The Serpent’s Curse is the 5th game in the Broken Sword series designed and directed by Charles Cecil and made by Revolution Software. I originally tried playing this on the iPad last year but soon got stuck so I gave up. Luckily, here on the consoles it also comes with a handy hint system which gives you a nudge in the right direction and eventually tells you what to do if you push it hard enough. In a game like this it’s very welcome and can save tonnes of time where you’re not doing something that may be obvious but you just miss for some reason.
The story begins with a painting being stolen in the past, and then we fast forward to present day where George Stobbart and Nico Collard are in an art gallery. Things soon go wrong when a thief in a motorcycle helmet steals the very same painting and shoots someone, and thus the mystery begins. Why steal the painting? Who stole it? And why is it apparently something the priest in the game is very scared of?
If you’ve played a graphic adventure before you’ll know what this is all about. You spend time talking to the characters to quiz them about other people and things you’ve discovered, collecting objects around the place and using and combining them to solve puzzles and progress further in the game. This one also has some standalone puzzles when you examine objects, such as putting pieces of paper together or deciphering a cipher in a memo.
Voice acting is of a good standard, this game having a cartoony look about it, they’re more caricatures of French, London and Spanish residents but there’s always an underlying dry sense of humor about it, especially when it comes to George’s dialogue.
The game works just fine as a graphic adventure, my problem is that I just don’t find the story very entertaining. Things really only pick up a bit of pace after the first 4 hours of part one, where you just keep visiting the same places and quizzing the French residents there. It could do with some more eye candy such as a crazy disco scene. It’s a small thing but could make the game a bit less boring. Later on in the game some of the puzzles are actually rock hard – you’d need to be Tom Hanks in Angels and Demons to solve some of them and even the hints don’t really help until they just tell you what to do! It really had me feeling very thick for a good ten minutes or so.
If you’re a Broken Sword fan or if you love graphic adventures, then I’d still say give this one a look, however if you’re into games with a bit more action or at least something more than a mild murder mystery you’d be better trying something else. It gets 6 out of 10.
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