Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon

aka: BS3, Baphomets Fluch: Der schlafende Drache, Broken Sword 3, Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon, Broken Sword: El sueño del dragón, Broken Sword: Il Sonno del Drago, Broken Sword: Nenereru Ryuu no Densetsu, Les Chevaliers de Baphomet: Le manuscrit de Voynich, Slomannyj Mech 3: Spjaschij Drakon
Moby ID: 11004
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Description official descriptions

No less than six years have gone by before the third installment in the Broken Sword series saw the light of day. The first two games (The Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror) delved into the Knights Templar and Mayan mythology. This time, George Stobbart and Nico Collard are after the Voynich Manuscript to unravel its mysteries.

The Sleeping Dragon moves away from the 2D point-and-click concept from the earlier games and features a full 3D world, with a camera that does not rotate, but uses fixed cinematic perspectives, combined with full 5.1 sound. For the Windows version the game is no longer controlled through the mouse, but now through the keyboard, for the movement of the characters as well as all the actions. The player alternately controls George or Nico. Next to typical adventure gameplay such as exploration, conversations, and searching and combining items, there are also a few action sequences. The characters can duck, sneak, hang from ledges and move crates to reach higher areas.

The locations visited throughout the game include The Congo, Paris, England, Czech Republic and Egypt.

Spellings

  • Сломанный Меч 3: Спящий Дракон - Russian spelling
  • 断剑:沉睡之龙 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Screenshots

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

204 People (189 developers, 15 thanks) · View all

Director
Head of Development
Artistic Director
Lead Section Design and Implementation
Audio Director
Project Management
Section Design
Implementation
System Programming
Tools Programming
Audio System Programming
AI Programming
Effects Programming
Lead Artist
Artists
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 67 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 154 ratings with 9 reviews)

George and Nico together again -- what a great team!

The Good
If you've read the reviews for other platforms, you're probably wondering about the problems with slow loading they all reported. So the first thing I'm pleased to report is that there is no loading delay in the Windows version. Everything ran seamlessly on my Windows XP system - from the easy installation all the way through to the fabulous finale. That said, let's pick it apart piece by piece.

Continuity
Because it's been quite a few years since Broken Sword 2 was released, I think the developers did a wonderful job bringing the player up to speed. From the main menu you can read background information about George and Nico's two previous adventures. This helps those new to the series get acquainted with them quickly. Inside the game, they will fondly remember past experiences by looking at mementos and talking between themselves. Several older characters make a reappearance in this game, and both George and Nico remember them.
5 stars for Continuity. Story
The "save the world" story doesn't jump out at you all at once. In fact, you have no idea exactly where the adventure is going for about one-third of the game. The plot line evolves very gradually. Playing George and then Nico in separate scenarios keeps you mighty busy - until all at once they're in the same place at the same time (Paris, naturally) - and working towards the same goals. Once they get together, it's magic. There are quite a few times when you must use both characters to solve a puzzle. Because of the ancient artifacts and exotic locations, it felt almost like I was playing Indiana Jones with a female side-kick. But, I don't remember Indy ever having a relationship like George and Nico's. Theirs is a deep friendship, but nothing romantic. As you play, you know solidly how they feel (or don't feel) about each other from their playful sarcasm and dry humor. And the ending is great!
5 stars for Story. Graphics
I give high marks for the characters, scenery, objects and general look overall of Sleeping Dragon. Both Nico and George are very attractive people and their surroundings are realistic and appealing. All of the artwork is cleanly depicted in natural, vibrant colors. Objects are well integrated into the surroundings, but they're not difficult to find. Those with "hot spots" do not jump off the screen at you, so you do need to do the normal amount of exploring. You find those objects by walking near them, so there's really no pixel hunting. It is difficult to match speech with lip movement, but the developers did an impeccable job here. In fact, I can't think of any other game that accomplished it better - or even equally well. In only one spot did I notice a glitch in the graphics. This came at a critical time during what some people call the "tile puzzle". Part of the scenery stretched unnaturally out to the middle of the floor! But, quitting and loading again and it was gone. I can't help but feel that it was my equipment and not the game. But I'll subtract half of a point for that.
4.5 stars for Graphics. Sound & Music
Sound effects add to the realism of a game, and the ones you'll hear in this game are really good. The most memorable ones are of George grunting as he moves yet another box into place, or the "oof" heard if one of them runs into a wall. You'll also hear soft footsteps, the sounds of doors opening or closing, keys going into locks etc. All of them sounded appropriate to the action being performed. I commend the actors and actresses who voiced the characters in the English version. All accents sounded authentic, inflections and tones were accurate for what they were saying, and dialog interchange was entertaining. Kudos, too, to the script writers for giving them great things to say. The music was mood enhancing, especially when something was about to happen or when you accomplished something important.
5 stars for Sound & Music. Gameplay & Puzzles
Some adventurers have complained about the "keyboard only" interface. Well, it did take a bit of getting used to. The arrow keys are used for movement with the Shift key used to make your character run. The space bar brings up the inventory, which is arranged in a circular manner. The Control key lets you crouch and creep (while walking) and the Escape key takes you to the menu. The main keys for interaction are all together on the keyboard (the group W, A, S, D) and their use changes depending upon what you are doing. While I wasn't sure how I'd like going without a traditional mouse, I did get accustomed to it and fared okay. The hard part was during the action segments when reacting quickly enough when the action icons appeared became a gruesome experience. Luckily the game restored you automatically to the beginning of that portion again. Walking straight in one direction caused no problems, but some of the scenes required a diagonal direction, so that became interesting. Although I didn't particularly care for the keyboard gameplay, I can't imagine what it would have been like as a point and click Windows game. There are only a few puzzles, in the true sense of the word. One involves pulling some wine bottles in the correct order (reminiscent of the old classic Countdown). Another is the recreation of a very familiar riddle. Most of the other puzzles are interaction or inventory based - including the infamous moving crates problems. (As a side note, moving crates around to reach inaccessible areas was also common in Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, which I finished a few months ago.) The only time I can remember having that many puzzles of the same type was a multitude of those tedious slider puzzles (and I can't recall which game at the moment). When you do the same thing over and over again, it becomes tiresome - although you do get better at them as you go along.
So, 3 stars for Gameplay.

