It’s been nearly five years since Revolution released the first part of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse, reviving a classic video game series and part of a revival of the point & click adventure. Now, with the Nintendo Switch giving dozens of games, both old and new, a new audience, we see what might be considered the definitive version of the game.
The simple reason for such a bold statement is that it’s everything that the previous versions of the game could offer in one package, more even. This is the full story without having to endure the somewhat jarring cliffhanger ending and painful wait between the two episodes, and Revolution have taken advantage of some of the Nintendo Switch’s innate features to offer as much flexibility to players as possible.
Of course, this is primarily just a re-release of a game that most fans will have already played in one way or another. It’s been on PC, Mac, Linux & PS Vita since day one, soon made the leap to smartphone and tablet, came to home console with a retail release in 2015, and so there’s been ample opportunity to already play this game. That doesn’t mean that Revolution haven’t been able to improve on the game, though. I’m not talking about tweaking the puzzle design or art, but rather how you can interact with it.
On Switch you can shift seamlessly back and forth between controller inputs and touch. Theoretically this should have been possible on PS Vita as well, but this was instead used purely as a testbed for mobile friendly touch controls. You can drag your finger around the screen for the classic style of screen-scanning and interaction hunting, before then tapping on a related icon to look at, interact with or use an item from your inventory with something – all of this is much nicer on the Switch’s larger screen than on Vita. Alternatively, there’s a pleasing snap to action point when using the analogue stick to try and do the same thing, which is obviously the default control method when playing with the console docked. I found myself combining the two all the time through the game’s opening scenes,
Either way, the game looks lovely, with the full 1080p assets used for the game in either docked or handheld. The hand drawn backgrounds are simply sublime, while the cel shaded characters do a really nice job of blend into the environments through a number of effects, even if they can stick out and look a little like the 3D models they were lifted from at times.
Augmenting the game is a ‘Bonus Content’ section in the options menu, with videos unlocking as you play the game that peak behind the curtains of its development. With the game having been developed in the open through Kickstarter, it’s no surprise to see that the first of these videos has been drawn from the video updates that were provided to backers, but later videos promise to feature new interviews with the team behind the game.
It’s honestly difficult to really say more about Broken Sword 5. It’s the game most fans will have played a few years ago on a new system and combining the different control schemes from mobile and home console. If you haven’t played it and have a fondness for point & click adventure, this game has much of the charm of the earlier entries in the series and is well worth exploring, whether that’s on Switch or any of the many other platforms it’s available on.