Video Game Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (PC) (1996)

Overview: A point-and-click adventure primarily set in Paris. Play as George Stobbart, an American tourist, who sets out to solve a mystery.


George Stobbart

20171228 Part 1:
Ada and I started by playing the Director's Cut. However, various users suggested that new players start out with the original version and then, after completing the original, come back and play the Director's Cut. As such, Ada and I switched to playing the original version.*

In order to access the original version in Steam, do the following. Find the game in the list of games (in "Detail View" the list is on the left-hand side) and right click on the title. Then choose "Play Broken Sword 1: Original Version" from the menu. Note: I've included a screenshot at the bottom of this post.

We started by playing the original version at my desktop computer, but eventually I decided we could play more comfortably on the couch using my laptop. So we saved the game at 10:35PM and tried to play from my laptop.

George and Nicole Collard

Steam Game Time: 95 minutes (total game time)*

*We watched all of the intro of the Director's Cut and paused the game when it actually started. Then we played through a little of the game. Using a YouTube video as reference, I estimate we spent about 12 to 15 minutes with the Director's Cut.

20171228 Part 2:
Unfortunately, the original version of the game could not be streamed using Steam In-Home Streaming and so I manually transferred the save files from my desktop to my laptop.

When we got things up and running, we comfortably played until one of our in-game choices resulted in our character's demise (we had him leave the hotel with the manuscript). Unfortunately, we hadn't saved since we resumed playing, so we'd have to go through the effort of going through all the (hotel-related) puzzles we had already solved. Fortunately, that should require relatively little time.

George shimmies across.

Steam Game Time: 3.0 hours (total game time)

20171229 Morning:
Booting up the game, I set out to recover the progress we had made: repeating most actions between unlocking the hotel's location via phone call and retrieving the manuscript. This took a total of about fifteen minutes.

Ada joined me during that time and after we retrieved the manuscript, we tried out an idea for getting the manuscript out of the hotel. Success!

Steam Game Time: 3.6 hours (total game time)

20171229 Evening:
Picking up from the point of retrieving the manuscript, Ada and I played up to the point in the game where we got stuck with a crazy goat. We then spent a lot of time wandering about, with moments of clarity, only to finally end back in a murky rut.

An ancient manuscript.

Steam Game Time: Approximately 3.5 hours (session game time). Unknown hours total.

20180107:
Today Ada and I resumed trying to fix the sink. We showed every item we had in our inventory to every person inside and outside the bar. We then double-checked the cellar. Finally, we knew the towel could be soaked with the water but couldn't do anything with it. It was frustrating.

As such, I decided that for sake of having fun, I would look up what we were supposed to do. Finding a walkthrough, I first came across this hint: "Use the plow to entangle the goat." Unfortunately, this hint was the first thing that crossed my mind when aiming to get pass the goat, but nothing I had done worked. Despite having already tried just about everything, the hint motivated me to try various variations of previous attempts. Unfortunately, I still didn't have any luck.

At an Irish pub (in Ireland)

Consequently, we scrolled down to the actual solution (of the walkthrough) and, to be honest, I found the solution annoying. Nothing in the game up to that point suggested such a game mechanic. Never in a million years would I have solved that puzzle without a walkthrough. Oh well.

In any case, we played up until we got stuck at the hospital.

Steam Game Time: Approximately 1 hour (session game time). 8.0 hours (total game time)

Thoughts:
Pro:
+ Great story.

Neutral:
~ Some of the artwork feels dated, especially compared to the Director's Cut, which I experienced a little bit of

A scary goat.

~ I encountered a puzzle whose solution bothered me. And while it's no excuse, I believe bad puzzles crop up from time to time in classic point-and-click adventure games. Remark: I'm more than happy with frustratingly good puzzles.

Minor Con:
- Movement can be a little slow. Some adventure games (perhaps newer ones) implement a quick walk or allow immediately jumps when the character has previously walked through that scene already.

Con:
- Some of the transition scenes are painfully long. For example, when asking to speak to Inspector Rosso at the Police Station.

[20180129]


What lies beyond the goat.

Summary:
Thus far I've enjoyed playing Broken Sword with my fiance Ada and I feel like we'll enjoy finishing it. With that being said, we haven't played it recently so it's not griping enough for my fiance to request playing it. I do, however, get inklings to play it. On the other hand, we have been rather busy and/or sick as of late. In the end, I would recommend the game to fans of point-and-click adventures.

But a word of advice, if you should play the game and get stuck at the goat for more than twenty minutes, don't be ashamed to look up the solution.

[20180129]

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (PC) (1996)

Relevant Links:
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (Wikipedia.org)
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Broken Sword 1: Original Version (Steam Store Page)

How to play the original version of Broken Sword on Steam.



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