PlayStation Gamer REVIEW

BROKEN SWORD II

Publisher:
Developer:
Version Tested:
SCEE
Revolution Software
PAL - Europe
Type:
Date:
Reviewed by:
Adventure
12/22/97
Konstantinos Kontos

1 CD, 1 Player, Mouse compatible, Memory card - 1 block

Broken Sword II - screenshot
READERS' REVIEW

One year after the excellent "Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars", Revolution Software has released the sequel to the best graphic adventure on the Playstation. Much in the same style as its predecessor, "Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror" pushes the traditional point & click engine to, possibly, as far as it can go.

The "smoking mirror" in question, is a device constructed by ancient Mayans to imprison the evil god Tezcatlipoca. The story begins with George Stobbartt (the hero of the first game) returning to France to meet his girlfriend Nicole after six months. The intro dives right into the plot, showing us how Nicole is abducted and George left unconscious in a burning house confronting a lethal spider. Not wanting to give out too much of what is another brilliant script, the story shifts you around the globe as you unravel a plot involving a madman's attempt to resurrect Tezcatlipoca and bring the world to its end.

Broken Sword II - screenshot BS2 plays exactly as its prequel. That means puzzles are logical, dialog is plentiful and interaction with the various characters that appear throughout the game, vital to the player's progress. Careful examination of objects and hints obtained by talking to people, coupled with common sense logic, is all you need to move on in this game. Revolution is to be congratulated on constructing the best puzzles ever to appear in an adventure game, initially appearing difficult but never becoming frustrating.

Performance of the game's engine has improved much for this Playstation version. The on-screen pointer seems to respond faster than before, characters move quicker too, loading times between scenes are greatly improved, backgrounds are of higher resolution and sprites scale more smoothly, retaining their characteristics as they move in and out of the background. The warm, stylized graphics are complemented by easy going music that picks up pace to highlight the dialogue in progress or some particular action you've taken. For example, music turns triumphant when you resolve a major plot thread and becomes ominous when you are about to enter a dangerous situation. In these days of ubiquitous 3D, Revolution had to do something to spice up the visuals a bit. So they've introduced lighting effects. And they work well too, elevating BS2 very close to the quality of a good animated film.

Broken Sword II - screenshot This is a big and beautiful game, lavishly peppered with interesting characters and lots of humor. Strangely enough, it's only problem is the quality of the puzzles. Being so logical and clear is certainly a good thing, but the problem is that if you're all but totally inexperienced in this type of game, you'll reach the end in a few days. There's nothing here (not even it's large size) to keep a moderately experienced adventurer from breezing through the game in less than a week. This doesn't detract much though, from what is an excellent game done by people who obviously love the genre.

For Playstation users there isn't much choice. If you like graphic adventures and want a game that will give you a respite from all the violence and the action that seems to dominate nowadays, get "Broken Sword 2" now.

Reviewed by Konstantinos Kontos, spin@hol.gr

Rating - 9/10


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