Adam invites you into one of his most-loved games of all time, a 2D point-and-click adventure created by Revolution in 1996!
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is unquestionably one of my all-time favourite games. I can’t help but be pulled in by its charm, not to mention its witty and humorous dialogue. The superb animation, voice-acting, and story have kept me re-playing it year after year.
Broken Sword is a 2D point-and-click adventure developed by Revolution Software. Let’s set the scene; you’re George Stobbart, an American Patent Lawyer on vacation (or holiday for all you fellow Brits) in Paris. You’re sat outside a quaint Parisian cafe enjoying a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper, when along comes a clown with an accordion who playfully prances into the cafe, only to shortly, and swiftly, exit the cafe scurrying down a nearby alleyway. BOOM! The cafe explodes into a ball of fire and you’re launched from your seat onto the pavement.
Shortly after the scene of the crime
Not the kind of holiday I’ve been on, or would want to be on, but this event sets in motion a story that sees George travel across Europe in search of the individual who almost blew him up. Along the way he stuffs his Mary Poppins-esque bottomless pockets with clues and tat, meets the woman of his dreams, and becomes embroiled with an ancient cult with less than admirable intentions. The locations, distinctive characters, and music pull you in and force you to root for George every step of the way. The puzzles are difficult enough to pose a challenge, and some even have me frustratingly cursing at the screen, even after 20+ play-throughs. However getting past that coronary-inducing last puzzle (particularly the goat in Ireland, beware of that horn-headed beggar!) will usually reward you with a real sense of triumph, and press you on further into the gripping story.
Point –and-click games aren’t for everyone, I understand that... and maybe I am biased towards Broken Sword because it brings with it a sense of nostalgia and warm fuzziness that so few games deliver. But Broken Sword isn’t just a great game because I say it is - it received some great recognition upon its original release back in 1996, with Edge giving it a not-to-be-scoffed-at 9/10, along with GameSpot’s 9.2/10. And following on with its later Director’s Cut release in 2009, it earned further recognition by way of a nomination for “Best Story” at the 2009 British Academy Video Games Awards.
The Director's Cut version of the game adds extra scenes, new character conversation artwork, and more!
Now, I hope that for some of you, my not-so-subtle love for Broken Sword will entice you into playing this masterpiece, but for those of you yet to be convinced I will say this... Broken Sword is one of those games you can really sink your teeth into, but it won’t take over your life to finish it. By the end you will have laughed, cried (probably at being unable to get past a puzzle), and been drawn into a world that you'll want to re-visit time and time again.
If the last part of my previous paragraph is true for you, fear not, oh Broken Sword-hungry-swine, there are four, yes FOUR, sequels to the first game. Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror (now available as a remastered version), which keeps the same 2D animation and point-and-click interface as its predecessor; Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, which brought with it 3D graphics and direct-control mechanics; Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game in the US) returns to the point-and-click interface whilst keeping the 3D graphics; and newly released in December 2013, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse, which was helped with funding via Kickstarter back in 2012.
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is available in multiple formats, but you can pick it up for your Apple and Android devices (it’s perfect for tablets) via the app stores, as well as PC and Mac via Steam. Being able to play Broken Sword on pretty much every device out there gives you no excuse to avoid this undeniably brilliant adventure, so get to it!
I've handily put the trailer for the Director's Cut version of the game for you below, you lucky bunch!