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Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (DS)

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13 Reviews

Genre: Action & Adventure / Release Date: 2009-03-20 / Published by Ubisoft

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    13 Reviews
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      01.06.2010 22:48
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      A good solid game!

      I finally got round to playing this game and it was intriguingly GOOD... Some places were hard, but it was a very enjoyable experience and highly recommended! I love a game with a good story, and this has it!

      ~~~BOX ART~~~
      The box art is quite interesting and does carry some themes related to the game's story, but I think there could definitely be a more interesting and dynamic cover- the tension, anxiety and intrigue experienced in the game does not reflect through the cover, which is a shame, because a cover that does grab attention immediately would've perhaps aided.

      Nonetheless, the Broken Sword games have been around for a while so people are NOT going to miss this game. However, as a newbie to the series, I have to say the cover doesn't reflect the magnitude of flavour in the game.

      ~~~GAME PLAY~~~
      Having never played a Broken Sword game before, I have to say the immediate story grabbed me and got me hooked. Whilst the opening sequence WAS long and I would perhaps have given up on any other game, this got my attention and made me endure just a bit longer. The animations and dynamic expressions of the characters, as well as the short movie sequences also helped make the story more diverse and exciting.

      So what is the game about? You start the game playing as Nico, a photo-journalist who gets invited to a wealthy man's home, and of course, he gets killed, and she is immediately enroped in some dark mystery quest. This is a point and click adventure and Nico pretty much starts investigating straight from the opening scene.

      Items and people that can be interacted with have a small round bubble on it which you can click on using the stylus to examine or speak to. You can also pick up items and use items on people and objects to trigger the next step. Given the game is pretty linear, you can't progress until you've picked up everything you need and spoken to everyone you need to speak to, which at times can be annoying, but if you are stuck, there is conveniently a hint corner on the top right.

      Whilst Nico's story has grabbed me immediately, it isn't Nico that we play as for the rest of the game. Meet George Stobbart, an American tourist who also gets wrapped into the story, when the man Nico is supposed to meet dies in an explosion in the cafe George is sitting at.

      This sends George on a round the world mission to uncover the clues to the mystery revolving around the Knight's Templar, whilst Nico does absolutely nothing, sitting at her apartment in Paris- which really annoyed me. The character of George in the whole game is not as developed as Nico's in the first chapter. Apart from his humour and sarcasm, his background is pretty much unknown.

      Nonetheless, George's (NOT NICO'S) adventure around the world sends him to different European locations such as Spain, and meeting some outrageous characters, and doing some rather stupid (but clever) things.

      One example includes stealing a door key, imprinting on soap, filling it with plaster of paris and making a copy in order to replace the real thing. That's the clever part. The stupid part is to make the key look convincing, George has to paint it. And to do so, he gets Nico to talk dirty to the person keeping the paint hostage. Yes, pretty silly stuff- but very funny!

      Which moves me nicely onto dialogue. The whole thing is full of it, and perhaps the hours that I spent on it was mainly reading the text, most of which I skipped (which didn't affect game play at all), although some of it (mainly between Nico and George) are hilarious- so don't skip them!

      Interestingly, during conversation, you are sometimes given choices. Do you tell the truth, or lie? Do you agree or disagree? Whilst I am convinced either answer would progress the game in the same way, one instance got George lying to the cafe waitress he is a doctor and forcing a pint down her.

      Of course, an "Indiana Jones" type game with such a deep background context has to have it's share of puzzles, and they come mostly during the need to open trapdoors, with mechanical locks that need to be opened through block moving puzzles. Other times, a secret message needs to be deciphered, with a photo jigsaw thrown in as well.

      Whilst most the puzzles are fun, some are tedious and you can get stuck quite easily. Thankfully again, there are hints. Most of the puzzles appear at the beginning and the end, leaving the middle part of the story pretty boring at times, although it is also here that most of the silly yet clever events occur.

      The story as a whole is intriguing, and the ending is sweet, although short, and for those of you who like a game with a convincing story, this is the game for you!

      ~~~CONTROLS AND DIFFICULTY~~~
      Control of the game is done solely using the stylus, and hovering around the screen will enable you to see and interact with the points of interest.