**The Bad**
There aren't very many things that didn't like ... really. I've included most of them in the above section. A small nuisance involves loading saved games. Instead of getting the Load Game selection on the menu, you must first select Exit and choose whether to save again or not .. and then you'll find yourself at the Main Menu where you can load a game. Why make it so hard to find it? I also wished I could have named my own saved games instead of their "auto-naming" with the place and time. Body language is nice, yes, but Nico acted bored sometimes - reaching her arms up and stretching - even in the middle of an interesting dialog session. What's up with that? And .. who came up with that bogus front cover? Nico and George don't look anything like those people!

**The Bottom Line**
Can you tell I really, really liked this game? My average is 4.5 stars - a pretty high mark for any adventure game these days, I must say. It really surprised me. In addition to my opinions above, BS3 is nice and long .. and did I mention that the ending is great? I highly recommend Sleeping Dragon and sincerely hope there will be a BS4.

Windows · by Jeanne (75934) · 2005

An excellent job from Revolution Software to try to awake the long lost adventure game spirit!!!

The Good
I personally liked the HUGE ENTHUSIASM before the release of the game! Adventure Gamers from all over the world were expecting this game from the day it was announced that "BROKEN SWORD 3" is in the making. Previews and interviews with the game designers and creators started taking place long before a release date was even announced!!! An so it landed in stores, on a November day in 2003. Even if it was very clearly stated in interviews and previews, that the game wouldn't follow its CLASSIC predecessors in interface, graphics and gameplay, I was anxious to see what did REVOLUTION SOFTWARE create. I had pre-ordered my copy from the "ADVENTURE COMPANY" website and I received the game 2-3 days after the official release date in the US, which was November 17, 2003. When I first got the game, I noticed the nice artwork on the front and inside cover of the game box, not the screenshots, just the artwork. The game is rich in storyline and dialogues, which is always a big plus for any adventure game. Action sequences are spreaded here and there in the game, a very nice touch. The puzzles were rich and reminded me a lot of the puzzles in "GABRIEL KNIGHT 3", but I will talk about the puzzles later. Excellent characters were created by the REVOLUTION SOFTWARE'S team and you get to control two(2) of them, which I think is always a plus to a game, too. And not to mention the graphics! Sometimes stunning and very very graphical presentation of places like the Castle in Prague and the airplane hanging from the edge of the cliff in Congo at the beginning of the game. It was a game full of suspense and overall REVOLUTION STUDIOS presented a UNIQUE, NEW approach to ADVENTURE GAMING and I liked that.

