An extremely well made game, featuring superb graphics, a great story, and interesting characters.
You take the role of George Stobbart, a patent lawyer from America, on a vacation in Paris. When enjoying a nice cup of coffee at a cafe, George is approached by a mysterious clown, carrying an accordian. The clown enters the cafe, drops the accordian, and the cafe explodes, sending George blown to the ground. George then takes it upon himself to discover what's happening, and finds more questions then he does answers, as well as a few too many enemies.
Involving an exciting and breathtaking story, it involves humour with a dark plot to take over the world. Set in the modern day, Broken Sword features snippets of history, involving the Knight's Templar, and the hanging of them at Montfaucon Square in Paris. Broken Sword's puzzles are clever and exciting, from humourous gags such as distracting an old janitor who thinks his vacuum cleaner is a person, to deathdefying leaps where George must climb atop a train, and wrestle with train lines and wind.
The gameplay is usually a slow paced walk-around looking for inventory items to be picked up, so if you're more of a shoot-em-up kinda person, than this probably won't be for you. The gameplay differs from scene to scene dramatically, having to focus on the puzzle at hand, and you feel really good when you uncover the puzzle, and solve it. Sometimes, you get stuck, and really just want to read a walkthrough, but that adds to the fun, as the game would be nothing without challenging puzzles.
Even though the game was made in 1996, it still features some of the most awe inspiring graphics ever, combining beautiful and bright 2d backdrops, from the pubs of Ireland, to the gardens of Spain, and beatifully created character models that move smoothly and freely. The cinematics are a beautifully realistic representation of human beings, while still keeping the cartoon look and feel of the characters, leaving a simple yet effective animation.
The sound in the game is fantastic. George Stobbart's voice is a well toned, average american voice, proving that even your everyday patent lawyers can save a world in perel. The french accents work well to really give you the feeling that you're in Paris, while the Irish accents are brilliantly done, capturing the feeling of a drunk, fat Irishman after a day at the pub. The music is usually a soft, mysterious melody, that plays shortly after discovering a clue, that really helps to move along the story, and sends chills down your spine when you know that something bad is about to happen.
As the original in a series of three, The Shadow Of The Templars is one of my favourite, because the story is far deeper than the others, and the beautiful 2d settings are lost in the third game, falling victim to 3d graphics. Each character in the game is unique, and each has their own clever personality, from a strange truck driver who thinks he's part of the FBI, to a hospital warden who doesn't take "nothing from nobody".
Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars is nothing short of a masterpiece. Revolution Software has truly created a special game that stands out from other games in almost every single way, even if it's the wonderfully made cartoon world, or simply the swift and mysterious music that is played during the game, Broken Sword truly captures your mind and throws it inside the computer, sending you dazzled and amazed.