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Old 10-08-2011, 03:59 AM   #1
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Default Broken Sword Review

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

- A completely subjective review by Rolandesch -

Playstation, 1998. The console of my childhood on which I played almost anything I could get my hands on, it marked one of my greatest years of gaming. I had discovered my first RPG - Vandal Hearts, which I love to this day. It was also the year I played Final Fantasy 7, a game that is on my fav 5 ( to quote Booker T, I just love the WWE) since then. I was 10 at the time and felt as the luckiest kid alive for knowing a friend of my brother who introduced me to these games. He also borrowed me a game which he himself didn't much like and has probably forgotten all about it years ago. Broken Sword. I didn't have a PC. What was the internet? This game is usually played with a mouse? A few years before my brother had played MI2 but I'll be damned if I knew at the time how he did it!

I fell in love with the game in the first sentence, that voice, that music! The animation for me was an absolute joy, I'm a 10-year old playing a cartoon! My mind nearly exploded, it was a pleasure overload.
The hand-drawn animation in which I enjoyed as a kid is something now that I love in all games and is an extra point no matter which game it is or how good(bad) it is. For me it will always be more cozy and atmospheric then any 3d game. All of the locations in BS are a story for themselves, it doesn't matter if you are comforting a waitress in a blown-up cafe, picking up a greasy tissuein a sewer or dealing with a stubborn goat in a castle in Ireland the outcome will always be a engaging and entertaining one.

Puzzle parts of adventure games for me then were a great challenge and I still remember Ireland as one of the hardest parts of the game which I now know were partly beacuse of the use of a PS controller, has anyone tried solving the goat or the towel with a contoller?It isn't pleasent! And back then I had never even heard of walkthroughs, and I liked it that way altough I don't mostly use them today, it is an awful temptation just a few clicks away. But for an overall opinion of a game, puzzles were never the main factor.
BS has some fun puzzles and I liked how all the items could be presented to everyone in the game which more times then not had a great comedic effect. Even after multiple playthroughs you can always discover new dialouge optionS by trying out all the items.
They can be easy, hard, illogical or it could just be pixelhunting and it wouldn't matter (even it is at times frustrating) as long as the story and characters were good and in BS those are it's strongest parts.

Because of the story I fell in love with history, in school it wasn't difficult for me to study all the facts in history class because I could picture it in a new and fun way. I even went to check more about the Templars in the library, hungry fow knowledge. And the story of Knights Templars, mysterious murders and a secret organization were all brought to life by an amazing cast of actors at which top is Rolf Saxon who voiced George Stobbart perfectly and I couldn't imagine the game without him. It would be like Harrison Ford never played Indiana Jones and who would want to live in a world like that?
George is one of the most likeable characters in video-games and my recent discovery of a Easter Egg in the remastered version of the game made me like him even more. But it isn't only him but all the other characters as well such as Nico who is a perfect counterweight to George, altough she frequently exhibits a lack of faith in the crazy things George does and even if she herself doesn't put too much effort in solving the mystery of the
the murders and Templars (ok maybe we wouldn't have noticed anything missing if she wasn't in the game at all).Duane and Pearl, Kahn aka Thomas Moerlin, Ultar and his most luxourius taxiservice and many more are all memorable and likeable characters which I could quote endlessly.
There are moments in the game that some people may not like or that seem naive or farfetched but I wouldn't change a single thing. One of the most hilarious bits in the game were when George showed the clown nose to just about everyone always making sure to add that it had been worn by a homicidal mad man.

The sounds and music set a great mood in the game altough the music does go over the dialouge at some points so I had to lower it a bit but that and some other minor technical issues do not bother me one bit since this is my first adventure game, since I only watched MI2 and only after BS played it myself.

Well my scores are pretty obvious probably; 10/10 for everything.
Broken Sword is one of my favourite games and will stay with me as long as any movie, book or song could.

P.S. It took me 1 day maybe 6 to write my first review
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:44 AM   #2
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Nice review there, Rolandesch!

I also played Broken Sword for the first time on the PS, and I thought... what the hell is this!? I was familiar with the style of gameplay, thanks to Simon the Sorcerer (my first adventure), but I wasn't expecting it from a PlayStation game. After a few minutes of playing, I was hooked thanks to the characters, story and atmosphere. I also share your experience with the towel puzzle in Ireland thanks to the controller. I remember being stuck in Ireland for ages as I couldn't work out how to open that door in the excavation site. Thankfully, Broken Sword is one of those games I managed to crack all on my own means we, too, never had access to the internet/walkthroughs. The one thing I hated the most about the PS version is those damn loading screens! My God, they were everywhere! And long!

A few years later when I got it on PC I was quite surprised at the level of graphics quality and detail; I could actually see the characters faces!

But yes, Broken Sword 1 is probably my all time favorite adventure, too! I doubt I'd ever get sick of giving it replays.
Now Playing: Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut (DS and iPhone), DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil, Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All, Silent Hill - HD Collection
Recently Completed: Max Payne, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Next: Bayonetta, Devil May Cry - HD Collection, Max Payne 3, Metal Gear Solid - HD Collection, Silent Hill: Downpour
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Gazzoid, yeah I forgot about the loading screens. Must have suppresed them from my memory
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