      The game can be pretty difficult given it's linear story and the somewhat strict order of play. However, given the small inventory, talking to everyone several times over, and using relevant items on them will get you past even the most difficult situation. If you are truly stuck, hit the hints button, which will further your progress.

      With the hints, sometimes it is TOO vague; it doesn't tell you much, which occurs during puzzle hints. Other times, during the progression of the story, it is TOO direct. It tells you where to go, what to do, who to speak to; and that frankly spoils the game.

      Also, almost every item that you pick up will be useful at some point, so trying everything unused on everything new will almost always work.

      ~~~GRAPHICS AND SOUND~~~
      The graphics are pretty strong, with dynamic backgrounds, detailed objects and high quality animations. I am rather impressed they got the perspective aspect into the game. It is a small detail, but it annoys me that games that have a movable sprite does not change size in comparison to spacial depth. This game does that, which rather impressed me.

      In terms of music and sound, I played most of it without sound as the music doesn't do much at all for the game, even the ending didn't have good sound or music! And the game missed it's mark here by not having a voice over during dialogue, even during movie sequences! Had they done that, this game would've not only been a "game", but a great story, almost movie like.

      ~~~PRICE~~~
      The game can be purchased for under £20 at most stores such as GAME, HMV, Play.com and considerably cheaper on Amazon or Ebay.

      ~~~OVERALL~~~
      As a new player to the "Broken Sword" series, I'm highly impressed by the depth of the context to the story, the characters animation and the humour in game. The adventure has been fun and non-repetitive, with the occasional puzzle uplifting and challenging. Whilst I was slightly disappointed with the lack of input from Nico, Stobbart makes up for in the rest of his interactive story. The graphics are good but the music isn't; but a game like this only needs good, clever plotlines and this game has just that.

      At under 10 hours game play, this game is pretty short, but the solid and intriguing story; cute and expressive animation; and humorous dialogue will make this game hugely enjoyable to most!

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        15.03.2010 17:29
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        Great DS game with a great story!

        This game is so under-rated overall not just on this platform. I was recommended this game by a friend who told me it was so much better than anything like Professor Layton and the types.
        I was quite apprehensive about the game because of the front cover (cliche I know) but the name and the cover both do not represent the game by all means.
        The game itself tells a story that in itself should probably win some sort of award. And as a game it is challenging but not too difficult that typical non-gamers are put off by it. When I first picked up the game I could not stop playing it and this continued right up until i'd completed it. Alike other games like this you have the option to get hints if you do get stuck with it which is great because to begin with to get in to the game you do need to use them. But when you're in to the story you do not need them and in a way you want to start again and do it all over without any hints at all.

        The story is really gripping and the game has some really good puzzles within it. Having not played the PC or Playstation games I cannot compare but I only hope they bring out the other two games in the trilogy to DS.

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        12.02.2010 17:22
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        An detective style game involving fun puzzles and a great story

        Being a fan of broken sword 2 on the playstation 1, I found this game for £9.99 from Gamestation.

        After being a bit sceptical due to the low price, I am now confident in saying that this is one of the best bargain buys game there is. It is point and click (or tap for DS) game where you investigate strange murders occurring over Europe. The game involve solving different puzzles to piece together the plot, however there is a hint system for those who struggle to work some puzzles, starting off with a small hint, with successive hints demonstrating exactly what to do to advance.

        The story delivers in that in keeps you interested in reading all the commentary, which I must admit at times seemed a bit much for myself. The music and graphics are great along with the 10 hours worth of game play, this game is hard to fault. Many puzzles however can easily been solved by examining everything in a particular room, moving the stylist over a small screen makes it quick simple to find objects and areas to examine, and with a relatively small inventory, it doesn't take long to realise the next step. That said, there is still always the hint system, for those tricky moments, It seems the hint system doesn't affect the game in any way but the number of hints are recorded at the save menu (eg 37% complete, 5 hints).

        The game is well paced with dialogue being short and snappy without compromising the story telling. You are able to skim read conversations whilst still following the main plot. There are only a few engaging puzzles such as decoding a letter, which does require some thinking, however it is ashamed there aren't more of these in the game as a lot of the game seems to pass by just talking to people over and over.

