A welcomed return to its roots

User Rating: 8 | Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse PC

Serpent's Curse is the fifth game in the Broken Sword series. The series took a turn for the worst when it transitioned into 3D in an attempt to keep adventure games modern and current. It often felt clunky and lost a lot of charm, and also introduced many lame block puzzles in the Sleeping Dragon. However, Serpent's Curse makes a return to the games' 2D roots which brings it back to form.

Like all the other games in the series, George and Nico end up embarking on an adventure full of mystery, conspiracy, history and religion. This means that returning players will feel right at home, but sometimes it just feels a bit too similar and predictable.

George is in the insurance business and was attending an art exhibition which he insured. There he reunites with Nico who is attending as a reporter, but the meeting is cut short when a robbery takes place, resulting in the La Maledicció being stolen and the art gallery owner shot dead. So there begins George's journey. Partially motivated by intrigue, and partially motivated by his job, he investigates the scene, looking for clues to determine whether it is an unfortunate art theft, or an insurance scam. The story revolves around the Gnostic imagery contained within the painting La Maledicció, which leads George and Nico around the world.

The environments are gorgeous, hand-drawn and packed with detail. The game is well written as always, and George is an instantly likeable protagonist. Some characters make a return which can get a bit silly how yet again, they end up being caught in the middle of a conspiracy. Some characters within the game can seem a bit stereotypical or just a bit on the silly side and feel a bit out of place.

There’s a hint system within the game which offers progressively stronger hints on request. It is very useful and entirely optional if you want to use it or not. The first part of the game is relatively straight-forward anyway, but the second part features some vague puzzles which require a large attention to detail. Translating the 'Tabula Veritatis' took a lot of thought and I only managed to translate half of the symbols. The other half I didn't understand how to work them out, even with the hint system telling me what they were. I didn't understand how to play music on a set of paint cans either. It seemed that I was supposed to be able to read sheet notes, but I'm musically challenged.

With adventure games, you can't expect to enjoy every puzzle contained within the game. There's definitely some dull ones, and some rather silly ones, but for the most part, it's a great adventure game, and a return to the games roots which the series definitely needed.