Played: Feb 2014
+ More cinematics
+ Voice acting better than episode I
+ Does not have the graphics problem episode I had with switching to windowed mode in-game
- Story STILL does not go anywhere
- Voice acting (English) still a bit silly
REVIEW: Let’s be honest: if I hadn’t purchased Syberia II along with Syberia I as a super-cheap combo pack, I wouldn’t have bothered at all. Everything that is “good” about Syberia II is only relatively good when compared with the terrible Syberia I; there is nothing superlative about any facet of this game.
A good thing about this game is that it has more cinematics than its predecessor. A game that sells itself on story should have many movies, and there are some here. For a game released in 2004 the visuals are not bad, but they haven’t aged well at all and alone they shouldn’t induce you to buy this game. Furthermore, the voice acting won’t make you wince as often; as when intonation is way of or a word is mispronounced, but you will definitely notice strange moments in the dialogue.
The main draw of this game is supposed to be the “amazing story” but here is the problem: it never develops beyond the premise that your protagonist wants to help an old guy reach Syberia (and still features the intelligence-insulting idea that he couldn't have gotten there when he built the rails the first time).
In general, stories depend on the quality of conflict for their weight, and the weak opposition and half-sketched puzzles (either extremely easy or nonsensical due to total lack of clues) simply don’t contribute any to a satisfying conclusion. It’s more like you progress through a series of trivial events and the game stops. Even in its most pretentious moments trying to induce pathos, the characters never manage to be any more impactful than a mildly annoying fly at the dinner table.
So what should induce you to buy this game? I can only imagine it must be the inflated ratings it seems to be getting elsewhere (why I tried when both games together were $3). Don’t bother unless you have time to waste and the patience of Job for flimsy characters (slightly less) annoyingly voiced.
SPOILER PLOT COMPLAINT: One more thing I could leave off here-I couldn't believe it but the developers actually show you going so far north that you see Antarctic Emperor Penguins. Come on, were they complete idiots, or did they just think I'm one?