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Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon, XBox, Action Adventure

Product: Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
Company: Revolution
Website: http://www.xbox.com
Estimated Street Price: $49.99/£39.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

The Broken Sword series of games are the kind of titles that stick in the mind from the early days of PC gaming.

Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon is a skillfully woven global adventure and a landmark in interactive story telling. George and Nico return in this epic adventure as they fight through jungles, eerie castles in Prague, the chic back -street of paris - amongst many other locations - to unravel the secrets of the sleeping dragon and save mankind from the threat of a global catastrophe.

  • From the creators of Europe's best selling adventure games comes an epic adventure and an evolution in gaming.
  • Broken Sword the Sleeping Dragon is a unique and fresh gaming experience.
  • With its innovative gameplay mechanics, epic storyline, high production values, cerebral puzzles and cutting edge technology, Broken Sword - The Sleeping Dragon delivers a clever and highly immersive form of entertainment which leaves the player asking “What Happens Next…?
  • Choreographed by Revolutions proprietary Virtal Actor Engine Broken Sword The Sleeping Dragon features breathtaking graphics driven by cutting edge technology with free roaming camera - this means you have full control of George and Nico in this amazing looking adventure
  • Movie quality script and professional voice acting.

Gameplay

Review Quotes
"Graphically Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon is pretty good, it doesn't have all of the fancy effects that other Xbox games have had, but this is more to do with the fact that is has been released across all consoles as well. The animation is excellent, and the scenery is pretty good too."

Graphic adventure games have had a hard time recently, not only has the genre been dying out, the titles that have been released by various companies haven't helped due to a lack of good writing and any signs that they can use the new 3D technology around now to their benefit. Revolution games have always been known for the excellent stories they have produced in the Broken Sword series, and their other adventure titles too. Not only do they have good stories, they have good dialogue which is vital in an adventure game to keep you interested.

Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon once again follows our "hero" George Stobert and his on/off girlfriend Nico. The interface that has been designed for the new game works extremely well, in the bottom right of the screen you have four icons, each one represents either the yellow, red, green or blue buttons on the Xbox gamepad. Now depending on where you are on the screen, the icons change to various action icons like examine, listen against a door, jump across gaps, climb ladders and so on. This is without doubt the best interface system I have seen for a next-generation adventure title. The left thumbstick is used to move your character around the screen, black button is for displaying your inventory, while the d-pad is used for selecting items in your inventory.

Gameplay, for those who haven't played an adventure game before involves a lot of listening, and inventory analysis. You spend most of the game walking around and chatting to all of the other characters that you come across. Along the way you will be picking up various objects, checking out the descriptions, combining them together, using them on various puzzles and giving items to people. There are also a few quick action sequences in the game as well, although these are not too hard and can be easily completed on their first go so us adventurers can get on with what we bought the game for.

Broken Sword is possibly the best next generation adventure game that has been released, it works really well in 3D and still feels like the old point and click adventure games that we all used to play. The game has a lot of humor to it, but there is an excellent overall feel to the game and as I keep saying, the story and writing is superb.

If there was one complaint though, it is the length of loading times, they are awfully long, and can really spoil it.

Graphics & Sound

Review Quotes
"Graphic adventure games have had a hard time recently, not only has the genre been dying out, the titles that have been released by various companies haven't helped due to a lack of good writing and any signs that they can use the new 3D technology around now to their benefit. Revolution games have always been known for the excellent stories they have produced in the Broken Sword series, and their other adventure titles too."

Graphically Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon is pretty good, it doesn't have all of the fancy effects that other Xbox games have had, but this is more to do with the fact that is has been released across all consoles as well. The animation is excellent, and the scenery is pretty good too. The expressions from the characters emit a lot of feeling too.

The music and voice work is superb though, the original voice actors for George and Nico are back and do just as good a job as they have done in the past, I was really pleased to hear the familiar voices again. On the whole, the main voice cast seems to do an excellent job, even the ones who don't pop up all that often.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 90%
Gameplay: 90%
Presentation: 85%
Graphics: 82%
Multiplayer: N/A
Sound: 92%
Manual: 90%
Interface: 91%
Lastability: 90%
Price/Value: 90%
Overall: 91%

If you have been a fan of the previous Broken Sword games, you must get The Sleeping Dragon as it is another excellent adventure from Revolution games, graphically it is a step up for adventure games and in 3D terms it is the best adventure game released. The sound is excellent and the gameplay can last a lot longer than other games that have been released over the last few months. Overall an excellent game, one that I really hope sells well as we need more adventure games released like this.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 91%
Version Reviewed Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Great Story
Excellent Dialogue
Good puzzles
Great Interface
The Bad Points Not as good graphically as other Xbox Titles
Extremely slow loading titles
Xbox Live! Enabled? No
Widescreen Support No
PAL 60 Support (Europe) Yes


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