I was about to write a review then I remembered I alredy did. Back in 2002. So here it is, unedited:
Games such as this one bring smile to my face. Why? Because I was initially an adventure game player and the last few years have been quite bad for this genre. Ever since Sierra and LucasArts stopped their production of adventures and turned over to the more profitable games, a few developers have even tried to do something. The only true masterpiece that I can think of at the moment is Funcom’s The Longest Journey, while Dreamcatcher’s creations were far from what we really need (still, my congratulations to Dreamcatcher for even trying where others don’t bother at all!). I doubt the situation will get any better soon, but Syberia might prove that there’s a lot that adventures can provide, especially to young gamers.
In this 3rd person adventure you play a role of Kate Walker, a young lawyer from New York who was sent to Valadilene, a little town in France to complete the deal of purchasing a local toy factory for a huge multinational company. Unfortunately, the owner of the factory Anna Voralberg has just passed away and her only heir, her brother Hans is nowhere to be found. This is where your adventure begins.
The story might not sound like it’s anything special, but it’s actually amazing! As you do your research to find Hans, you will discover a lot about the Voralberg family, their toy factory and Hans’ maniacal obsession with automatons and mammoths. You will even meet a few automatons made by Hans, robots with their own character! Your journey will also take you to the weird university in Barrockstadt in Germany where you’ll meet more weird people, then to Russian mining city ruled by a lunatic and so on. Everywhere you go you will get into a bit abnormal situations but you’ll get used to it.
Unfortunately, most of the puzzles are rather easy and each problem can be solved in a real short time. Still, since there are many locations and a lot of puzzles you won’t notice this often. I got stuck in only two occasions and both times it really was my fault – once I had to use a cell phone and the other time I just didn’t see the closet that contained two important items. Also, there is no item combination at all, making everything a lot easier as well.
Now I must mention the visuals of Syberia. The graphics are simply amazing! It’s obvious that a lot of effort was put into the visual side of this great game. A few screens of the game exist only to show the beautiful scenery such as the side view of the Barrockstadt University or the resort hotel in Russia. The same applies to the sound as the game features some fine, classical tunes specific to the region in which you are at the moment. I especially liked the music in Russia, which sounded a lot like the old Soviet anthem. The complete game is voice covered and the voice acting is probably the best I’ve heard lately!
Overall, Syberia may be a bit easy for the experienced players but it’s a true masterpiece in the genre. I was delighted to see normal controls unlike in a lot of similar games that I had a chance to play in the last 15 months or so. It’s all point&click, like in good old times. Syberia is a well-made game, with an intriguing story and even a little soap opera that goes on over Kate’s cell phone. I can’t give it a score larger than 82% due to easy puzzles, but … good work by Microids, I am hoping to see more of their work soon!
Plus: Magnificent graphics and sound, intriguing story, easy controls.
Minus: Easy puzzles, some pixel hunting.