After a very well received release of Broken Sword Shadow of the Templars the obvious thing to do would be to remaster and release the sequel.
I’ve always been a fan of classic point and click adventure games ever since i was a kid, going back to the original Monkey Island games on the Amiga. It was, and still is my favourite genre of game. An engaging story mixed with logically solved puzzles in a no pressure play environment was a great way for me to enjoy my free time, and still is.
The Broken Sword series has always rated high with its more realistic tone to the way the story plays out and how the key puzzles are solved. You won’t find yourself using a hypnotised monkey to open a water hydrant here.
As with the first game, you will mostly be assuming the role of George Stobbart, the first part of your adventure is aimed at rescuing a kidnapped Nico Collard. Once completed the bigger game opens up and you’ll be globetrotting once more to get to the bottom of the Smoking Mirror mystery.
The presentation of the game is very much like the first game, keeping to a strictly 2D animated movie feel and looks beautifully sharp on the iPhone. It does feel sightly stretched out on the iPad, but is by no means unplayable. The purely point n’ click interface works perfectly on the iPad. Running your finger over the screen will highlight areas of interest that you can then interact with in the various different ways available.
A key make or break point for a good adventure game is the dialogue. You could have a game packed with great puzzles but unless the dialogue and story aren’t up to scratch you’ll find yourself easily getting bored and switching off. Broken Sword 2 however is jam-packed with clever dialogue and scenes that’ll leave you laughing. In addition, all of the art for the dialogue sequences has been redrawn and lip-synced to better the experience and bring the game in line with more recent releases.
Broken Sword implements a tiered hint system, found in most point and click adventures these days, so you’ll never be stuck for too long, but I do urge any user to try and avoid using it, as every puzzle can be solved without taking hints, and can usually mean talking to someone you haven’t in a while, or visiting an area you haven’t recently been to.
There’s also achievements available too with the use of Game Center, as well as unlockable digital comic book once you complete the game.
One of the most ingenious features with this game is the dropbox functionality. You can save your game when playing on the iPad and then continue on either the iPhone or PC. It’s a feature I would happily welcome on more iOS games.
As for longevity, if you’ve played the game before and want to revisit the adventure it will easily take you 5-6 hours to complete, but if you’ve never played before and avoid using hints, you’ll easily rack up a good 8 hours. That’s about as much gameplay as any console game these days.
All in all though Broken Sword 2 does not live up to its predecessor, you tend to find the game is broken up into many restricted areas with smaller puzzles rather then one open play area. You also don’t carry as many objects from the beginning of the game that are to be used later in the game, except for a pair of kinky knickers you find at the beginning. (Showing these to various characters leads to hilarious consequences.) We must remember though, back when this game was originally released, we didn’t have the privilege of hint systems that some people may have used to guide them through the entire adventure without truly experiencing the game so this may have prompted the change in layout for this particular sequel back in the day.
The Broken Sword series is one of the big hitters in this genre, with big memorable characters, colourful dialogue and when completed leaves your gamer gauge happily full. Only let down by the ease of, and restriction between some puzzles. That said, this is still a game that should be on everybody’s ‘must play’ list.