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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What's it about?
Old school point-and-click mysteries were once all the rage. Now many have been relegated to online Flash games and downloadable casual games. With BROKEN SWORD: SHADOW OF THE TEMPLARS – THE DIRECTOR'S CUT, Ubisoft is trying to bring back the genre by re-imagining a 1996 PC mystery featuring a journalist who happens upon a strange mime and the creepy murder of a media mogul. Could the Knights Templar be involved?
Playing the game is fairly easy. Point the Wii remote on the screen and press the 'A' to move there. Press the 'A' button to examine objects that have an 'eye' icon near them. Press the 'B' button to collect the item into a knapsack. Use the items in your knapsack to open safes or mix them together to solve clues. When you see a gears icon over an object, you can interact with it, turning a key in a lock, for example. You can converse with the characters to gather more information. Hints are also provided if you're stuck and need them.
Is it any good?
Broken Sword has a finely crafted story that's enhanced by superior voice acting and dialog that is tight and never seems shoe-horned in to help you solve a puzzle. Because you can ingeniously use items together when trying to figure out a small mystery, the thrill of pointing and clicking doesn't grow old. You'll also enjoy moving around Paris, from the fancy, medieval mansions to the autumn leaf-laden paths along the Seine.
While the game has been updated with artwork by Dave Gibbons, the man who drew The Watchmen, there's not much animation here or much of a 3D feel to the game. There's depth to each area you move around, but not much. And there's very little movement in each scene as well. While game players of a certain age will love the antique feel, younger players may pine for more animation and a more quickly paced story. Still, if you stick with Broken Sword, you'll be rewarded with numerous surprises as the compelling tale twists and turns through the streets of Paris and beyond.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the mystery that's being solved. If you're stuck on a puzzle, do you talk it over among your family or do you go directly for a clue from the hint section? Why? What do you like about the story -- the setting in Paris, the journalist protagonist, or something else. What?
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