        Overall this is a great value for a game priced around £11 mark, especially for the casual gamer as it offer a good level of difficulty but also has a effective hint system to assist. I believe a few more games of this quality and price would not go a miss on the DS.

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        27.01.2010 15:00
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        good game

        The broken sword games are one of the few point and click adventure games that are still being made. Whilst most game development companies chose the less risky "fancy graphics and franchises" route it was glad to see that some stayed behind to create more witty games for puzzle lovers the world over.

        Broken sword takes place in Paris where you (George Stobbart) are witness to a mysterious murder that you cant help but get involved in. The gameplay involves the typical point and click techniques of walking into a new room, quizzing characters using pre determined dialogue and then moving your mouse around to try and find all the items available to you at that Scene.

        What sets broken sword out as being better than other games is the witty dialogue throughout. Most players will find themselves chuckling at the jokes and anecdotes you will experience during this story.

        Its a shame that games like this are dieing out, they may be a bit harder to get into at the start but if you are prepared to give them a go and pay attention to whats going on then you are often rewarded with some really clever gameplay.

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        22.10.2009 17:46
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        Additional scenes and a new perspective on a classic game

        While I was growing up one of my favourite games on the original Playstation was the first Broken Sword game. So when I spotted that they were rereleasing it on the Nintendo DS earlier this year I knew it was a game I had to buy. Rather than just release the same game again they took the original Broken Sword game and created some new levels and twists to make the game a little longer and not an exact copy of the original Playstation version. Of course the old story from the original is still intact but they've added extra scenes for one of the other characters to give the game a bit of extra shelf live.

        This new version follows the fortunes of two characters, Nico a Parisian journalist and George Stobbart an American Tourist. The game starts with the murder of one of Paris's most influential men and the player witnesses this tragedy through the eyes of Nico. From that moment on you are drawn into an age old mystery chasing after a long forgotten legend and trying to find the reason people keep getting killed. There are some new puzzles along the way and some very clever new levels that remain true to the Broken Sword tradition.

        Of course the real danger for developers Ubisoft and Revolution was making the extra parts of the game seem like they belong and not a marketing ploy. Thankfully they manage to achieve this very well and the new parts of the story introduced at various stages of the original game feel like they should have been there all along. The original game had focussed more on George and his take off events as they tried to discover what was going on but the transition to seeing things from Nico's view works very well. The addition of the extra scene's, whilst only adding 5 or 6 scenes to the game means there is something for fans of the original games as well.

        The original version had opened up with the random bombing of a Paris Cafe which dragged George into the story. With this updated Directors Cut we now understand a little more about what's going on due to the additional scenes at the start and this works very well for the game, the game play and for your understanding of the story. It adds a bit of extra depth and intrigue into an already well thought-out storyline and achieves the principle idea of not making the game an exact repeat of the first one.

        One of the aspects that really made this game stand out on its original release was the graphics and if anything it looks even better on the DS. The graphics have been touched up a little to really use the full effects of the Ds graphic card and it looks very impressive. The new scenes have also been designed to tie in with the original look of the game and whilst there has been some 15 years between the games the games graphics fit together flawlessly. Having recruited the designer of the original game the developers have ensured that the continuity of the characters continues throughout the game.

        At a time when puzzle games seem to be a huge success on the DS this is one that certainly delivers a hit. There is a mixture of difficulties on the puzzles and this keeps the game fresh. If you do get stuck on a puzzle there is a tiered hint system that can help you to solve a puzzle if you do get too stuck with it. This doesn't lose you any points or have any impact in the game but they are added up and advised at the end of the game so you can tell how many you needed. The puzzle interface works just as well as the rest of the game and some of the puzzles can be left if you get too stuck on them and returned to without hindering the rest of the game.

        The in game controls are particularly easy on the DS as it is a simple point and click game with no complicated button combinations. Throughout the game you use your stylus to search the screen for clues and to examine items or talk to people. It works very well and it keeps the game nice and simple to use as you try to follow what is a rather involving plot.

        It's really the plot that makes this such an interesting and time consuming game. It's incredibly well written and involving. As you play you can feel yourself wanting to do just the next bit and then the next bit and not really wanting to put it down. The characters are very well written and you find yourself being really drawn into it as you want to help George and Nicole understand exactly what's going on. This for me is the sign of an excellent puzzle/mystery game as it's not overcomplicated but it is engrossing and holds your interest. There is no moment during game play where you wish the game would end any quicker and in fact once you've completed the game you want another one to follow on from it.

