Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is the first in a series of point-and-click adventure games that came out in 1995. The game was a huge success that eventually spawned four sequels. I have played it twice and loved it both times, so I decided to write a thorough Broken Sword review to help you decide whether you should play the game.
|Type of Game||Adventure|
|Platforms||iOS and Android|
|Google Play||Download Page|
You are George Stobbart, an American from Idaho on holiday in Paris. While sitting outside a charming French café, a creepy clown with an accordion walks inside the restaurant. He runs from the door with a briefcase, and moments later an explosion destroys the façade of the café. You arise a few minutes later, shaken up but no worse for wear. Upon entering the cafe, you see the body of a dead businessman who was alive just moments earlier. You don’t know why he was murdered, but you’re going to find out.
Graphics and Design
Broken Sword uses animated sprites imposed over hand-drawn backgrounds. This was common for adventure games in the ’90s, and the animations were state of the art. The backgrounds and animations hold up surprisingly well, but the old sprites look a little antiquated today.
However, the mobile re-release of the game brought remastered graphics along with it. New high-resolution sprites replaced the old ones, and animated dialogue boxes appear when the characters speak.
The mobile and PC versions of Broken Sword are virtually identical. The computer version let you play either the remastered edition or the classic game from 1995. The Wii release is identical to the mobile release. However, the Nintendo DS version just has subtitles; there are no vocal overdubs.
In addition, the Director’s Cut features a new prologue that wasn’t available in the original game. This prologue is available on all platforms.
Like any good story, Broken Sword has its share of both heroes and villains. The two main protagonists are George Stobbart, who you control, and the lovely French journalist Nicole (Nico) Collard. George and Nico meet during the bombing investigation, and soon come to the conclusion that something rotten is afoot. Nico’s apartment serves as a home base for their investigation.
Also important is Andre Lobineau, an obnoxious historian who is in love with Nico. George and Lobineau like Nicole, but they don’t like each other. Still, Andre plays an important role in the game.
Not all of the main characters are good guys, though. Inspector Rosso seems determined to undermine the investigation. Flap and Guido are a pair of unscrupulous thugs who keep harassing George. And then there’s Khan, the mysterious assassin who always manages to stay one step ahead of George and Nicole.
George and Nicole are the central characters of Broken Sword. They appear in every game a bit wiser and more experienced than before. You will meet a variety of other important characters during the game, but you don’t want me to spoil all the fun out of this Broken Sword review, do you?
My Broken Sword review wouldn’t be much of a review if I didn’t say a few words about the plot. Broken Sword is a spectacular globe-trotting adventure. As George Stobbart, you get to visit a number of beautiful locations all across Paris. Your journey also takes you to a sleepy Irish town, a Syrian village and a gorgeous Spanish villa.
It soon becomes clear that there is something a little strange about everything that is happening. Khan is not just a master assassin, but a master of disguise, and his movements about Paris point to a sinister plot. The Knights Templar, an ancient monastic order from Middle Age France, is somehow in the middle of all this. But what could a group of centuries-dead knights have to do with a murder in 1996?
The plot thickens with every place you go. Khan shows up in Ireland and tries to run you over with a car. Later, you find a strange dig site in the nearby castle, and it definitely has something to do with the Templars. So you visit an old Spanish family once tied to the Knights, and more clues present themselves. Surely there’s some connection between all of these things, but you haven’t a clue what it could be.
Then, in Syria, you come face to face with Khan himself – and there’s a pistol pointed at your head. Only a moment of ingenuity saves you from certain death. What secret could possibly be worth murdering people over?
I briefly touched upon this earlier in my Broken Sword review, but there is an older version of the game. As far as I know, it’s only available on the PC. In the mobile version, you play a brief prologue as the beautiful Nicole Collard. The original version begins merely with the words, “Paris in the Fall” and an animated sequence showing the bombing of the café.
Aside from the prologue, the games are the same in every way. The only difference is the graphics. Unless you’re a fan of old-school adventure game aesthetics, there’s no real reason to play the original version over the remaster.
That said, it was the original version that I played for the first time years ago, and it was the original edition that made me fall in love with George Stobbart and Nicole Collard. So you can’t go wrong either way.
We’re coming to the end of my Broken Sword review, and I hope you find it both informative and entertaining. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is a truly exciting game. In fact, many people believe that the game inspired Dan Brown to write The Da Vinci Code. The game preceded the novel by seven years and features a number of similar plot ideas surrounding the Knights Templar.
Do you have any questions about this game? Would you like to share your experience playing it? Please, comment below and let us know! We’d love you to join the Broken Sword review conversation!
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