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REVIEW Broken Sword: Circle of Blood
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Broken Sword: Circle of Blood is a graphic adventure game in the classic style created (and perfected) by Sierra and LucasArts. Graphic adventures are my absolute favorite genre of video game, and I've played over 50 all the way through. I was out of the scene for a few years, and when I came back I found everyone online considered this game to be one of the best ever, so I had to check it out for myself.

Plot:

The plot was probably the part of the game I liked least. George Stobbart, an American tourist in Paris, is almost killed by a cafe bombing. So of course, he dedicates himself to finding out what happened. Really? What's his motivation? For a guy with no reason to be so, he's the most impulsive video game hero I can think of. If someone mentions Spain or Ireland as a possible link to his investigation, he goes and buys a plane ticket. The only character who made less sense to me than George was Nico, his partner. She was supposed to be a reporter, but she spends 95% of the game in her apartment scribbling on a notepad and implying George is an idiot. Do something! Investigate! Report! But no, she just sits and sits... taking phone calls from George and offering useless advice... Plot gets a C+.

Puzzles:

The puzzles were very cool. Though some were a little far fetched and even irritating, that's not unusual. In most adventures, you'll get an inventory item, use it for a puzzle, and then carry it around for the rest of the game for no reason. The amazing thing about this game is that you continued to use the same inventory items time and time again for different reasons! A tool used to remove manhole covers, acquired and used to do just that near the very beginning, is used again at least three more times throughout the game in various clever ways. Puzzles get an A.

Graphics:

Dated, sure, but sharp enough that in almost all cases the background objects that needed to be interacted with were clear and identifiable. Graphics get a B+.

Sound:

The sound was fine. Not remarkable. The converations in the game were often very long, and long-winded. The acting was occasionally hammy and ridiculous. Sometimes the voices sounded like they were in a giant echoing room. Sound gets a B-.

Conclusion:

Recommended. If you have any interest in adventure games, it's definitely a worthwhile use of your time. It's hard to see it converting anyone though. While I enjoyed it, the nonsensical plot never gave me any sense of urgency, and it took me months to complete it. Overall: B.


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Awesome review!

I really have to go back and play this. Time to hit up eBay for a used copy...

--Chris.

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