It’s part of the unwritten law of the games reviewers (just between adoring the Dynasty Warriors games, and having an unnatural love for all things Sega) that every article involving a modern day point'n'click adventure title should begin with a lengthy lament of the untimely death of the genre. Something I’m going to completely disregard right here. Mainly because whatever's created won't ever reach the heady heights of the first two Monkey Island games.
But I digress. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director’s Cut is more than just a mere port of the classic beginning of the fondly loved Broken Sword franchise. Not only thanks to the Wii’s still innovative control system, but due to the developer's decision to stuff much more into the overall package.
While George’s tale is much the same as it was all those years ago - though it does pack a few changes that fans will surely notice - it’s the addition of a story for Nico that’s the true selling point. These segments, which crop up at opportune moments during the main story, are brand spankingly new, and are crammed with the same quality of dialogue and puzzles that the series is famed for.
Unfortunately, this additional content only adds roughly an hour of gaming time to the originals dozen hour story, and ends quite abruptly just over midway through the main quest. The chance to crossover between the two tales again acts as an immediate draw, but it’s simply the case that Nico’s story just isn’t long enough.
In addition, however, it’s these new areas that make the best use of the control system. Utilised mainly during puzzle segments, these variations aren’t exactly brand new to long time users of the Wii system. But it certainly adds a little something in comparison to the more obvious pointing and clicking of the main game.
That’s not to say that the controls during the rest of the game are at all poor. The Wii Remote is used as a streamlined version of the old interface, with the A button making context-sensitive prompts, and the B button adding additional options. Plus, hover over an area of the screen that’s holding an important piece of information or item and the Wii Remote will handily vibrate, helping your strained eyes from constantly scanning from the screen.
Oddly, while new cutscenes do look absolutely terrific, the older appearances haven’t been touched up. It only helps make the differences far more blatant, and you can’t help but feel a touch irritated that every area hasn’t been lavished in polish.
Saying that, there’s little doubt that Broken Sword remains a stunningly good looking game. Not just in a mere eye candy manner, but the atmosphere it helps create. There’s no way you can fail but be truly enchanted by the entire tale, and the fantastic visuals do a fantastic job of dragging you deeper into the Broken Sword world.
It might not pack as many extras as we all could have hoped, but there’s no doubt that the latest addition to the franchise deserves a try.
For fans it’s a mixture of delight, innovation, and a sharp jolt back to just how old the original game is. And for Wii owners simply interested in a fantastic story and masses of first class puzzles are urged to give this one a go.