Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 21.09.2018

Review for Broken Sword 5: The Serpent

Starting off in 1996, The Broken Sword series originated from a high calibre of adventure game pedigree. Made by UK team Revolution Software, responsible for high profile efforts such as Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky, the new release, entitled Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, was in very safe hands, and would go on to be one of the original PlayStation's most notable experiences, as would its sequel released not long after. The series has persisted over the years as primarily a PC-focused franchise, with console ports after, barring the fourth, Broken Sword: The Angel of Death, with the most recent edition being partially Kickstarter-funded and episodic. Five years after the initial release, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse makes it way to Switch in both physical and digital form. Is this a jinx in verbal form, or an adventure to remember?

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse once again stars mainstays George Stobbart and Nico Collard as they investigate the theft of a controversial painting, and the subsequent murder of the art gallery owner who hosted it. The escapade is designed as a classic point-and-click affair, involving conversations with other characters, picking up and using certain items in the environments visited, and figuring out puzzles to progress the plot. The narrative is standard fare for anyone that has played this series before, but it still does a great job of pulling players into the mystery and intrigue of the history surrounding these events. The original voice actor for George reprises his role, and does so brilliantly with a range befitting the serene and serious moments through to the comical and quirky scenes. The supporting voice cast also gives a great performance, including many returnees from the past.

After the jump to 3D that the two previous entries in the series took, The Serpent's Curse returns to a more 2D styled presentation, with 3D designs for all the characters. Rendered in HD, this colourful art style looks great, particularly on the Switch's portable screen, and most importantly allows for easier visual distinction with smaller items and important interactions in the areas. The soundtrack for this game is true to the style of earlier titles, adding tension, relief or danger warnings to events as needed, yet never being obtrusive to the point of distraction.

Screenshot for Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse on Nintendo Switch

As a point-and-click title, The Serpent's Curse works with both an analogue stick-guided pointer arrow and the Switch's touch-screen in Handheld Mode, to guide George and Nico around the environments, investigate items and people, and solve brainteasers. Keeping the input scheme as simple as earlier games, but allowing the second stick to guide the camera when needed, gives a very simple and adaptable method of control that very few will struggle with.

The events of The Serpent's Curse will see the heroes venture across many locations and historical places, and uncovering the mysteries of the story will involve lots of puzzle solving, some more cryptic and complex than others. In particular, near the end of the tale, players may find themselves relying on the hint system a lot more, which comes in a tiered list for each step, starting with clues and ending with full answers if needed. Whilst this hint system isn't vital for completion, it is a considerably helpful optional tool for potential gameplay roadblocks.

New to the Switch version are special behind-the-scenes developer videos. Unlocked as the main story progresses, these clips offer an interesting look at what went into the making of The Serpent's Curse, and provide interviews with key staff and vocal talent. Although the point-and-click genre on Switch is well served; notable examples being Thimbleweed Park and the two Syberia outings, the Broken Sword series still shows the rest how it's done by retaining the fun and humour the series is renowned for, together with a compelling plot and memorable characters. A relatively short length, coupled with the occasional character model positioning glitches, is the only major issue this bears.

Screenshot for Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Joining many other quality examples of its genre on Switch, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse continues the series' excellent storytelling and puzzle structure, with what is sure to please both fan and newcomer alike with fiendish brainteasers and the optional hint system. A more contained story structure, and character movement hitches aside, point-and-click adventure devotees will find a lot to love here.

Developer

Revolution Software

Publisher

Revolution

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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   

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