Syberia 3 (PlayStation 4) Review

By Adam Riley 14.05.2017

Review for Syberia 3 on PlayStation 4

Syberia dates way back to 2002 and was ported to almost every system available, even the humble Nintendo DS back in 2008, followed by iOS in 2014. The adventures of softly-spoken lawyer-cum-adventurer, Kate Walker, garnered a strong following thanks to the intriguing yarn woven by Benoit Sokal, but certain ports (such as the PlayStation 3 edition reviewed here at Cubed3) proved that sometimes bringing classics to newer formats with different control systems is not always a smart idea. 2004 saw a sequel that also was praised for its story, yet since then there has been nothing…until now, as Syberia 3 has finally rolled around. Out now on PlayStation 4 and PC, and due to hit Nintendo Switch later this year, Cubed3 takes a look at the title that seemed to be stuck forever in development limbo.

The story in Syberia 3 is rather all over the place, the voice acting (at least for all of the smaller-part characters) is absolutely shocking, and the constant glitches and slowdown are inexcusable. That is how everything starts - as a jumbled mess that comes with awful camera angles that change the controls when they randomly switch position, causing that age-old issue of running back on yourself by accident as the buttons adjust to the new perspective. It is enough to make most just quit in the early stages. However, there is something that keeps you going; just enough intrigue in the story to grab the more inquisitive out there, with a hope that there will be some grand revelation, twist, or even explanation for the various threads running throughout the adventure. There is indeed a lot of hope that the effort put in will be repaid in some form.

Screenshot for Syberia 3 on PlayStation 4

For all the perseverance some will have with it, though, Syberia 3 does not reward those patient gamers in the slightest, offering up the most succinct of finales without tying anything up. In fact, it leaves more questions, coming across as either an open door for DLC episodes, or - as writer Sokal himself has alluded to - a fourth, and even fifth, chapter. To rub salt in the wounds, if the lack of wrap up was not bad enough, the end credits simply start to roll… without accompanying music! Players get the chance to sit in total silence as the game does not even wave goodbye properly.

That is how it begins and then concludes, both in a very dissatisfying manner. How about the parts that actually do grab the attention, though? Well, part of the allure stems from Kate Walker herself being a strong lead right from the very first game and continuing without misstep here. There is a certain charm about her. However, saying that, sadly she does fall into some traps, since she might just be a touch too naïve in terms of how much she does for others.

Screenshot for Syberia 3 on PlayStation 4

One particular instance that sticks in the mind is how a ship's captain at one point has her moving cranes around to unload coal into his vessel, then sends her down to fix things in the engine room, don a diving outfit to scour the depths of the harbour the ship is anchored in so that she can manually unlock the dock gates, and then he even needs her to fight off a giant sea monster when out in the choppy waters! Crazy, right? Does she bat an eyelid, though? Nope, she just carries on like the good little trooper she is. Now that is dedication to the cause…or sheer foolhardiness… You decide, especially since that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to people relying on her.

Anyway, Kate Walker is great, from the excellent rendering of her character, to her written range, and the excellent delivery from her voice actress. She has to traverse numerous grand locations that all look gorgeous, but have a habit of being overly detailed, yet for no apparent reason, and vast in size, but again without any actual reason for being that way. There is a lot of filler content crammed into Syberia 3, unfortunately - lots of wandering and scouring large areas only to find that the majority of the places have no interaction zones, or do not come into play until about five different objectives have been achieved.

Screenshot for Syberia 3 on PlayStation 4

Worse yet, the tiniest of useful items will be randomly wedged in some far off area, so that even though most objects will have been collected within the nearby vicinity of a puzzle that needs solving, sometimes the game plays it cheap and requires Kate to trek about, checking every nook and cranny. Now, if her running speed was higher, controls and camera were tighter, and there were not chronic issues with load times that feel like they last minutes rather than seconds, then perhaps it would not be so bad. However, the culmination of frustrating elements means that the poorly laid out items are a cause of major headaches.

The whole adventure feels like a developer in crisis, not being able to achieve what was originally envisaged and then just rushing anything out of the door in the hope of just getting those quick sales from long-term fans that had been eagerly waiting for such a long time, following numerous delays. Syberia 3 also does not help itself by having puzzles that are either too simple, or aimless to the point of players using random trial and error to proceed. It is all just far too messy, frustrating and, ultimately, dissatisfactory by the end; a wasted opportunity and a largely broken experience.

Screenshot for Syberia 3 on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Syberia 3 had great promise, and still does have plenty to offer - if a lot of the flaws and bugs can be tweaked post-launch by the developer, that is. However, in its current state, the only mildly intriguing story, surprisingly weak puzzles, and the shockingly poor controls, plus the numerous bugs and glitches encountered, make it very difficult for even the biggest Syberia fans to persevere through this third Kate Walker adventure.

Developer

Microids

Publisher

Microids

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, devidise, Insanoflex, Snowtwo

There are 4 members online at the moment.