        Another well throughout aspect is the games sounds. Whilst you are playing the thoughts and narrative don't just appear on the screen but are actually spoken and again this makes you feel involved in the storyline. The final aspect to mention has to be the soundtrack with some very clever uses of background music to set scenes and add to the overall atmosphere of the game.

        There is always a danger when you try and rehash an old classic that it won't live up to the original but I think the updated Broken Sword is actually better than the original. The game play is just as addictive and smooth, the storyline with its additional elements slots in nicely to the original story and the developers have done a fantastic job. Hopefully there will be more adventures with George Stobbart to come on the DS but for now I'd strongly recommend if you like a mystery/puzzle game to give The Shadows Of The Templars a try as it's probably the best mystery game I've played on the DS.

        Amazon:£17.99
        Amazon Marketplace: £13.00

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          06.09.2009 18:09
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          A great game with enough updates and enough kept in

          Many companies these days have foud a new and easy way of making money, porting. It's easy, take an old game and port it to a current console and you can sell it to old fans and new players alike. But is it shameless? Are we buying into this knowing full well we're buying the same game that we possibly already own twice? In this case, I'd say no.

          This DS port isn't shameless, it's great! While much of the game remins the same it has been updated enough to keep it fresh and interesting while keeping enough intact to do ustice and show respect to the original PC game. The Director's Cut adds new story, new puzzles and a new character to control.

          In this game, you mostly play the part of George Stobbart (two Bs, two Ts), an American Patent Lawyer from Idaho on holiday in France. George is sucked up into a murder mystery when a bomb explodes in the Cafe he is sitting outside. Through his inquisitive nature, he eventually meets Nico Collard, a French journalist with ties to the mystery through her father. Together, they end up travelling the world, solving clues and unravelling mysteries to attempt to find the costumed killer and stop a group of Neo-Templars from taking over the world.

          The story remains the same in this game from the original, with the addition of a little extra at the start from the view point of Nico Collard. She is a character that appears in all the games of the series, but was not controllable in the original release. In this version, she is controlled in order to solve puzzles and find a little extra back story to the remaining game. It adds a good grounding for the rest of the game and it's interesting to see the events that lead to what I know will happen later on. This portion of the game gets nothing but thumbs up!

          Some of the puzzles have been updated in this and the Wii version of the game to utilise the platforms' control systems, which is a great feature. Both consoles lend themselves to point 'n' click adventures readily, and the fact that puzzles have been personalised to each system is great. All it does is add to the adventure.

          As stated, the game remains mostly intact for George Stobbart's leg of the journey, but the negative aspect of the game is the lack of vocal talent. The sarcastic tone of George, the biting harshness of Nico, these are very strong memories of the game for me. Without these, there feels like there's something missing. The script remains mostly the same, but I want to hear it, not just read it.

          The game still looks great, and the art style is a big part of the uniqueness of the title and it's a very stylised look; painted backdrops and 2D character models, it's a very comic book style, and it really looks great.

          There's not much to say here without reviewing the original game, which isn't something I'm going to do unless I actually am reviewing it, but the changes are mostly positive and most of the good things that were in the game already have been kept there, so it's not a bad port at all, and I for one feel it's definitely worth it, even for those who are long time Broken Sword fans and have played this game plenty of times already.

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            24.08.2009 15:57

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            excellent game, easy to get stuck into

            A director's cut for the original I had on the PS1. This is a point and click mystery / adventure game where you have to spot and pick up clues, talk to various characters and use your brain to untangle the mystery behind the story.
            The story starts in France and you play the part of Nico Collard and Goerge Stobbart, who you switch between at the beginning. Both characters witness separate murders and believe it's one murderer, a person who poses as a mime and then a clown and then various other costumed characters. You mainly play as George on the quest to find the costumed killer before he kills again. The quest takes you to many places, some even overseas such as Ireland and what turns out to be just a vacation in France for George, turns out to be so much more as you delve into an ancient myth- the Shadow of the Templars.

