While reading about the Scoring System of AdventureGamers, I stopped for a while to think if Syberia 3 is “a solid adventure that lacks enough polish or ambition to recommend without caution” - or if it is instead just a good game where “some aspects might have been executed better”.
I played the game on console, without all the technical problems that PC users had at launch. Still, lack of polish is quite evident in the game, starting from its ridiculous frame rate considered the dated graphics.
Anyway, the game is definitely one that does not lack ambition. It is, quite like all the other adventures designed by Benoit Sokal, a game with a solid narrative background and a great charisma.
The first two episodes of Syberia have always been considered “flawed cult games”, somehow. Syberia 3 is no different: it has all that’s needed to be considered a cult game designed by an excellent author, but it comes with aspects that should have been executed better.
Despite the fact that Sokal does not succeed in making the big step and create a real masterpiece, I still believe Syberia 3 stays true to the series and the genre. It portrays the same decadent poetics of the first adventures, painting characters and environments that sure succeed in keeping a high level of attention and curiosity in the player, maybe touching some emotional strings that too often stay untouched by games today.
It does so by creating totally new executions though, so it also succeeds in being a spiritual successor and not just a more-of-the-same. Syberia 3 is also quite a long game, longer than two previous episodes, and full of content.
I admired how this is truly a 3D classic adventure game: the authors did not try to skip the puzzles, lower the difficulty level or fill the game with hateful mini games or action sequences. The result is something between past and present, that sure will disappoint the fans of hybridation and modern games, but if you love the classic point and click pace, this is something you’ll want to sink your teeth into.
I gave it four stars because I found it to be a solid game, the kind of adventure game we need to hit the market from time to time. Sure, it has some narrative ups and downs and its graphics aren’t at the same level of Uncharted 4 - anyway, how many adventure games in the last 15 years succeeded in portraying a sound story with great 3D graphics? I mean, without adding so much action into the game that they became part of a totally different genre.
All in all, I admit I need a lot of context to give Syberia 3 four stars. But games are not something you can play without a context. And Syberia 3 trapped me in a world that is definetely above average from just about each artistic and narrative aspect. I was captured in the same feelings the first Syberia gave to me some 15 years ago, thanks to the ability of the author to research about Eastern Europe and create believable characters and environments to be placed in a decadent, poetical, steampunk-driven, unique and charismatic low fantasy world.
A disappointing - indeed, terrible - ending, some underdeveloped characters, technical glitches and lack of consistent narrative (some bold themes that deserved a far better payoff) prevent Syberia 3 from being superb. Anyway, it’s still one of the best adventure games I played since the release of Syberia 2, and I played a lot.
Time Played: 10-20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right