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Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (Windows)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Cadorna (190)
Written on  :  Nov 19, 2003
Platform  :  Windows

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Summary

A partly successful attempt to breath new life into the adventure genre

The Good

Well, the most important thing about a game, at least in my opinion, is that it's fun to play, and fortunately, Broken Sword 3 possesses this virtue. Another thing of interest to most gamers these days is graphics, and Broken Sword 3 manages to deliver in this area as well. On to the core, the gameplay itself. BS3 has all the ingredients an adventure should have, interesting characters and locations, meaningful conversations, brainteasing riddles ... all this doesn't sound too bad, does it?

The Bad

Well, it isn't. But the game still offers some reasons for complaining. The most painful thing for me, an old adventure game veteran, is the absence of mouse control. Over the course of the development I've read a number of interviews with different chaps from Revolution Software in which they bragged this game was going to reinvent the adventure genre. However, you'll be hardly pressed to actually notice this. Most things have been done before, mainly by the also fully three dimensional Gabriel Knight 3. BS3 is still playable enough, even without a mouse interface, but I missed one more than once and aforementioned GK3 HAD mouse control, so I have to come to the conclusion the reason for it's absence is mere lazyness. That out of the way, the next biggest complaint, FAR less serious from my personal viewpoint, is the weirdo mixture of mythologies featured in BS3. Revolution Software did a great job basing Broken Sword 1 on the myths around the legendary Knights Templar, but the move to mixing in different other mythologies started in BS2 has been brought one step further in BS3, up to a point where it gets somewhat too much. Having a direct connection between artifacts of the Knights Templar, Old-Egyptian temples and the tale of King Arthur is a bit much for my taste. But this is a matter of personal preference, I guess. Finally, there's an abundance of sokoban-style puzzles in Sleeping Dragon, which can get kind of annoying at times.

The Bottom Line

Don't be fooled by the fact that the bad section is twice as big as the good section, despite all downsides BS3 is definitely a game worth playing, it's just not a pure blood adventure and - not uncommon amongst multi-genre adventures - a bit shallow at times. Nonetheless, the sentence I began this review with is still true at it's end.