            A great point and click game, could do with a few more puzzles though.

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            17.08.2009 16:27

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            Worth every penny!!

            Absolutely loved it!! My sister brought this game first, and when she told me about it, I had to play it. You play two roles, one of a reporter Nicole, and the other of tourist George. The game is set in France, but you do 'travel' to other countries.

            It starts off with Nicole who is about the start an interview, when the statesman is found dead. And then begins Nicole's journey. She sets out finding the killer and the motive. She meets George on her search, and as he gets embroiled in the conspiracy, they get together to solve the mystery.

            As you play the two roles, you pick up clues or items that will help you. You interact with other characters, some who may help you, and others who want to kill you. But for the most part its upto you to figure out where to look, how to use the collected items, what questions to ask and so forth. There are afew puzzles in this game, but nothing like Professor Layton. But it does in a sense make you feel like you're actually investigating.

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            11.07.2009 16:39

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            Decent game

            Point and Click games were just made for the DS, its the platform that they work best on, I've always been a fan but sometime they are a bit limited in scope and intelligence

            Broken sword however has always been the exception in my opinion, its well thought out and intelligent enough to keep you plugging away at it for weeks.

            The action begins in Paris where our heros George Stobbart and Nicole are investigating an explosion at a cafe, soon the tale takes them all over Paris, exploring the catacombs, decifering codes and chasing the legend of the Knights Templar across Europe to Ireland and back.

            The thing with point and clicks are that if you scan across the screen you find all the points of interest fast enough, but in this adventure you must interact with your enviroment using the items in your inventory to progress the story.

            The characters are diverse and interesting enough to add to the plot without overwhelming it and although all the Irish characters are totally stereotypical [ drunks, farmers, landlords and jockeys ] they do add to the story

            In conclusion a good original story with a decent plot, smart enough to keep you playing but not too complicated.

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            23.05.2009 10:55
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            a great adventure game.

            I have always been a fan of point and click games, so when I heard that one of my favorites was going to be made for the DS, I knew I had to have it.
            Broken Sword is a great murder mystery game that has been made for many platforms in the past with the most popular being on the PC. The general format of the game is to hunt through the scenes with your mouse and click on objects and people to solve the mystery of the story.
            So how was it going to work on the Nintendo DS?

            The controls of the game are very easy to master, using the stylus to point and also click. By scrolling your stylus around the screen you will be able to see icons appear to indicate an interaction with the game. If you choose to click on the icon, you will then interact with the object or person and start to learn clues to help you proceed through the game.

            The storyline behind Broken Sword The shadow of the Templars focuses around a murder of one of the richest men in Paris. On first glance you are led to believe it could be a simple murder, but of course it wouldn't be to create a complex storyline for the game.
            George Stobbart is our main character in this game. George is an American on holiday in Paris where the game is set. Aided by a French journalist, Nico, the pair takes it in turns to roam the streets of Paris and then Europe to hunt down the answers to the mystery of the shadow templars.

            I am a great fan of all adventure type point and click games. This one stands up to its competitors very well in all aspects, in terms of graphics, game play, storyline and addictiveness.
            The storyline of the game is quite complex and I found that sometimes there is a lot of explanation that goes along with the different places you need to visit. This dragged me back slightly in the game as if I was in a rush I had no choice but to wait and listen to the blurb.

            There were quite a few aspects of the game set up that really appealed to me as I was playing it. The main one was that I could save my game whenever I chose. I was presented with a percentage I had completed each time I did this so I knew how far I was into the game.
            There are also hints available to the player. I really liked these when I was stuck on a certain puzzle or area, but it has it's downsides in the fact that the hints really did almost give the answer away without too much thinking on the players part.

            Throughout the game, you are only allowed to move on when you have completed the required puzzle. Sometimes you are free to roam certain areas on your map, but more often than not you are confined to one area. I did like this idea for the fact I wouldn't forget to solve a puzzle and need it later on in the game; however it was annoying when I was genuinely stuck and I couldn't go anywhere else for a break from the same puzzle.

            I found the graphics to be really good on the duel screen, there was no pixilation or blocky areas as the panoramics moved around showing you the scene you would be hunting in.