The Bad
Overall, it was a well designed game, with the only blemish I' ll say being the MOVING BOXES PUZZLES!?! In the beginning it was OK, but by the end of the game I think there were at least ten(10) if not more puzzles based on moving boxes/items!!! It looks like the designers run out of ideas and trying to stretch the game by just inserting these puzzles all over the place. It was a considerably irritating experience, especially because it was to EASY!!! And I continue from where I left above, the game in general was very EASY to complete. It took me around 25-30 hours total to finish the game. That is nothing compared to CLASSIC adventure games like "BLACK DAHLIA" (it took me days) "INDIANA JONES AND THE FATE OF ATLANTIS" (it took me weeks) and "GABRIEL KNIGHT 3". Other than that I don't think I found anything else that is bad.

The Bottom Line
It is definitely a MUST HAVE for ADVENTURE GAMERS. I think that with this release REVOLUTION SOFTWARE established itself as a benchmark company for this Game Genre, for the beginning at least of the new millennium!!!

Windows · by ggfournar (5) · 2004

A broken sword fixes the adventure Genre

The Good
When I discovered that the Broken Sword series would go into its third iteration, I was enthusiastic, only to become depressed, once the game makers made clear that it wouldn't be a classic adventure.

So what did they deliver instead? It's a puzzle focused narrative with action elements. Sounds like they stuffed a lot into that one, eh? And you're right: The best about Broken Sword 3 is probably that it relies heavily on storytelling. It is one of the most intriguing plots within all games of the past few years.

Moreover, the graphics are quite good, while sound and voice acting is as professional as in the first two parts of the game.

The Bad
Broken Sword 3 changes camera angles quite often to push suspense. However, the controls react depending on the camera angle, not depending on the player. This can get quite on your nerves, because you have to rethink the direction controls all the time. And it will surely kill you a few times in time critical situations...

The puzzle design is usually logical and interesting, while not very hard. From time to time (and much too often) the game features box moving puzzles. These are clearly designed to stretch the overall playing time. Although in most cases you will be able to figure out how to solve these puzzles in a matter of seconds, you'll have to move boxes around for another five...

The Bottom Line
In the end, Broken Sword 3 is an interesting approach to renovate the adventure genre, blowing quite some dust of it. I'd love to see other games follow this approach with a strong narrative, good graphics and voice acting, thoughtful puzzles, but with better controls and fewer boxes.

Windows · by Isdaron (715) · 2004

[ View all 9 player reviews ]

Trivia

Casting

The actress who played Nico, Sarah Crook did not actually audition for the role. She was one of the supervisors of the audition, and asked Charles Cecil if she could try out for the role after a string of applicants Cecil regarded as unsuitable.

References

  • In the room of Vernon Blier, the geek, you can find some references. In his bedroom, there's a poster with the cover image of the first Broken Sword game against the wall. In the living room, there's a painting with an apple on it. If you observe it closely, Nico will say: "Another Steve Jobs original" - an obvious reference to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple.
  • George's lucky piece of coal makes a return. In the previous game, you could pick up a 'lucky piece of coal' in the warehouse in Marseilles. It appears in this game as well, you can find it in the locked metal shack in Susarro`s Castle. Just like the previous game, it has no use at all in the game itself.
  • The picture of George in Nico's apartment is the picture that George uses to ask about the killer throughout the first Broken Sword game, Circle of Blood. If you look behind George, you can see the assassin, complete with the bright green clown pants.

Trilogy

This was planned to be the last Broken Sword game, but later Revolution decided to continue the series with Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2003 – Best Console Adventure Game of the Year (PlayStation 2)

Information also contributed by Depth Lord, Kalrac and Martin Smith

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

Xbox, PlayStation 2 added by MAT.

Additional contributors: MAT, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Monkeyhead, Pirou Julien, Ghost Pirate, dome_quest, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 13, 2003. Last modified May 10, 2024.