Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse

Somewhere in rural Catalonia in 1937 an unusual painting is taken by force by a man with fascist connections. Much more recently, in Paris, the same painting is stolen from an art gallery by a pizza courier and with the gallery owner shot in the process. Witnessing the second crime is amongst a few other people George Stobbard, an American in Paris representing an insurance company, and Nico Collard, a local journalist. These two have a history together investigating mysteries (the four previous games in the series), and they naturally begin to investigate what is really going on. A story is uncovered involving high level art dealings and higher level gnostic gospels, and possibly also the future of the world as we know it.

Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse is a classic style point-and-click adventure game but with a modern polish. It feels comfortable and relaxing to go back to that kind of game, especially when the overall story is well-written such as in this game. The plot is a bit too linear to offer any alternative routes to solve prolems, which is not unusual, but there are also restrictions in the order that new information is uncovered. Some items can only be interacted with after some other action has occured, for no obvious other reasons than that the story says so, and that is annoying. The game also suffers from other issues that is inherent in this type of games: Some of the problems are solved in a far-fetched manner and other problems are truly elementary. Luckily, there is a good stepwise hint system built into the game to help when the inspiration of the player is running low, which helped me a couple of times when I had missed to pick up some piece of information or inventory. The dialogue also feels quite sluggish at times.

Now that I have written a lot about negative aspects of the Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse experience, I must say that almost everything else in the game is good. I really enjoyed the story, the bantering, the characters, the cheesy music, the atmosphere, most of the scenery, and the religious history. However, the final punchline is truly horrible…

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