Biblical scholars have long agreed that Moses was more than just a poor shepherd’s boy. It is said that he was a natural scholar and that from an early age he devoted himself to unravelling the mysterious arts of alchemy. Indeed, he read documents that even in those times were already very ancient – the scant remains of older, extinct civilisations. Amongst these documents, it is believed; lay the primitive blueprints for an awesome weapon…
Moses was able to construct this weapon. And when the Pharaoh refused passage for the Israelites out of Egypt, he unleashed it upon the Egyptians with terrifying effect. The Pharaoh capitulated. The Exodus began.
The weapon was the final and most terrible of the Great Plagues. Uncannily, it seemed to be able to kill selectively, leaving the Israelites unharmed. The Egyptians called it – ‘The Angel of Death’.
Hundreds of years later, the secrets of Moses’ deadly weapon that could destroy to order was lost, although the memory lived on.
Lost. Or so it was thought . . .
Broken Sword 4 is a point-and-click adventure game which closely follows the format of the earlier three games. Like its predecessor, it is presented in a fully three-dimensional world, and this time you can use both mouse and keyboard to control George and Nico, the main characters in the game.
When looking at the game, the first impression is that it doesn’t seem as polished as the ground-breaking third game, with graphics and animations looking unfinished. There are also a number of huge, sparse rooms with little or no purpose to the actual game progress other than making you wait while George walks from one end to the other. It would have been better having things closer together to reduce the amount of walking.
The interface has changed as well and I had to look at the manual to find out that some objects have more than 2 possible actions available. Earlier, I had spent the first hour and a half trying to figure out how to kick down a door. Similarly, there is a hacking mini-game where the purpose is to direct a stream of data to a server, and again you have to consult the manual to find out what each object does.
The plot touches on some delicate religious subjects, and when religion and conspiracy theories are involved, some people may be put off or even feel offended. The series did include elements from the Knights Templar and Aztec beliefs previously, but those beliefs are not popular nowadays. However, this time George faces an enemy who is very much a fundamental block of modern religion.
Gameplay wise, Broken Sword 4 still shines. The game is a mix of the best parts of the first 3 games, with the plot similar to all 3 of them. Someone is trying to unleash an evil deity loose upon the world, and our heroes travel around said world to stop this from happening. This time, it’s the Angel of Death. In summary, the game’s main theme is all about placing the characters in comedic situations, but with a darker tone in which people die gruesome deaths.
I wouldn’t say that Broken Sword 4 is the best in the series, but it is still an enjoyable experience. There are some places that you feel that they could have been done better, but most of the time George’s witty quick one-liners makes the whole experience better. And that’s the whole point; George is always a nice main character to spend a whole game hanging around with.