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Broken Sword - The Shadow Of The Templars - Directors Cut. Nintendo Wii
** The Background of Broken Sword **
Broken Sword was originally released back in 1997 on a few different consoles including the Sony Playstation 1, this was where I first discovered and became slightly addicted to the game, so as you can imagine when I found out there is now a Wii version I found this quite exciting and had to make a purchase, and now I am here to review this purchase for you...
** Broken Sword - The Shadow Of The Templars - Directors Cut - The Game **
Broken Sword - The Shadow Of The Templars - Directors Cut is a strategy game on the Nintendo Wii in which you must solve the mystery surrounding a clown bombing a French Cafe.
Upon inserting the game you will see the usual adverts and will be taken to a fairly basic menu with the options of New Game, Continue or Options.
At the start of new game you will be shown a video of a clown setting off a bomb in a quiet cafe in France, following this reasonably short clip you will then start the game playing the character George Stobart, an American who is visiting Paris and takes it upon himself to play detective and with the help of a reporter called Nico who George meets and your help solve the bombing and catch the killer.
Using the Wii remote in a simple "point and click" fashion you will then move not only around Paris but also around Ireland, Syria, Spain and Scotland, solving puzzles, talking to tourists, police, doctors and sometimes even posing as them to get people to co-operate and answer your questions. Using a combination of exploration, wits, skill and down right lies and deceit you must solve the mystery of not only who the clown bomber is but also why the cafe was bombed?
The main screen of the game stays almost the same throughout the game, in each corner there is a different option of either Options, to save or load your game, check the controls or look in Georges Diary. Hint, to receive a hint to help you in the part of the game you in. Bag of Collected items - as it sounds really, a bag with random items George has collected along his travels to help solve the mystery.
The sound in the game is basic, but really basic sound is all you need as not to be distracted from the game. The graphics are also basic, but definitely a step up from the PS1 version and reasonably smooth.
The controls are very simple, mainly point and click and press A to talk and to use or operate items and press B to look closer at things or have a description of an item.
I found this game to be very addictive as I wanted to solve the mystery and I have spent many days at work drinking lots of coffee due to staying up too late playing this game. However unless you are the gamer who would want to play again to try and beat your previous time taken or amount of hints used then I would say this game literally only has the lifetime of however long it takes you to complete.
Broken Sword - The Shadow Of The Templars - Directors Cut cost me £12.99 from Play in the summer of 2010.
** My Experience and Opinion **
I have played this game for many hours and have finally completed it! I found it very enjoyable and easy to play with regards to controls. I found the game itself a great challenge, it was very easy at times and just a simple case of using common sense but then at other times the story would take a twist depending on questions that you choose to ask people and their responses. I would definitely recommend this game to you if you have the patience to sit for hours solving mysteries... and hours is probably an understatement as this game has so many twists and puzzles in it that you will be addicted quite possibly for weeks!
Broken Sword: Shadow of The Templars is a Wii port of the original Broken Sword game. Anyone who's familiar with the original games, or indeed any of the early 90s Point 'n' Click games will love this game.
As I said, it's a point 'n' click, in a similar vein to Monkey Island or Day of The Tentacle, but somewhat more serious. You alternate control between the hero George Stobbart and the object of his desires, Nico Collard. It's a nice way of doing things, and it's interesting to see one character visit locations that the other has visited previously. The story is excellent, although it doesn't really pick up until a few hours into the game. This is partly because the story takes something of a turn around that point, and it's just a more interesting plot at that point.
The graphics aren't up to much by today's standards, but any fan of the old Scumm engine games will be right at home - personally I loved them, but that's perhaps because I'm one of the oldies who loved those games when they were new! Newcomers my be somewhat offended by how basic it looks today.
