Some minor flaws are completely eclipsed by some truly fantastic graphics, animations, and story, and puzzles

User Rating: 9.5 | Syberia PC
Syberia is really unlike any other game that I've played before. Other games always have a persistent, constant sense of anxiety where you're always made to run around and narrowly dodge death. Even more so than The Longest Journey, Syberia is an easygoing, relaxing game. You can't die (look, this concept isn't new at all, Prince of Persia!) and you can take everything at your own pace. You have all the time in the world to soak in the gorgeous visuals.

Speaking of which: this game has a level of quality and finesse that I have very rarely seen in games. You can tell by the smoothness of the camera and the animations that are frankly stunning even now, seven years after its release. The cutscenes are incredible - possibly even Pixar quality. The story is fantastic; it's like something right out of a fairytale, yet at the same time it's rooted in a completely mundane, present day world that is unseen but definitely lurking in the background. And the puzzles are intuitive: not immediately and boringly easy, but not completely random and illogical either. The whole thing just feels very sophisticated and well put together.

There are only two things that aren't up to the same impressive level of quality as everything else:
- The voice acting can be kind of stiff, and there are some awkward translation moments
- Kate treats stairs like they are the biggest ordeal in the world. The easy walking pace makes sense in a game like this, as it makes you slow down and drink everything in and you can break into a brisk jog if you're feeling impatient. But every time you have a set of stairs, Kate will screech to a halt, turn, take a couple of preparatory steps as though readying herself for liftoff, and THEN start climbing the damn things. It's such a minor detail and yet it's constant enough to be apparent and more than mildly annoying.

But anyway, that's the only amount of complaining that I have to do for this game. Everything else is so stellar that these minor but persistent flaws are eclipsed by them. There was something very enjoyable in how "old-school" this game is, but don't be fooled: you're in for a pleasant surprise.