Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror

aka: BS2, Baphomets Fluch II: Die Spiegel der Finsternis, Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror, Broken Sword II: La Profezia dei Maya, Broken Sword II: Las Fuerzas del Mal, Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror, Circle of Blood II, Les Chevaliers de Baphomet II: Les Boucliers de Quetzalcoatl, Slomannyj Mech 2: Dymjascheesja Zerkalo
Moby ID: 1133
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror is the sequel to Circle of Blood and the second game in the Broken Sword series.

The player alternately controls George Stobbart, the protagonist of the first game, and Nicole Collard, the French journalist he met in the first game and who has since become his girlfriend. The game starts with George witnessing the kidnapping of Nicole. This event eventually leads to an investigation into a conspiracy revolving around a forthcoming solar eclipse and the evil Aztec god Tezcatlipoca. The locations visited throughout the game include Paris, Marseilles, London, Quaramonte, the jungle, a Caribbean environment, and a zombie island. Certain locations from the previous game make a return.

The game is entirely in 2D and gameplay is in typical point-and-click fashion. The player moves the character around using the mouse, examines the environment, talks to other people, and collect items stored in an inventory. These items need to be used or combined with other items to solve puzzles.

Spellings

  • Сломанный Меч 2: Дымящееся Зеркало - Russian spelling
  • 断剑2 - Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

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Producer
Assistant Producer
Executive Producer
Gaffer
Stunt Co-ordinator
Premier Party Organizer
Sound, Design Testing and Supervision
Chief Design Test Supervisors
Design Test Supervisors
Chief Hairdresser
Make-up
Animal Trainer
QA Effects Supervisor
Customer Technical Advisor (The Fat Controller)
Grumpy Old Git
Chief Dossers
Producer
Product Manager
Spiritual Advisor
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 48 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 172 ratings with 7 reviews)

Rushed sequel, fails to live up to the first game

The Good
As this game uses the same game engine as its predecessor the graphics are as beautiful as ever, plus the credits even have a song with lyrics now. There are some technical improvements to the interface, for example, you can now jump to locations by double clicking on an exit.

The puzzles, for the most part, are straightforward and logical. You won't find anything similar to the infamous goat puzzle from the first game. The big difference to the first game, is that in Smoking Mirror the player has the opportunity to control two characters at different times. And even though it's nothing special like, say, Maniac Mansion, you just play one chapter with George another with Nico, it's still a nice diversion.

There's still plenty of interesting characters you'll meet along the way. Plus you'll also run into a few old faces from the first game like the American tourists Duane and Pearl, and get to find out what happened to Sergeant Moue.

The Bad
After the Templar grand plot in the first game, here the story feels rather cliche - bad guy trying to resurrect evil god and prevent others from stopping him. And that's a shame because the Mayans are just as an interesting subject as the Knights Templar but here it's wasted with the rather thin plot this game has.

The story is not nearly as well-conceived nor executed. There's one major event near the end that takes place totally off screen and isn't explained or even showed in a cutscene at all. But seeing as this game was released just one year after the original it's easy to suspect why production was rushed and major scenes were dropped.

It starts out rather dull despite beginning the game strapped into a chair guarded by a deadly spider. Unlike the first game, it failed to pull me in right at the start. Though it does get significantly more interesting from there one, that is once you get to Quaramonte and the Caribbean. But still, compared to the first game there isn't nearly enough location variety. Also the first one had an abundance of interesting and funny characters, here there's only maybe a dozen, there's also way less conversations (which to some might be a blessing though).

This game is also more linear than the original. There's no map and in only one area you have more than one choice about where to go next. You also no longer can ask everyone about every item you're carrying, only a selected few. If you try to ask about the others, the main character will just say: "I don't think he/she would be interested in that". Why not? For me that was one of the numerous strong points in the original, where you could, for example, show plaster to a museum guard and get some snarky response from him.

I don't know what is it with mazes in adventure games but there's one here as well. Even though the Zombie Island maze is not nearly annoying as the one in the third Kyrandia game it still felt unnecessary. The Mayan setting feels wasted on the puzzles as well, with only the last 2 puzzles right at the end happening in the Mayan temple. However the problem is that they don't gel at all with the pacing of the game by that time. Oh don't mind me while I do some wheel & lever puzzles, the villain will just have to wait resurrecting that evil god.

The Bottom Line
As expected the first one was a tough act to follow, as a result the second Broken Sword game doesn't really pull it off. In fact, I would say it's not even close, however Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror is still a solid game with plenty of style and character, well worth checking out if you like adventure games.

Windows · by Infernos (43578) · 2014

The second game is twice as good as the first one.

The Good
When the first Broken Sword game, entitled The Shadows of the Templars, sold very well, Revolution wasted no time releasing its sequel. After six months of separation, George and Nico get back together again, and the two of them visit a professor's mansion. There, Nico is kidnapped, and George is knocked out and strapped into a chair guarded by a deadly spider. Starting from this point, BS2 becomes an adventure involving an evil Aztec god, some ancient Mayan stones, and a conspiracy revolving around a solar eclipse.

