Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars review

Posted in Game Reviews on August 10th, 2009 by samuraisam
a screenshot of brokensword

a screenshot of brokensword

Broken Sword, Ireland screenshot

Broken Sword, Ireland screenshot

I first played Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (alternatively titled Circle of Blood in the US) on a mac; it was included on a demo disk with a magazine around the time of its release (1996). The scenes of Paris in the game are absolutely stunning and I can still recall the scenes in Paris even though the game is over 13 years old. The game has obviously had a lot of hard work and care put towards it as witnessed by the hundreds of unique lines of dialogue and a captivating, in-depth story with a range of characters and locations all around the world.

The Good

  • A beautifully crafted game–hand drawn scenes, interesting characters and attention to detail.
  • More dialogue than you can poke your cursor at–this is particular seen with the hand buzzer and also a dirty tissue, almost every single character has a unique reaction to these items… Keep in mind that each extra piece of dialogues indicates care and attention to detail. This extra load of stuff to uncover during the game is part of its charm.
  • A thrilling story (I won’t say anything about it because it would ruin it)
  • A working menu system!
  • The usage of musical cues to inform you when you are on the right path helps a lot
  • Good humor about Irish, French and American people
  • Beautifully composed music, great sound design
  • Leprechaun, assassins, Guidos, psychic detective, terrorist clown and a whole bunch of other interesting and diverse characters

The Bad

  • Damn French people
  • The use of 3d or at least computerized illustrations in some FMV’s is really off-putting for me; it just doesn’t fit in well and really breaks the artistic side of the game. For 1996 they may have been impressive, but nowadays aren’t.
  • Unfortunately this game – like all point and click adventure games – can become a little tedious at times when you can’t figure out how to proceed.
  • It can get a little tiring going back to people to talk to them and having to wait several seconds while they complete an animation before you can speak (i.e. the coughing guy in the Irish bar)
  • There are some small bugs that make it impossible to progress further in the game (i.e. the tap in the Irish pub)
  • Not available on Steam

Overall, Shadow of the Templars is what I would call a great game; it still rates as one of the top games I have ever played and amongst the point and click titles out there it is the cream of the crop. It is appealing to people of all ages and shines as an example of good game design.

I rate this game:

9.9/10

More links:
Broken Sword walkthrough
Metacritic: Circle of Blood
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars trailer (youtube)

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