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Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror (Windows)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168688)
Written on  :  Aug 21, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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More fluent than the first game, but equally unoriginal

The Good

The second "Broken Sword" is decidedly more dynamic than the first one, with more suspenseful moments and dramatic situations. It was nice to control Nico for a change. Like in the first game, there are some humorous remarks scattered around (although I felt there were less of them here than in "Shadow of the Templars"). The plot is well-written and contains plenty of references to the mythology of Central America.

The Bad

Following the steps of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, this is a "globe-trotting" adventure, where you travel to various "exotic" locations that are supposed to make the game more interesting and colorful (and perhaps give it some educational value). The point is, this concept was neither too new nor too exciting when Broken Sword games were released. The locations don't have enough atmosphere, and the game can't decide whether it is a serious mystery or just a light-hearted tourist guide. The whole Tezcatlipoka business could have been much more macabre than the way it was presented in the game. "Smoking Mirror" has almost no dark colors, and that makes the story look much too innocent and dry compared to what it was supposed to be. The puzzles vary between strictly logical stuff and very typical inventory-based madness taken directly from comic adventures. The first kind is not interesting, and the second doesn't fit the serious premise of the game.

The Bottom Line

Just like the first game, this one is neither very original nor too brilliant to be in the same league with "Fate of Atlantis" and other Lucas Arts' classics. It is more fast-paced than "Shadow of the Templars", but it is simply not creative enough to belong to the very best of the genre.