            Overall the game took me about three weeks and according to the game 17 hours to complete. I didn't realize I was involved in the game for so many hours, and for me this proves the longevity of the game. For this reason I would recommend this to anyone who likes point and click games.

            For the bargain price of £24.99 you can provide yourself with hours of fun. The game is recommended for people over the age of 12. I would suggest this is due to the complex blurb and puzzles that are needed to be found and solved.

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              19.05.2009 18:25
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              Great game, stays true to the original but with added features

              I was a huge fan of the PC series of broken swords games and was incredibly excited about this coming out on the nintendo DS. I was a little anxious as I had so many nostalgic memories of it, and I was much younger then. Nintendo have left it so long to bring this out that I was worried I wouldnt enjoy that sort of game format anymore, or may find it immature. The latest version of broken swords did not dissapoint. It managed to keep the seemingly impossible balance of maintaining the original amazing features and adding enough new enhancements to keep it exciting and everyone happy! The game broadly follows the same story of the original, George and Nicole travelling to various locations in an attempt to solve some murders carried out by a costumed killer. The journey starts in Paris where the graphics are amazing. They are very detailed and seem to capture the magic of the location. There are several added features, which quite literally only add to the greatness of the gameplay. These include more puzzle solving (for example putting a lock and key together) and solving some coding, by working out which letters represent which symbols. There is also some more one on one work with Nicole at the start of the game which is not in the original.

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              19.05.2009 16:17
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              Give it a go if you can get it for a good price

              I'm not really a huge gamer person, but I quite enjoy puzzle and adventure games on the DS (such as Hotel Dusk and Professor Layton etc). My partner bought this for myself and his mum to play (she likes that sort of game too).

              I was aware that Broken Sword is essentially a remake of an original, and from what my partner tells me, hasn't changed a great deal.

              The mother in law really enjoyed the game, and the way you go to and from places gathering clues, solving puzzles etc.
              Normally I would enjoy this sort of thing (maybe I expect too much from technology and games these days?) but I found the graphics and the game play to be frustratingly lack lustre.
              As mentioned, I'm not a game nerd by any means, but I just didn't enjoy the way the game looked, it felt quite lazy to me. For me personally, I thought that some of the 'puzzles' were far too easy.

              I don't really see the point in spending £25-£30 on a game if you'll blitz through it in a few hours (I'm sure there will be people that disagree with that!), but I like to take my time and really have to think about puzzle/adventure games.

              All that said though, of course it will be down to personal preference. Some people will love it (the in law!), but myself, I could take it or leave it. I think I'd prefer something a bit more challenging or that involved more of a 'fun' element in future.

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              18.05.2009 17:48
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              The Revolution starts here!

              I've owned, played, completed and enjoyed all of Revolution Software's games, from their Amiga days, through to their PC releases. When they announced that their new game - Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut was only available on the Nintendo Wii and DS, there was nothing for it... I had to go out and buy a DS (well, that was the excuse I gave Mrs SWSt anyway!)

              The main plot of the game involves you playing as two key characters - reporter Nicole Collard and American George Stobbart as they accidentally get caught up in a major conspiracy involving murder, mystery and the Knights Templar.

              In some regards, Broken Sword is not a new game - it is simply the original PC game transferred to a new platform. Revolution has taken the opportunity to revise and expand the game. In particular, they have added a new opening chapter, involving Nicole investigating the murder of a leading French politician.

              There was a danger that this prologue could have felt artificially tacked on, something written just to give the game a slightly longer life-span. Thankfully, it has been carefully integrated into the main game. All the pieces slot naturally into the overall narrative, so that the various sections of the story feel connected. It gives anyone familiar with the original games some new puzzles to solve, and fleshes out some of the more obvious plot holes of the original.

              New material is, however, quite limited. Less than 10% of the game is new - the rest has just been tweaked and the rest of the game pretty much follows the path of the original, with the locations, puzzles and dialogue being virtually identical. For fans of the series, it's perhaps slightly disappointing that Revolution didn't release a real "Director's Cut" and add in lots of "Deleted Scenes" which they would have liked to have included. I guess, the size limitations of the DS might have something to do with this, although the more powerful Wii also gets the same game.

