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Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon PS2


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Well now that I've finished Psychonauts, I thought I'd pick away at more of my unplayed PS2 collection.

Broken Sword 3 I've had for probably around a year now and still haven't tried it out at all yet, probably because I'm partly bothered about it being entirely on the crap side, as I haven't hear many great things about it. Part of my reasoning to try out BS3 was to see how the third one fared against the original two, both of which are excellent point a click adventures of my past. BS1 is probably one of my own personal most nostalgic games of this type too, as it was one of the first for me to get into and play to the end. Technically it was Mad Dog Williams on the ST but that doesn't really count as it was a demo.

The biggest noticable difference with the third title in the series is that it made the transition to 3D and also allowed you to directly control the character, and as I'm sure many of you are aware, this took something away from what made the early games special. I've decided to go into this without the expectation of returning back to what the old games were all about and instead just play it for what it is. I'm happy anyway knowing that there's a BS5 in the works via kickstarter anyway and may even try and locate the mysterious 4th title that most of us didn't even know existed, providing I get on with this game to some extent.

Come to thing of it, I'm sure I might have actually created a thread for this a while back but fuck it, I'm here in a new one and will try and keep it updated with progress for anyone interested in learning more about what it's like. From my personal point of view, I'm hoping that the gripe most people had was the 3D transition, but we'll see.

Main title screen

So upon firing it up, I'm greeted by a rather dark looking title screen and after a quick look into the extras, it seems I can view a brief set of text with images the storylines behind the first two games. It was actually a good thing to see as I'd pretty much forgotten entirely what the original stories were about. The whole Templars thing started to ring a bell and from what I remember, you embark on a journey searching for answers to an assassination at a french cafe, eventually to uncover some dark masonic plan to unleash an evil. I think there was always a subtle element of fantasy towards the end of the game or here and there which I felt was quite cool to see as most of the time it was based around real believable material. I don't know if anyone has ever read James Herbert books, but the ones I read all seemed to have a similar thing going on where the ending would reveal a true fantasy ficticious finale, and for the rest of it, the whole thing was always plausably based on logic.

Back when I first started BS, I had absolutely no knowledge on Mayans, Templars, Masons, Illuminati etc, where as now I've read and seen a lot of this sort of stuff, so I can usually relate better to it all. It made Assassin's Creed all the better too for the same reasons.

Broken Sword 2 takes place 6 months after 1 which was good to be reminded of as I've forgotten 2 more so than 1. I tend to find the first game in many series tends to be more memorable than the sequals if played around the similar time preiod. I think it's a similar thing though this time revolving around a recovered artifact of ancient historical importance, and ultimately there's some sort of plan to uncover an (forgotten the word im looking for) apocalypic order of evil proportions. Interestingly there some other readable things in the same bonus section which talks about some geo electrical thing and quite interestingly, the great mysterious book of vonitch or whaever it's called. It triggered a memory about a similar thing I'd seen in a documentory about a year ago, and indeed, it turned out to be the same thing.

Anyway I've only really just started the game so haven't gotten far at all, but graphically it was surprisingly quite good as I was expecting worse. I'm sure I read the voice actor who plays George Stobart is different, but he seems so far to do an alright job. Reminds me of the original one, unless I've just forgotten entirely what the proper Stobart sounds like. Unsure on the other voice actors.

The story begins with George in a plane with a simple minded bloke flying a plane over a jungle somewhere in hope to find a scientist, but things go wrong as the plane crashes due to a storm and lands on the edge of a cliff. You begin by trying to escape the plane and bringing the pilot to safety as he passes out in the cockpit. Walking towards the front of the plane severly puts you in danger as the whole plane tips up. So far it feels like the old games as far as searching things goes just without the cursor but forces you to move around physically. Pushing a box to the back of the plane rebalances the weight. I also picked up a bottle of beer (which wake up the pilot better than slapping him in the face) and a bottle opener. Shortly after escaping George comes across the scientist who just so happens to be moments away from the edge of the cliff but is stopped by two evil looking blokes who I think kill him (not sure can't quite remember), but aparently he's trying to develop something that creates limitless power. Meanwhile you switch over to Nico who also makes a return to the series where she hears a gunshot go off in her apartment just as she's giving up hope on ever getting another interesting story to cover as a journalist. A guy who aparently has sussed out the hidden code behind the ancient Vonich manuscript also gets held at gun point. Little is known who that is though as of yet.