George has the same personality that he carried in BS1, and mostly throughout the game, he wears the same clothes he did before. Most of the characters are quite friendly, especially Duane, the fellow American George met in Syria back in BS1. Nico, on the other hand, decided to abandon her old clothes and put on something much sexier.

The majority of The Smoking Mirror has George talking to characters, asking questions about people and on what he has discovered so far. Most of the information George receives is rather quite interesting, and it can help the player on what to do next. Most of the time, I felt like talking to every character I met, and by doing this, it gave me insight of what the characters I already saw, or will see, are like, and whether they are dangerous.

George starts his adventure in Paris, which happens to be the same city George started in in the last game. From there, he travels to more exotic destinations like Quaramonte, jungle, Caribbean, and Zombie Island. With the exception of Zombie Island, most of the locations are real. In the game, each location is beautifully hand-drawn, making it a joy for me to walk around each location and see what I can see.

I had no trouble getting used to BS2, as all the usual elements are there, such as the mouse cursor and control system, as well as the false impression that the game is presented in wide screen. As I may have said in my review of the first game, I like how the icons appear in both black areas.

Each cut-scene in the game has the same quality as the ones in the first game. I love the cut-scenes at the beginning. (That South American tarantula gives me the creeps.) I found that most of them are enjoyable to watch, and I just wish that there was a feature in BS2 that lets you view all cut-scenes that you've previously watched.

What makes the sequel different to BS1, however, is the way that the player has the opportunity to control two characters at different times. Not many games allow you to do this, and I can only remember the last two games of the Gabriel Knight series, plus Guilty, where you get to control more than one character. Controlling more than one person in this way is very good for people who are fed up playing the same person all the time.

The music in the game is very good, and it reflects well to what you are doing. There are often times when conversations with archeologists/historians goes deeper into the plot that the music becomes a bit powerful, with some pieces of music containing drums as the main instrument, while others with chanting in the background. Also, I enjoyed listening to the title song called Happiness Is An Inside Job by Bob Sekar, as well as the music played whenever players access the control system.

Now onto the puzzles. The first puzzle of the game is right at the beginning, where George is tied to a chair and he must find some way to break himself free before that tarantula kills him. This puzzle is easy enough, as it is a matter of clicking everything the player sees. The hardest puzzle is at the end of the game, involving the player to turn two huge Mayan wheels and pressing a few tiles in an effort to open a secret door. Besides these two puzzles, I hardly found any throughout the game.

The Bad
Nothing I noticed.

The Bottom Line
BS2 comes into line with BS1, featuring a storyline based on historic events. To complete this adventure, players have to visit a variety of locations, most of them exotic, and deal with characters that can either help or hinder them. The script is well-thought out, making some of the conversations between two people interesting to read. Besides those from the beginning and end, there are no puzzles I know of during the game. Finally, the interface and control system is similar to BS1, so players can easily get used to the game.

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43093) · 2008

From the Templar Knights to even crazier Mayan prophecies

The Good
What first caught my attention was the first puzzle, a great beginning for an adventure game. The gameplay made a good improvement that some missed playing BS1, when you move your cursor over a hotspot the game displays the name of the object or person. You can also play with Nico too in BS2. The graphics, similar to BS1 but with some technical improvements, were a good surprise too. There are a lot of animated cut-scenes giving the game a cartoon feeling. The music is composed again by Barringhton Pheloung, something good because the music from the first installment was amazing.

The Bad
Maybe too similar to BS1 but with just some improvements. The two wheel puzzle near the end was a bit annoying as it drove you away from the climax of the situation.

The Bottom Line
This game wasn't a big success (or at least not as BS1 was) maybe because as the back cover says, it was prohibited in South America (for some reasons that you will see when you play the game), a shame, as not being able to sell a game in a huge territory as South America is a great loss, and could have gained some more benefits. Anyway a great game, with tons of well-thought puzzles and a cinematic feel on it. Another guess is that it could have been more, it looks just like an add-on to the first game...

Windows · by Depth Lord (934) · 2004

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Plot question: what happened to general Grasiento? Nowhere Girl (8680) Oct 23, 2016
How to access the Scumm VM menu? Nowhere Girl (8680) Sep 24, 2016

Trivia

References

  • An easter egg in the subway station references Beneath a Steel Sky, an earlier game by the same developers. More information can be found in the tips & tricks section
  • If you watch carefully during the intro in Professor Oubier's house you can see a portrait of what looks like the Spanish villa from Circle of Blood.
  • When the dog falls into the water in Marseilles, a melody from the known nursery song "Oh where, oh where is my little dog gone?" is heard.

Awards

  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1998 - Best Adventure in 1997

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Shane k.

PlayStation added by Adam Baratz.

Additional contributors: MAT, Zovni, Grant McLellan, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Apogee IV, Kardboard2na, Sciere, Xoleras, Ghost Pirate, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger, Nowhere Girl.

Game added March 25, 2000. Last modified January 28, 2024.