Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut review

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In cinema the ‘director’s cut’ label means usually way more gore or an extra nipple or two, but I’ve been looking for hours and haven’t seen either in this updated point-and-click classic.

What you do get is an extended version of the original 1996 mystery game, now with the opportunity to play as Nico, the hot French journalist. She joins forces with the other playable character, floppy haired George (think Hugh Grant’s annoying American cousin) and together they have to solve a murder, pick through bomb sites, hunt down a creepy clown and travel from Paris to sexy locations like Ireland. Oh, the glamour!

The puzzles alternate between that old favourite, combining seemingly random objects – paint, cloth, mysterious artefact – and more complicated logic-based ones, such as moving blocks around a grid to free a lock or deciphering codes. The linear structure can make these a chore, however. You won’t be allowed to leave an area until you’ve completed them, which means lots of angry swearing with no chance to take a break and try something else instead. Be prepared to witness your concentration attempt to parachute out of your skull and flee towards the nearest distraction like a tiny, metaphorical Speedy Gonzales.

Interviewing witnesses is a long but useful process.

But while the odd logic puzzle is serious stuff, the exploration isn’t. Crime scenes, sewers, Irish pubs... even if you do click on something fairly useless, there’s bound to be a funny quip to go with it. Examine that chaise longue and you get an amusing anecdote about how Nico likes to dress up as Marie Antoinette at parties. The gay guys love it apparently. Yes, the dialogue is a little limited, and yes, you’re going to hear the same phrases over and over again, especially if you’re thorough or a little stuck.

Strangely it’s only a problem on George’s sections. But then, let’s face it: if in real life an adorable French girl was chatting away to you, and happened to repeat herself now and again, you wouldn’t complain, would you? Exactly.

Ninten-d’oh

So what you get is classic point-andclick puzzling, the odd amusing quip and perhaps even a crush on a fictional French girl. What you won’t get is anything else pretty to stare at.

Locks like this require painful trial and error.

This is a Nintendo DS port, and as such the cartoon style only looks crisp in a small window on your desktop. Scale it up, and it starts to look like those cheap, American cartoons that use to be on at 6am in the morning.

Sure, it’s good for 14 years old, (which let’s face it these days is old enough to have a baby and a problem with alcoholism) but for £10 surely they could have given a quick rub with the higher resolution cloth? The game may have stood the test of time, it’s a shame that the looks couldn’t do the same.

Rachel Penny


Verdict

69

Wonky visuals, but this is as close to The Da Vinci Code meets Monkey Island as we’ll get. Did I mention the hot French accent?