I love Broken Sword. It's one of my favorite adventure games of all time, I grew up with it. Hearing about an update to one of my favorite games made me weary but I remained optimistic. Naturally, I tried to like it. But I just can't.
This revision completely butchered the original on so many levels; it's a disgrace. I am majorly disappointed with how this was handled.
The new arc doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the table (especially if you never played the original before, newcomers get nothing
out of this new story) and seems unnecessarily tacked on. It explores a side story that is negligible in the greater context and waters down the impact of the original story's writing and pacing immensely.
The new environments, icons and character models look really out of place when displayed right next to their by now 17 year old assets which in my opinion negatively impacts the immersion and cohesiveness: the clashing art styles and different asset qualities make the game feel terribly stitched together.
The shoddy new UI (which is optimized for touchscreen devices; use of a cursor feels awkward which is a disaster considering the original is a Point & Click classic), automatically displayed points of interaction as well as the help system make the game unbearable when you are familiar with the original.
Revolution went to the extremes with the handholding which is terribly annoying: everything is pointed out to you and instantly made visible. You never feel taken seriously as a player and it's almost as if the game doesn't want or need your skills to be solved. It rather points at everything with a flashy sign as if you were near-blind.
Sadly, Revolution took the phrase Directors 'Cut'
a bit too literally. Removed were details like waving flags, idle animations and ambient sounds but also integral parts of the game like dialogue and entire scenes
. The cut narrative aspects break the game's story and writing, which was already impaired by the new sidestory.
The missing details destroy the charm the original used to have, the charm that made players fall in love this game. This content was removed for absolutely no
logical reason and is a decision of the developer I can't understand or get behind. Who thought this was a good idea? Cutting parts of your story doesn't do the game's pacing any favors whatsoever.
The most jarring of all the omissions however is that you can't die
. This is absolute nonsense. The original version of Broken Sword had a ton of situations where wrong decisions could get you killed
(Video Contains Spoilers
). Presumably, this was done in order to save the player from losing too much or all of their progress. Removing this aspect however, eliminates incredibly much suspense and is a case of game design decisions meant to appeal to a contemporary audience causing the loss a lot of suspense, gameplay, atmosphere and ultimately enjoyment for the player.
Regardless whether you experienced the original or not, use ScummVM to play the original release if you can obtain it (Or purchase it via GOG where you will receive both versions with one purchase) and let this abomination rot in the store. You will get a more polished, detailed and cohesive gameplay experience out of it.
Who knows what Charles Cecil and Revolution were thinking. But it certainly wasn't anything good.
EDIT: Fixed a few typos and revised wording.
Please note that I previously purchased this version of the game outside of Steam (iOS) and completed it.