What the fucking fuck have Revolution Software done to my beloved George Stobbart. His beautiful hand-drawn mannerisms reduced down to fickle 3D rendered mannequin, it's enough to make a man do a little sick in his mouth.
After this initial shock I managed to settle down a bit to play the game.
Broken Sword is a classic point and click adventure series first unleashed to the world in 1996 and I bloody loved it. My chum and I sat up long into the night wrestling with its puzzles, it's sequel was also top notch. Three and Four were a bit bums though, 3D graphics and direct control over your protagonist aren't really what anyone was looking for in Broken Sword games.
Fortunately Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is a return to form. Crackingly hand rendered painterly backdrops are your playground, and though I pretty much hate the 3D character models placed into them, I can see why they did it, it's cheaper for development (this game was funded through Kickstarter) and gives the game that air of being more up to date and down with the kids. Stupid kids.
The game starts in 1937 with a shoot out in Spain were a painting is stolen by the naughty fascist army. Whizz forward to present day and our heroes coincidentally meet in the gallery where the same painting is about to be stolen again, but this time with murderous consequences.
All the Broken Sword staples are in the mix here, amusing characters, many of whom are returning faces long time fans of the series will recognise, cracking voice acting work which really elevates this type of game, and an interesting, slow burning plot that gets thicker and thicker the more progress you make.
Puzzles are logical and eminently 'gettable' without resorting to the games hint system, and you'll be smiling to yourself when solving a few of the more tricky ones. A couple even involve your trusty pet cockroach. Best New Character of the Year award nailed on.
So after my rising bile of that first paragraph how did I get on with Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse? Really, really well is the answer, I forgot all about my character model objections after the first ten minutes and just found myself absorbed into the excellent story and gameplay. Let's hope we don't have to wait quite so long until the next installment.