say check out Broken Sword 5.

Grade: A

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