Broken Sword: The Angel of Death Hands-On

The fourth part of Revolution's adventure series is almost here, and we get our first play of the game at the Leipzig Games Convention.

Broken Sword is one of the few adventure series to still enjoy success across the world. In fact, it has been so successful that creator Charles Cecil has now had to go back on his original promise that it would be a trilogy, and the fourth game in the series is set for release in September. The game is published by THQ and developed by Revolution and Sumo Digital, and we managed to get a first play of it at Leipzig this year to see how protagonist George Stobart has been getting on.

The bad news is that George doesn't look to be doing too well at the start of The Angel of Death. Back in New York but unable to find legal work anymore, he's at a bit of a low point until a mysterious woman called Anna Maria enters his life. At this point, fans of the series may be wondering what happened to previous love interest Nico, but other than the news that she will appear as a playable character in the game, we have no details on that front.

Because it's an adventure game famed for its scripting, we pressed Cecil on the area of scriptwriting as he demonstrated the game. While he was incredibly cautious about revealing any potential spoilers, he was eager to talk about the scriptwriting process for the new game, which he believes is the strongest yet. The mechanics for each Broken Sword game has been forgotten knowledge, which resurfaces in the modern day. Thanks to George's inquisitive nature, this knowledge leads to a conspiracy and drives George through the adventure as he uncovers more clues. The fact that Cecil has visited both Egypt and New York to research the game might give an indication of where it's heading.

With the last game tying the story in to a nice, neat trilogy, many fans have been asking what direction the fourth game will be taking. Cecil talked about taking the game back to its roots, especially since the first game is his favourite, and the desire to create the feel of a 2D adventure game in 3D. In Broken Sword 3, the move from 2D to 3D was an incredibly controversial choice, and Cecil was open about the mistakes he had made. His biggest regrets are the number of crate puzzles in the game and the omission of a point-and-click interface. The second Broken Sword game in 3D, The Angel of Death has fewer crate puzzles and focusses more on adventuring, while complementing the keyboard interface with the restored mouse control for traditionalists.

Whereas Broken Sword 3 was released on the PC, Xbox and PlayStation 2, the fourth game in the series will be PC only. Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews, a massive proportion of the game's sales were on the PC, so console versions are off the menu this time around. However, the project features a controversial new development technique whereby Cecil remains creative control while development is outsourced to Sumo Digital. Since Cecil is still employing Neil Richards as scriptwriter and the people behind Outrun 2 to program the game, we're excited that this method will yield positive results.

During our demonstration, Cecil let slip that Anna Maria might not be all she's cracked up to be but that this will be revealed to the player. He went on to explain that this technique, which he has applied from cinema, is used to increase the attachment to George in the game. Just like in a horror movie where the audience knows when the murderer is going to jump out at someone, players should care more for George because of the danger presented by this girl. If they have been through previous adventures, it's likely that they'll also want to see him fall in love and live a normal life for a change.

When the game is launched in September, a soundtrack will be released to accompany it and dynamic game hints can be found in the menu system, in case you get stuck. We're hugely excited about continuing George's adventures, and we'll see if Cecil's ambitious storytelling and development methods have yielded another classic adventure in a couple of weeks' time.

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34 comments
grim_fandango
grim_fandango

I've only played Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon but I TOTALLY loved it and I can't wait to get this!!!! :D

and19rew82
and19rew82

yeeeeessss come on! another broken sword i've got the last three and like them so much i've done them loads of times cant wait till the forth one. whats gabriel knight?

madhabit
madhabit

Maybe the controls will be less "consoly" in this game than in its predecessor if it is only for PC.. I'm currently playing the third game and I kind of miss using the mouse.

kegmiester
kegmiester

Exciting news and i can't wait for it either. Back to good old fashion adventuring. None of that oh so easy-peasy box puzzles. Lets hope that the developers can pull it off the 4th time.

Buffytvs79
Buffytvs79

Great news, I've always liked Broken Sword, and played all 3 so far... But I must say that I can't be too happy until someone FINALLY makes a 4th Gabriel Knight game; only then will there be some justice in this world because the GK series kicks Broken Sword's butt.

NekoFever
NekoFever

Sounds good, but can we get the first two on the DS, please? ;)

Rated_25
Rated_25

Broken Sword kicks mucho asso... Indeed its to bad that theres no PS2 version.

MateuszNosek
MateuszNosek

To bad that there will be no PlayStation 2 version :(

ludacriss
ludacriss

i've completed the other three. I won't miss this.

Chronixxxx
Chronixxxx

Anyone able to get the demo for the game to run? Won't seem tow ork for me, no matter how many times I install.

kriboy
kriboy

Yes!!!!! I'll get the chance to play as smartmouth Stobbart again!!!!!

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

broken sword might be a broken game with those graphics

ultrajari2k
ultrajari2k

"George Stobart" TWO Ts, TWO Bs! Come on! George Stobbart. Thank you very much.

Platyphyllum
Platyphyllum

Thank God a new Broken Sword game is being made. I thought there would be no more good adventure games coming anymore!

Jeaz
Jeaz

Can't wait, along with Farenheit(Indigo Prophecy), the BS series is the only decent adventure games around. Sad really...

LsTr_Of_SmG
LsTr_Of_SmG

Thank the lord for that, for a while there I thought he really meant it when he said that he was going to end it at the third game... *Phew*

stonecoldjake
stonecoldjake

i love broken sword, the first game i got for my psone. i can not wait for this game!

dannyshaw123
dannyshaw123

I wish it would be on consoles aswell as pc, oh well guess im just having to get it on the pc

Satanmar
Satanmar

Looking forward to it, have my copy pre-ordered! the return of George Stobbard! :)

arwenator
arwenator

My breath is more baited than a sharp Stobbart witticism! Bring on the luuuurrve triangle........

GrimBee
GrimBee

WOW! I can't wait for this game. The third game was OK, but it's nice to see they are going to adapt things for the pc now, hence, back to its original style, hence, the reason why its on pc i guess :P I hope, for the christmas season, that they bring out a box set with all the titles in some nice collectors box...set, i think that would sell exceedingly well.

gohantech00
gohantech00

Only on PC. Dammit. Looks like I wont be able to play it, not with my P.O.S. PC. Oh well, still havent even played the 3rd Broken Sword anyways, so it looks like I need to get crackin on that first before whining about not being about to play the 4th one.......

atomixmax
atomixmax

Sounds awesome , I can't wait to play it

the_sharko
the_sharko

Excellent to see a new Broken Sword game.

samowen88
samowen88

i'm looking forward to this game as the first broken sword game was an all time great game

amorphis
amorphis

WooHoo The Broken Sword series is one of the best adventure series ever.With Sam & Max and broken sword having sequels,it sure seems like adventure games are making a comeback to mainstream gaming.

1carus
1carus

I'm looking forward to this game, especially since Broken Sword is my favourite series in the world!