The difficulty of the game is perfect in my eyes - unlike similar games of old where the game developers would throw in some crazy idea that you would have no chance of figuring out on your own (Use Max with Water, I'm looking at you!) - Broken Sword always makes sense, which is excellent. That's not to say it's a walk in the park, because there are still moments where you'll be scratching your head, but sooner or later you'll figure out what to do next out on your own. And if you're REALLY strggling, there's a handy hint system.
Not really sure what else I can say about this, because the game is so story driven, to delve further would perhaps spoil the game for those wanting to play it. I will say that anyone who remembers Lucas Arts in their heyday, or indeed the original Broken Sword games will absolutely love this. Anyone who's fallen in love with the genre recently through DS titles like Phoenix Wright, Another Code or Hotel Dusk should also pick this up for similar exciting story driven action.
In the late 80s and early 90s one genre of game dominated my play time. An era before the likes of Doom made FPS all powerful. Way back from GTA3 and its sandbox gaming. The genre was the humble Point 'n' Click (PnC). On consoles the genre was all but forgotten left to PC gamers to pick up the odd title that was until the Wii came. With its pointer system it was ready made for the genre and with everyone else cashing in why couldn't Point 'n' Click makers? The Wii is full of shovelware and remakes so no need to come up with new ideas, get out the old games and re-release them. Could old games like 'Broken Sword' work with modern audiences? I hope so as the original is in my top 10 of the genre of all time.
When listing quintessential PnC games somewhere near the top would be Revolution's 'Broken Sword' series. Coming a little late to the party the original games captured the genre perfectly. This remake is an updated version of the first game with some added extras. You play as George and Nico and must uncover a mystery that surrounds a couple of murders. The only suspect is a man who dresses as a clown. There are a series of screens that you must explore and pick up objects. By talking to characters, reading clues and using objects you must solve a series of puzzles. The genre is not a fast moving one and is as much about thinking through the issues as doing something.
As a direct remake of the first game 'Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut' has all the old puzzles that made the original so great. However, Revolution have also added an entirely new side story for Nico to investigate, have made some of the old puzzles more logical (bloomin' goat) and added some Wii specific puzzles. In terms of core PnC gameplay 'Broken' is the perfect balance of brain tease and enjoyment. The added section fits in perfectly and suggests that a full sequel would work wonderfully. The one area that was so-so was the Wii remote actions. The puzzles that required you to twist or use twitch functionality were made far harder by the inadequate Wii controller. Apart from this the game is PnC heaven. (4 out of 5)
Unlike the majority of game genres the PnC excels at story and character. Normally a game consists of giving a marine the excuse to shoot something and the blinding pace does not offer time for humour or reflection. Step forward 'Broken' as an example of how story can work in games. Long before Dan Brown 'Broken' looked into the Templar Knights and built a mystery around them. The story is a proper whodunit with suspects and a true mystery. It holds up better today as games have not improved in terms of story for 10 years!
The characters were also a joy to revisit. George is an all American guy who is a bit dopey, but has his heart in the right place. He has great chemistry with the feisty and sarcastic Nico as she puts up with him for her news story. If these two great central characters were not enough Revolution populates their game with loads of well rounded and amusing NPC (non playable characters) for you to question; the highlights include a eccentric Englishwoman and the assorted men in an Irish pub. I had forgotten how good story and character is in the PnC genre until picking up 'Broken'. (5 out of 5)
How brainy is a piece of string? Depending on your skill, luck and ability to download a walkthrough guide 'Broken Sword' clocks in at around 12-20 hours gameplay. If you do not wish to look up cheats the game will take you the longer length of time as you spend it experimenting. The quality longevity gives the story time to breathe and make it a full adventure with a start, middle and end. (4 out of 5)
For the most part I have heaped praise on Revolution and their update of 'Broken Sword'. The story and gameplay are over 10 years old and hold up brilliantly; other areas do not. Graphically the game is real mixed bag. The Wii is not the most capable of consoles, but should be able to handle the cell shaded look of 'Broken'. In the newly developed sections and new cut scenes it does looking crisp and wonderful. However, as a cost cutting method it appears that Revolution have tried to use as many old resources as possible. This means that the older sections of the game suffer from jaggy sprites at times. The game still looks great (it was amazing for its day), but I find it sad that they allowed George's character model be so jagged compared to Nico's. (3 out of 5)
