With the emergence of ID@Xbox there have been some top quality titles hitting the Xbox Store, it also gives players a chance to experience titles such as Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse. Having had the chance to play the game previously on the Playstation Vita I was looking forward to the chance of playing it again on a big screen.
The Broken Sword series was originally conceived in 1994 by Charles Cecil and has seen many different titles right up to The Serpent’s Curse, which was originally released in 2013 and was funded as a Kickstarter project.
Broken Sword 5 begins in 1937 in Catalonia, Spain, when a painting is seized by a man and his fascist army. The game then jumps to the present day, where we see the familiar faces of George and Nico. George is a good looking, American man who the French clearly love (well, love is a strong word) And Nico, a freelance photo journalist working for a newspaper called “La Liberte”, always on the lookout for a big story.
By chance, they meet in a Paris Art Exhibition where they witness a murder by a man disguised as a Pizza Delivery driver, who then goes on to steals random painting from one of the walls, called la Maledicció.
This is where you gain control in the story. Control wise the game is pretty simple, it is a point and click after all. You use the left stick to move the cursor around to select objects and people and then one of the buttons to perform a certain action, the Xbox Controller vibrates whenever you pass over something to note. It would obviously be quicker if you had a mouse to use but I didn’t feel like I was being impeded by using a controller.
As you play through the game there are plenty of puzzles to solve, conversations to be had and information to take in, but it’s a great story that will see you travel the world. The first half of the game is quite pedestrian, you will spend time going back and forth to the same locations as the story unfolds. It’s in the second half of the story that the game really gets going. The puzzles start to become more challenging, there are riddles to solve and some cryptic clues to decipher, but if you get really stuck there is a hint system to help you along. You are able to combine items you collect in the game with characters or other items to help you in your way, conversation plays an important role too, as you discuss various topics with other people new subject can appear that can lead to important information. There is plenty of trial and error, but it never felt like a chore.
That doesn’t mean the game isn’t frustrating at all, because it is. There are times where George and Nico find themselves in danger, but because of the point and click nature, you never feel like you are in danger. As you try to get yourself out of a situation they just amble along to wherever you direct them, the lack of urgency and threat in ruins the suspense.
When I played Broken Sword on the Vita, I though the game looked lovely but it’s even better on the Xbox One, the game has a beautiful colour palette, and the hand drawn graphics are lovely. Audio wise there are no complaints either, the soundtrack is very soothing, and the voice acting is good too. The script is well written and contains lots of humour (there are plenty of in-jokes for fans of the series in general) and you’ll see some familiar faces return from the series.
I certainly enjoyed playing the game again on the Xbox One, and was glad attention had been paid to make sure that the game suited the console. There are also achievements and they have been well thought out, if anything they will make you pay more attention to your surrounding and make you explore the environments more closely. Broken Sword 5 brings a great change of pace to the Xbox One, and most point and click fans will enjoy the experience.
Thanks to Renaissance PR for their support
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