Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse Game Poster Image
Cheesy B-movie adventure with overly simplified gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Although George and Nico end up working together, which adds an element of teamwork to the game, it's mainly about solving the mystery for their own motivations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both George and Nico are intelligent characters who excel at their jobs and can think outside the box to solve problems and overcome obstacles.

Ease of Play

Basic point-and-click adventure. Most puzzles are easy to figure out, especially when given specific key items. On the rare occasion that the player finds a puzzle difficult, there's a built-in hint system that can all but walk players through the solution.

Violence

Quite a few scenes of violence, with many people getting shot and killed on-screen. There's blood shown during these scenes, as well as when the player examines bodies or crime scenes.

Sex

Some works of art occasionally contain partial nudity.

Language
Consumerism

Latest entry in the Broken Sword series of adventure games. It was released in an episodic form, though this version collects the entire story. There are some exclusive videos unlocked over the course of the game, but they are mainly behind-the-scenes videos showing the process of bringing the game to the Switch.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinks like wine are often seen in the background.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is a point-and-click-style adventure game for the Nintendo Switch. The game is the latest chapter in Revolution's Broken Sword series, challenging players to solve a variety of puzzles and search for clues to solve an art theft mystery. The game is simple to pick up and play, with basic puzzles and a hint system that can walk players through any problems. There are numerous acts of violence, with scenes portraying people getting shot and killed. There's blood shown during these moments, as well as when players examine the crime scenes and bodies for clues.

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What's it about?

BROKEN SWORD 5: THE SERPENT'S CURSE reunites the daring duo of American patent lawyer-turned-insurance investigator George Stobbart and French freelance photojournalist Nicole "Nico" Collard. Their paths cross once more, leading to yet another case of world-spanning adventure and historic intrigue. While attending an art exhibit in Paris, George and Nico witness the murder of the gallery owner and the theft of a single painting of little value. While George investigates the theft for the insurance claim, Nico digs deeper, looking for a big scoop. Soon the two uncover a greater conspiracy behind the events, tied to the history of the painting and a religious ritual with the potential to reshape the world.

Is it any good?

This point-and-click adventure delivers the same kind of gameplay that franchise fans expect, but the gameplay is way too easy and outdated for adventure gamers. Five years after its initial debut, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse has found a new home on the Nintendo Switch. There have only been two major additions made for the Switch. The first is the ability to switch (no pun intended) on the fly between using a controller or the touchscreen to interact with objects. Neither has any advantage over the other, and the touchscreen option is useless if the Switch is docked. The other addition is a collection of unlockable videos. But rather than expanding on the adventure, these are a series of behind-the-scenes videos showing the development of the Switch port. Sure, it's a glimpse behind the curtain of game development, but it doesn't add much to the overall experience.

Outside of these changes, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse remains relatively untouched. Unfortunately, that means it's also starting to show its age. Despite the high-definition visuals, the animated art style feels somewhat bland. Coupled with its cheesy, ham-handed voice acting, the presentation feels almost like you're watching a made-for-TV B movie. The puzzles are a mixed bag as well. Early on, they're all almost too simple, as if they're geared toward younger kids who wouldn't understand the plot. Later on, things get a little more complex and challenging, but the game's hint system can still walk players through with step-by-step solutions. Ultimately, there's very little challenge in Broken Sword 5, even with its decent (though campily acted) story attached.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Broken Sword 5 heightened because of the crime scenes and blood that's frequently shown in the game? Does the style and presentation help to lessen the impact of that violence?

  • What are some good exercises for thinking outside the box? How can observation and analysis help out in everyday life?

Game details

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