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Circle of Blood (Windows)

87
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
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Written by  :  hydra9 (3853)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

A strangely ordinary adventure

The Good

After hearing for years about how good this game was meant to be, I finally tracked down and bought a copy. It was, perhaps, surprising that I hadn't played the game before, especially as Revolution's earlier game, Beneath A Steel Sky still ranked as one of my favourite adventures of all time, and before that, Lure Of The Temptress was also pretty good.

What had put me off playing Broken Sword was the globe-trotting plot (really not my kind of thing) and the graphics, which I really didn't like the look of.

Oh, anyway...I finally bought it and played it. And my opinion?

It's good. Nothing great or classic, but definitely good.

It just seemed to me very ordinary and uninspiring. It was also over rather too quickly. Your character, an average American tourist, wanders through scenic locales around the world, chatting with amiable locals and solving a few puzzles. I never found the game gripping or particularly exciting and I was never that intrigued by the plot. OK - It does have its moments - Some enjoyable spy tomfoolery at a hotel, early on in the game, and then, right near the end, it surprised me with a classic set-piece on a train, which (especially thanks to the music in that section) was actually quite tense and engaging. But most of the time, it merely held my interest, occasionally slipping over into 'dull'.

The main character's voice acting is nicely done, oddly reminding me at times of the whimsical, enthusiastic narration in cult British kids' TV show, Mr. Benn. Other characters vary - Some are very well done - Others are drearily irritating.

The interface works well.

Graphics are generally nice.

The music is fine - Nothing at all memorable, but it usually does its job well enough, and also sounds quite different from most other game scores. The one piece of music that really stood out, for me, was the bit used on the train.

I liked the way the phone conversations were done, and the development of the relationship between George and Nico was nicely done.

The Bad

There is nothing bad about this game, just as there is nothing remarkable about it.

Some of the characters' voices irritated me, and one actor in particular was used a bit too much, providing identical voices for about three different characters. Conversation did become tedious, at times.

I didn't find the game amusing. There were perhaps two or three moments when I chuckled.

The game is pretty short, and each country you visit only has a few locations to see - With the exception of Paris, which is your 'home base' - The result was that I felt the game had spread itself too thin. Paris felt quite homely and fleshed-out, but the rest of the world wasn't too interesting.

I didn't enjoy many of the puzzles. They were a mixed bag - Some too easy, others far too obscure. It was rare that I felt much satisfaction from successfully completing a puzzle.

The Bottom Line

This is a well-made, quality game. All the elements are there. But somehow, it's just not that interesting. None of its elements rise above 'good'. There's nothing that makes me go "Wow". But it confuses me...As soon as I'd finished it, I found myself installing Broken Sword II...Hmm...