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Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut (Windows)

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Written by  :  Risingson (8)
Written on  :  Nov 29, 2012
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars

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Summary

Stay away from the Director's Cut

The Good

Well, after all those changes, it is still some of the good 'old' Broken Sword, which is the quintessential Revolution adventure: gentle, not very difficult, just funny enough. And what it's best about the Broken Sword games: it gives you the feeling of being in a wonderful vacation around the world while unveiling the conspiracy. It works in new operating systems and computers without any third-party software like ScummVm. The new portraits are a nice touch.

The Bad

"Director's Cut" is a very strange concept to apply to a videogame: in movies there are alternate scenes, discarded dialogues, things that could change the pacing or the depth of the narrative, but in videogames? It usually means a revisit to the old game to add some things. Charles Cecil here added a few things, but mostly cut others.

The things he added were scenes where you can play Nico. There is an alternate beginning of the game (not as memorable, not as moody, not as great) with some new puzzles, and this new beginning is a mistake after mistake: sliding puzzles, puzzles that have no relation to the narrative - unlike the rest of the Broken Sword game - and texts that are not as well written as in the original game. The new portraits don't match the characters too much, and the old game ends up being better drawn and having much better sense of style, and this could mean that Charles Cecil has managed to take the absolute worst of Dave Gibbons (you know, the Watchmen artist, someone I never suspected that was capable of something as mediocre as this). To add insult to injury, in the Spanish release of the game there are two different voices for George Stobbart, sometimes changing the voice in each phrase.

But the worst isn't that. The worst part is that animations and lines of dialogues are cut, removing all accessory dialogues and harming the wonderful narrative that the original has. It's like someone remade The Secret of Monkey Island and removed the portraits of the pirates in Scumm Bar and the conversation with the three first pirates too. What for? What's the motivation behind this? Was Cecil, or someone else, afraid that too much text could mean that the new player could be lost easily? Does it mean that they don't trust the new players as intelligent beings that are able to read, understand and enjoy a narrative world, able to identify the information related to the plot and puzzles, and they need to be guided through all the main steps of the game?

Also, high resolution graphics are mixed with the old ones, which are pixelated and softened. Plain ugly.

The Bottom Line

Maybe this remake had sense for consoles, but PC players should stick to the original. After all, Broken Sword 1, 2, and yes, 3 and 4 are excellent adventures that disguise their faults with very wise design choices and sense of humor. When you remove some of those elements, you remove the rewards that all gamers want. So, just for practical reasons, don't purchase the director's cut.

Or purchase it only when you are given the chance to play the original game too (as it happens in Good Old Games). And let's pray that Charles Cecil learns from this and never does this to any of his games again.