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Broken Sword (DOS)

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, Circle of Blood, BS1
Genre: Adventure
Perspective: Side view
Gameplay: Puzzle elements
Interface: Point and select
Narrative: Detective / mystery, Romance
Published by: Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Revolution Software Ltd.
Released: 1996
Platforms: DOS, PlayStation (PSX, PS1)

Detective adventures, designed in the form of a colorful quest, have always been in vogue, and it is not surprising that in 1996 one of the best such adventure games was released, which modern reviewers call nothing more than a classic adventure game. The bottom line is we have a great storyline, fun and sometimes non-linear gameplay, and a charming Frenchwoman as a free but very enjoyable add-on.

Young American tourist George Stobbart could not even imagine what his innocent voyage through the Old World would result in. Having witnessed and, to a certain extent, the victim of a terrorist act carried out in broad daylight by a suspicious-looking clown (never liked clowns), George quickly notices the indifference of the local authorities to the event. A stylish detective uses dubious methods, a dull gendarme assures Stobbart that no evidence is needed to catch the criminals, and George feels that something is wrong here. Still: a person died, a building was destroyed, moral damage was inflicted, and the case was closed ... Naturally, the hero-altruist decides that every effort must be made to solve this mysterious case. Moreover, this will be another reason to hit on the not bad journalist from "la Liberte". The latter, having photographed some stranger, invites us to her apartment in order to tell that such crimes are not news for the police of two other countries, but the investigations there were also very quickly curtailed.

Colorful backdrops, excellent character animation and lovingly traced details of interiors and landscapes - the corporate style of the mid-90s quests is immediately recognizable. Incredibly stylish 2D graphics never seem to go out of style, and games from even the early 90s will always look pretty modern. Voice acting is another element of the game, which is completed by five points. With a bold plus. All characters in the game speak English (even a kebab keeper in Syria who does not know this language), but how - how do they do it! Spaniards, Syrians, French, Irish - they all sometimes say the same thing, but they do it in an absolutely unique way. The voice acting of the game is a delight for the ears of any quester, regardless of whether he understands what he hears or not.

You can talk to anyone and almost anything: the game interface is extremely friendly - during a conversation, icons appear at the bottom of the screen, symbolizing the answer options (or possible questions), and at the top - things from your inventory. Simpleton George, himself caught in the "joke" with an electric shock in his hand, will not once or twice try to use it for its intended purpose, but you will be lucky if you can "play a trick" in this way over at least one character in the game. In general, there is a lot of humor in it: the authors make fun of situations, things, people, circumstances and even entire nations. George admits that he knows Russian as well as Japanese (that is, in no way), absurdly pronounces insults in Arabic and, together with Nicole, makes fun of the English. And every second character in the game is trying to hook an unlucky American. However, he himself, on occasion, will bitterly note the fact that it is very easy to distinguish an American tourist in any crowd, wherever he is.

The inventory is made very conveniently: at the right time, you just need to move the cursor to the top of the screen, and all your items, collected by relatively honest methods, will appear there. They can be used where the cursor changes shape and becomes two gears, and - sometimes - where the cursor turns into a magnifying glass. Sometimes they can be combined with each other. By right-clicking, George will give a characterization of anything (fortunately, he does it to himself), so the question “what to do” does not arise very often. In general, the classic interface - what else can I say.

Most importantly, Broken Sword is one of the best in its genre, and you definitely won't regret the time it takes to complete this game. And if you are still interested in the further fate of George and Nicole, then I strongly recommend paying attention to the rest of the series (of which there are three pieces).