Back on safer ground the level design of a PnC is what makes or breaks them. The locations must be varied, puzzles challenging and have some form of logic. I actually find 'Broken' amongst the most intelligent and logical in the genre and you never feel overly cheated by the way to solve a puzzle. If you are new to the genre and want to see how the puzzles should be done look no further. Revolution's reputation is further enhanced by the quality of the new levels added to the game, arguably as good, if not better, than the originals. (5 out of 5)
Another disappointing area is the sound. In terms of voice acting it is of the highest quality with the original actors coming back to record the new material. Unfortunately, they did not come back and re-record the older stuff. Instead there is a mix of old and new and the quality is oceans apart. You play as George and he sounds like he is in a toilet cubicle when Nico is stereo clear. Worse still are the sections that see George talking in a crackly tone only for one or two words to be clearer. Lazy and embarrassing when compared to the high quality shown elsewhere. Luckily then than the music is as haunting and beautiful as ever; the way that it swells during the tense moments is perfect. (3 out of 5)
With the only downsides being lazy implementations of sound and graphics 'Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut' could herald a new era of Point 'n' Click gaming. The genre is suited for the Wii with its remote and relaxed fan base. In terms of puzzles, story and length 'Broken' is fantastic and well suited for any fan of the genre. I would urge new fans and old to check it out as there are plenty of new areas in the game to keep everyone entertained. Still a masterpiece after all this time - now for a sequel with a little more love and attention to detail. (4 out of 5)
Maker: Revolution Software RRP £40
Amazon uk £29.99
Having been a huge fan of the original I was most excited when I heard Broken Swords was being re-made for the wii and DS platform. The type of gameplay and script are ideally suited to the interactive features of the nintendo consoles.
The storyline is the same winning formula as before. You start the game playing an unwitting George, who goes to meet someone in a cafe in Paris when a bomb goes off. You spend the rest of the game chasing round the killer, who you learn is always costumed, dressed in different fancy dress outfits. There are plenty different scenes to search around and play in in this game, you are not restricted to one level which really makes the game exciting.
Fans of the original will not be disapointed as all the original features and basic storyline are kept, but with some wonderful added extras. For example, in the beginning of the story you get to do more detective work as Nicole, and really benefit from seeing the story for two sides. Nicole is George's reporter side kick from all the original games. There are also some added puzzles, lock and key puzzles and several manuscripts to translate.
This game is as addictive as the orginals!
As a fan of the broken sword series from plastation1 through to playstation 2 I was soooo excited to hear that they were releasing Shadow of the Templars for the wii and pre-ordered it straight away. When I first put it on I was a bit dismayed at the quality of the graphics but think this may have had something to do with the fact that I had only recently completed Secret files of Tunguska and the graphics are completely different with Broken sword being more animated and more like the original game. However I soon got over the graphics and believe that any fellow point and click game fan could do the same. They have added extra scenes where you play as Nico and I loved them and feel they really added something to the game, there is also a hint system to help you along which you can choose to use, or not, I really tried not to but have to admit I had to on a couple of occaisions although didn't always find it helpful as I sometimes knew what to do just not how to do it. Once I got into the game I found it really addictive and hard to turn off and was actually quite gutted when I completed it. After searching for years after the original broken sword series for something as good and bar one never finding anything all in all I really enjoyed this game and eagerly wait to see if they will bring any further installments out for the wii!
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars û Director's Cut for the Wii home video game system from Nintendo 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. New puzzles have been added that specifically utilise Nintendo's unique Wii Remote. The game also features stunning animated facial expressions drawn by Dave Gibbons, artistic genius behind the comic book and upcoming movie Watchmen.