Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars


Review by · March 11, 1999

Ah! Remember the great old days of the computer gaming era, when point and click adventures ruled the day? Well, THQ has given us one more taste of those glory years in the form of their PlayStation title Broken Sword.

Broken Sword is your classic point and click adventure game with a deep plot and loads of mind-bending puzzles to solve. Mixing an endless amount of voice acting with a long quest, Broken Sword seems to be an awesome game, but how good is it really? Read on to find out.

Broken Sword has a lot going for it: it’s part of a rarely touched genre, it has sharp, almost computer-style graphics, a deep storyline, and loads of voice acting.

The point and click genre has been abandoned, it almost makes me want to cry when I think about it. I mean, here we have this great genre right before us and no one wants to use it anymore. Now, don’t any you even mention that Scooby-Doo point and click adventure game that came out for the SNES or I’ll lop off your heads =). I’m talking about the real stuff, not “make-fun-of-the-genre-stuff. I think Broken Sword is special because of this. I mean, how many games of this type do we get to play nowadays? Very few I’m afraid to say.

The graphics in Broken Sword do the job nicely, although I wish they would have been a bit sharper. In some parts of the game you can’t make out what stuff is, and the backgrounds are slightly grainy, but nothing to make them ugly, just slightly irritating. There are a few cut scenes in Broken Sword, but they are too short and there just aren’t enough of them. The cut scenes’ graphics are very weak, looking as if a child had drawn them. I found it to be very disappointing. When will game makers learn that a good cut scene here and there won’t hurt a game?

The storyline is another nice part of Broken Sword. The story revolves around an American tourist named George Stobbard, who is visiting Paris and sitting in a coffee shop when, suddenly, a bomb explodes. Afterwards he remembers that he saw a clown leaving the shop just before the bomb went off. Little did George know that the clown and the explosion would change his life forever. It was a very involving story, and I liked it. There were tons of funny characters and a lot of jokes. The story starts a bit slow, but after that it flowed smoothly until the end. Very cool!

Ah, finally the best part of Broken Sword: the voice acting. This is one of the best voice-acting jobs ever. Not since Popful Mail have I laughed so hard at voices in a game. Most of the people have cool British voices with their proper little accent. I simply loved it. It was worth buying the game just for the voices.

Gameplay is very good in Broken Sword, but it has a few flaws. There are a few puzzle that will get on your nerves. I don’t want to ruin the game for you, but you’ll know them when you get to them. Some of them involve timing and others involve running back and forth from place to place (argh!). Besides that, the gameplay is fun. Broken Sword is just like every other point and click adventure game out there. In order to progress in the game you have to talk to lots of people (all with real voices woohoo!), find items, and figure out where to use them. How could you not love it?

Besides the total lack of music (just a few violins and that’s about it, not even worth talking about) and a few dumb puzzle (every game of this type has at least a few) I loved every part of Broken Sword. THQ was very nice to bring this game to the US and I thank them for it. Not only that, they are also porting Broken Sword 2 later this year (can’t wait!). If you’re a fan of old-school computer adventure games look no further then Broken Sword, it’s a very good game.

Overall Score 84
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Jaime was part of RPGFan's reviews team from 1998-2000. During his tenure, Jaime bolstered our review offerings by lending his unique voice and critique of the world of RPGs. Being a critic can be tough work sometimes, but his steadfast work helped maintain the quality of reviews RPGFan is known for.