              The end result is that players familiar with the original game may find the challenge a little easy at times. This will depend on how good your memory is, or how long ago you last played the original. In my case, it was ten years since I last played it, but even so, there were some puzzles that I solved quite quickly because I had a vague idea of what I needed to do. This could shorten the life-span of the game and, once completed, it's unlikely that you will return to it as there is little replay value.

              The key part of any adventure game is obviously the puzzle element and these remain strong. The game introduces you gently, with some fairly simple puzzles, before becoming more devious later on. Some of the puzzles can cause frustration, but usually in a positive way. Yes, they are challenging but for the most part they are also logical. As soon as you work out what you need to do , you wonder how you could have struggled with something so obvious There's certainly none of the obscure, illogical "Give the purple ribbon to the duck and get it to walk round in a circle backwards humming the Marseillaise whilst balancing a small grapefruit on its head" type of puzzle that some games are guilty of.

              There are still a few problems that boil down to trial and error - taking each item in your inventory and showing it to a character or combining it with another item until you hit upon the right solution. This, though, is something that is common to many adventure games, so it would be unfair to criticise Broken Sword too much for this, and at least its solutions do make sense.

              One slightly annoying aspect is the Hint option. If you are stuck you can ask for a number of hints. The first time you are ask for a hint you get something very broad; the second hint is more specific, whilst the third more or less tells you what to do. Although a nice touch to stop you from ever becoming completely, it can shorten the lifespan of the game and make it far too easy to cheat.

              The strength of the Broken Sword games has always been the narrative. The storyline is very strong and fits together to tell a logical and coherent story. There are the occasional cheesy bits of dialogue, but for the most part, the characters sound quite natural and there's a pleasing element of humour built into the game. The downside is that the story (uncovering the secret of the Knights Templar) now comes across as rather hackneyed and derivative. Ironic really, since the original Broken Sword came out before a certain Mr Brown turned all things Templar into a licence to print money.

              Visually and aurally, the game is very good. Broken Sword makes reasonable use of the DS's dual screen. When talking to characters, for example, a close up of their faces and the dialogue are displayed in the top screen, although it's slightly disappointing that the range of facial expressions is limited.

              The main game graphics, though quite small, are excellent. They have a comic book/cartoony style to them which is visually appealing. The artwork is highly detailed and a lot of thought and care has clearly been given to making the locations look realistic. The one slight niggle is that sometimes the DS's small screen is not ideal for an adventure game and very small, but crucial items can be easily overlooked. At times, you can end up pretty much moving your stylus over every inch of the screen to make sure you haven't missed anything. Again, this is a weakness with this genre generally, although the DS's small screen does exacerbate it.

              The game sounds good too. There's a slightly strange, but still atmospheric soundtrack which swells and wanes appropriately and reasonable sound effects to add to the atmosphere. The one disappointment is that, due to technical limitations, all the dialogue is conveyed via speech bubbles (voice actors are used in the original and Wii versions). This is a sad, if understandable loss, as the sarcastic delivery of lines by George and Nicole added much to the game.

              No matter how good the puzzles, story or graphics, a good interface is crucial to any point and click adventure. This is pretty straightforward and makes intelligent use of the stylus to interact with your environment and talk to people. Anyone who has ever played a point and click adventure will be instantly comfortable with it, whilst newcomers to the genre will pick it up within minutes without resorting to the instruction booklet. To help you along, the early screens also give you a few bits of help to introduce you to the main actions you can perform, effectively acting as a mini tutorial

              With the late 90s obsession with 3D games and first person shooters, everyone thought the old fashioned 2D point and click adventure was dead and buried. Revolution Studios have shown that with new platforms come new opportunities. Although it would have been nice to see a bit more new materials, Broken Sword remains an excellent game and a must have for fans of the genre.

              Let's just hope it sells well and ushers in a new era for this type of game... and that genre masters LucasArts start to show an interest in developing some of their classics for a new generation.

              Monkey Island DS anyone? Yes please!

              © Copyright SWSt 2009

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            • Product Details

              Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars – Director's Cut for the Nintendo DS system builds on the original, boasting a new and explosive narrative interwoven with the first story. After witnessing the brutal and horrifying murder of one of Paris's richest and most influential statesman, the player will be pulled into a sinister conspiracy rooted in a long forgotten medieval legend.