|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Revolution Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Its also somewhat ingenious how the game gives you only a handful of things to work out at a given time, yet its just the right amount to offer a real challenge. You are presented with the option of using hints, but as you progress further into the game, hints are offered less frequently and dont reveal nearly enough to completely solve a given puzzle.
The interface is easy to use and unobtrusive. Theres a suitcase icon on the bottom, left-hand side of the touch screen, and a menu icon on the top left. Opening your case allows you to look at items in your current inventory, and the menu lets you save or review a diary of all key events throughout the game. Environments load quickly, and the pacing never falters.
Broken Sword also looks great on DS. All of the action takes place on the bottom screen, whilst conversations appear on the top screen. The hand-drawn art style hasnt aged a bit, and everything animates nicely. Backgrounds are 2D stills that scroll as you move from one part of an area to the next, but there are many subtle nuisances that bring each scene to life. During conversations, the characters continuously animate, and their expressions are wonderfully detailed. The top screen, however, is a bit underutilized, and when youre not engaged in conversation, all youll see up there is one of a handful of static art stills that represent the country youre currently in.
One of the true highlights of the game is the music that plays throughout the adventure. When talking with someone or investigating areas, the music will begin to swell, cuing the player to important plot or puzzle elements theyve stumbled upon. The voice-overs arent present in this DS version, but the text scroll works fine. The original Foley work, however, seems to all be in place, and its the little things that really help make this such a great game. Unfortunately, some sound effects and music often get cut off abruptly when either entering the menu screen or moving to a new scene. Its a noticeable rough edge to what is otherwise a finely polished presentation.
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is a fine choice for DS, and with the added content, theres something here for newcomers and long-time fans alike. For a handheld game, it offers a fairly lengthy adventure, clocking in at around 12-15 hours depending on your familiarity with the original game. Like all games of this sort, however, once its over, thats pretty much it theres little reason to go back. Whether or not the new content will be enough for folks whove already run Broken Sword through its paces will greatly depend on your love of the original game. Still, its a timeless classic that has earned its right to offer enjoyment to another generation of adventure fans.
CCC Freelance Writer