Broken Sword 5 review


(PS4 / XBOne)

Many a moon ago, when Sony’s mighty PlayStation was barely a toddler, Broken Sword was THE game that everyone talked about. A throwback to the classic era of adventure games, the hand-drawn animated cut-scenes and well-thought out puzzles proved that life didn’t begin and end with Monkey Island. The glory was short-lived, however, as the 2D series soon shifted into not-so-pleasant 3D, and sales subsequently suffered.

Now nearly a decade after it was first released, the adventures of George and Nico make it onto the latest generation of consoles with Broken Sword 5: The Serpents Curse. Gone are the annoying 3D graphics, replaced with the much easier to navigate 2D environment. Back to basics, and all the better for it.

bs52Originally released last year in two downloadable episodes for the PC, BS5 collects both together in one complete package. With a playing time of over eight hours and a wallet-pleasing price of £20, this also represents great value for money.

In terms of the plot alone – arguably the most important part of an adventure game – the various twists and turns you encounter keep things lively. A stolen painting reunites American George Stobbart with the sassy French journalist Nico Collard, as they travel across Paris and London to track it down. In the finest tradition of all adventures, a larger mystery slowly unravels as they unearth a centuries-old conspiracy.

On the downside, the game’s premise does seem a tad old nowadays, with the Dan Brown conspiracy thing done to death. Still, the blend of humour and variety of locations will keep the attention span going. Puzzles are logical but should you ever get stuck, there is a handy ‘hint’ button to help keep the pace brisk.

You are almost never stuck for things to do in BS5; with plenty of environments to explore and items to discover, there is more than enough here to keep the old grey matter active…


Mark Pilkington