Game Review: Broken Sword II

May 11, 2014
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Video & App Game Review

Broken Sword 2

Revolution Software: PC. PS, iOS, Android/$3.99 (Smartphone), $19.99 (Stream)

The nicest thing about this game is that you don’t need to have played the first version. It makes no difference. If you know the series, none of what you already know will give you an advantage in the follow-up. Nothing you did in episode one will change what happens here one iota and, subsequently, actions follow one another in a pretty predictable albeit fun way.  Choices in Telltale titles include a lot of red herring mumbo-jumbo but fans – and there are many hard-core folks out there – will love this tribute to old school-style adventure games.

Game Review: Broken Sword II

If the plots and puzzles in Broken Sword I were a tad tame, you’ll be less incredulous about this sequel. Things move along at an express-train pace all the way to the end. What could be a better start than the heroes, George and Nico, beginning the game trapped atop a burning building in London? After many bits of shenanigans the game quickly hurtles to a Catalonian villa where a psychopath with a pistol tries to shoot the whole world dead. Better yet, out of nowhere there’s the return of Georgie Porgie’s sister nemesis, the Goat, who is a sort of country-life version of Sherlock Holmes’ Moriarty on crack.

Conquering the goat and flying projectiles of all sorts requires some lateral thinking on the fly while you make a tour of a spooky house and try on some clever little puzzles. Along with the usual need for physical dexterity there are challenges in code breaking. Some of the advanced puzzles are so brutal for small-cortex elderlies like I and I had to dip into the excellent tips tool for help.  Meanwhile, the background scenery is so exquisitely composed that even being stumped is time-wasting pleasure.  Last, but not least, the finale is fantastically fun: Very, very challenging.

Game Review: Broken Sword II

Animation is improved and I noticed fewer bugs, but the requirement to move to a precise spot for dialogue is a wee bit irritating after a while. Thankfully, the script, which is filled with much deft, funny banter is quite good. Yes. Good gags, well delivered. There are better jokes. One favorite scene has Nico mention the Premier League soccer club Chelsea F.C. while hanging precariously from a cable car, using the west London team, well known to be owned by Russian gangsters, to disprove a certain dumb thug’s theory of determinism. It’s hilarious even if you don’t know anything about soccer!

Meanwhile the sexual tension between Nico and George steadily looms larger. Even though nothing’s been, umm, consummated, per sé, so to speak, everybody else thinks – Nudge! Nudge! Wink! Wink! – they’re knocking boots anyway.

Game Review: Broken Sword II

The other stuff involved is a bit eccentric, but it does make the game more challenging. Guided by Gnostics, it’s off to the to the Garden of Eden you go. And who wouldn’t want to stop Lucifer destroying Jehovah, I won’t spoil the rest because it’s all plot-based with the character quotient dropping.

As I said, Broken Sword 2 is a fine tribute to old-fashioned action-adventure storytelling, It’s fun to poke fun at such wackiness; but, still, this game seems only two or three steps removed from a state of perfection for non-lateral thinkers enough to be a million-selling boffo bona-fidé hit. Enjoy!

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