Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse (Nintendo Switch) Second Opinion Review

By Ofisil 10.12.2018

Review for Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse on Nintendo Switch

The Broken Sword series has always been the videogame equivalent of a Dan Brown novel - although, to be fair, it's Dan Brown who is more... Broken Sword-ish, as it was the one that did the whole religious-conspiracy-thriller shtick first. Sadly, recent entries have been somewhat disappointing, both in terms of looks, as well as in terms of gameplay and storytelling, which is probably why fans helped the fifth instalment reach its Kickstarter goal lighting fast, and with budget to spare, as it was the one that promised a return to form. Luckily, and while far from flawless, the end result managed to be exactly that. Cubed3 visits colourful Paris once more, this time through the screen of the Switch.

Despite the wacky, globetrotting adventures that George Stobbart and his parisien friend/part-time lover Nicole Collard have been through, Broken Sword 5 almost feels as if nothing has really happened, with George simply working for an insurance company, and Nico doing ordinary (aka, boring) reporter stuff. What better way to make things more interesting than a murder case, then, and one that seems to be tied to a certain (stolen) painting, whose main theme seems to be no other than good 'ol Lucifer.

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

Thus begins another adventure down conspiracy lane, which, in all honesty, is very good, as long as fans don't expect something substantially different than before, or at least, groundbreaking - and, to be fair, this instalment never really cared about being original, which is what makes it such a fun title for old-school adventure aficionados. It's also important to note that newcomers won't have any problem with following the plot, as the many winks towards veterans are very subtle in their execution, and don't mar the overall experience.

The swift in perspective is also a very welcome one, with the art done in the backgrounds having the attention to detail that past point-and-click adventure gems used to have, with an added, modern coat of paint on everything, like lighting/shadow effects that help the characters come to life, or parallax scrolling to create a sense of depth, resulting in some truly stunning vistas, especially once one gets out of Paris. 3D elements (the characters, basically) aren't as great looking, and the voice acting can feel overly flat at times, but, audio-visually, this won't really disappoint very much.

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

What will, however, is that, in the process of being as old-school as possible, this seems to have carried the same problems that have always plagued point-and-click adventures, with the more persistent one being how, while most puzzles aren't particularly hard to figure out, the actual steps that lead to the eventual solution can sometimes be quite "strict," not to mention that, again, like the adventure games of old, there's plenty of puzzle-solving that follows a wacky logic, leading to the typical "use every item with every spot" technique - or the a visit to the nifty hint system.

Also note that that Revolution made no attempt to change the series' characteristic, easygoing, almost relaxing mood, its low-key comedic aspect... and George's very "the end justifies the means" attitude. Is that bad? Is that good? Well, it's just what it is, but that means that this won't be everyone's glass of champagne. Furthermore, the plot, while fine and all, takes a while to kick in, as the first half of the game is mostly concerned with simple puzzles and lots of, enjoyable, but otherwise, sort of filler-y dialogue sequences.

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

The second half is, undoubtedly, much better; both when it comes to the puzzle-solving, which, by the way, becomes far less linear in structure, but mostly because you are finally deep into the biblical mystery shebang that always made the series so interesting... but that doesn't mean that this part is devoid of problems, the most serious of which being how the story can feel quite thin at times, or, even worse, unfocused - not to mention that the chemistry between George and Nico (one of the series' biggest strengths) has decreased quite a lot.

As for its new home, Broken Sword 5 manages to look great even on the Switch's smaller screen; the action can also be controlled via the touchscreen; and, finally, apart from the fact that this comes with both episodes in one package, a bunch of platform-exclusive making-of videos have been included... although, in all honesty, they aren't that interesting, especially since the people who do the talking (the developers) do so as if in front of a teleprompter. All things concerned, though, this remains a fine addition to the series that will please most adventure fans.

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

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is not a perfect game - and yet, while it has a couple of flaws in its storytelling, gameplay, and audio-visuals, it's, without a doubt, a very solid adventure game; one that's very pleasant return to form, and which is worthy of the name it carries.

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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