Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror (PC) Review

By Drew Hurley 09.04.2016

Review for Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror on PC

After the landmark title Beneath a Steel Sky, Revolution made what was to become its signature series in the first Broken Sword, The Shadow of the Templars. With recent confirmation from Revolution that not only is the long-awaited sixth entry in Broken Sword incoming but also Beneath a Steel Sky 2, too, there's never been a better time to replay these classics, or even better, for a new generation to experience them for the first time.

During the events of the first game - The Shadow of the Templars - series protagonist, George Stobbart, serendipitously met with other series mainstay, the investigative reporter, Nicole Collard, and the two quickly found themselves embroiled in a worldwide mystery.

This title picks up six months after the first game and finds George and Nicole now a couple. A simple investigation into a Mayan relic escalates quickly, Nicole is kidnapped, and George is fighting for his life. Soon after, the pair finds themselves racing against time to stop some fanatics raising a dark god… as you do. It all sounds like quite the exciting epic but, sadly, it really isn't.

Screenshot for Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror on PC

The story begins strong but quickly feels like it over embraces the comedy aspects of the first, with the jokes, in particular, suffering the most. Gone is any trace of wit or banter and, instead, the comedy just feels slapstick, and at points simply cringe-worthy. The narrative doesn't fare much better, and although there are admittedly some strong moments, they are either at the very beginning or the very end, with the rest feeling like filler. There are some painstaking moments where new areas are opened, filled with people to talk to and things to examine and there's nothing there. Nothing. Examining every item results in just a few silly comments and the NPCs deliver nothing of value. It's a very strange design decision...

The gameplay is classic point and click adventure. George and Nicole wander around environments, interacting with the items there and trying to gather information from NPCs and solving puzzles to progress.

The biggest issue with the game, though, are the puzzles. They are on par in difficulty with the puzzles in Telltale games. There would be very few players out there who won't simply look at the setup of the puzzle and fairly quickly see the painfully obvious solution. There is no logical thinking or problem solving required here and the included "Hint System" is unlikely to see any use.

Screenshot for Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

They say no sequel is ever better than the original, and this is certainly the case here with Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror. After the groundbreaking first Broken Sword, The Shadow of the Templar, this sequel feels like a watered down version, with every aspect feeling like a pale imitation of what came before.

Developer

Revolution

Publisher

Virgin

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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