So far it doesn't seem too bad at all, but time will tell I guess. I'll try and update this thread when I can.

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I originally got this on pc - I actually really enjoyed the game. However, i got to a section quite late in the game and (something to do with castles and crates) and lost interest somewhat. A few weeks later my PC crashed and lost my save file so never finished it.

I got the PS2 version a couple years later and although i got reasonably far - the loading times killed it for me. They are awful compared to the non existent load times of the PC version.

So anyway, i know people where a bit marmite with the game but i enjoyed the majority of what i did play.

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We it's good to hear some form of positive take on it even if it isn't anything special. As I previously discussed above, I think a lot of the downfall in popularity has to be the change in style from what it was originally. I mean the P&C genre had also died down a lot by 2003 anyway compared to the time BS1 and possibly 2 was out which would further add to it's demise. Alundra 2 was a prime example of a sequal that was ignored in a similar way when trying to go 3D, where as the original is regarded as a timeless gem for the PS1. This at least has a much better looking graphics system.

I never like starting games and getting so far, only to end up either losing a save file or deciding to play something else which then forces me to forget about returning until I realise several years have gone by and I know the only way to go about returning, is to start all over again.

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I played BS3 towards the end of the PS2's life, but remember enjoying it at the time. Obviously not as much as the first two games, but it certainly wasn't all that bad. I've been playing BS4 over the last couple of months on and off however, and it's pretty uniformly awful. Dreary, sparse locations, dull characters and voice acting, and pretty obscure puzzles that lie just on the wrong side of "guess what the developer is thinking". There haven't been any block puzzles in it so far, but it's calling into question my enjoyment of BS3!

Also, inspired by this thread yesterday, I had a brief go on the Director's Cut of BS1, which I recently picked up in a humble bundle. What have they done to that game?! The sublime opening has been completely butchered, they've rammed it full of really ugly close up portraits (I assume for the original iOS version), and the new voices / sprite animations (I think) stand out like a sore thumb. At least the new backgrounds still looked lovely.

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I always love it when a thread I create inspires someone else to make a decision to get hold of something or try it out. I've heard of that DC version and also saw the fair share of negativity held toward it as well. The voices are definitely an integral thing about it and by changing it, anyone who knows the originals are never going to be happy about that.

What I would like to know more about though is this new BS5 that's supposed to be in development. I'm pretty sure it hit the funded target and guessing it is also now in production. Did anyone on here fund it by any chance? I'd like to know if the original voice cast are returning to do the dialogue.

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I got the PS2 version a couple years later and although i got reasonably far - the loading times killed it for me. They are awful compared to the non existent load times of the PC version.

Yeah, I bought the PS2 version years ago, but didn't get very far into it because of those loading times. So I traded it in, and later got the Xbox version, hoping its loading times would be significantly shorter - they weren't.

But I still intend to buy the PC version one day, even though I know a lot of people here really hated the game. For some completely inexplicable and irrational reason, that Edge 9/10 still retains some of its hold on me...

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I played a big chunk of this on the original Xbox and really loved it, but the constant block shifting does get very old. Reading this topic has made me want to dig it out again though. Back to the Future has reignited my love of adventure games this week.

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Just a bit of an update as I'm a few hours in so far now. I've just recently reached the initial stretch of road in Glastenbury. Talk about the Festival is making me think that this location may be on the cards, that would actually be amazing to see and fresh. I'm really sure that George at least is the same actor as in the originals. Somewhere I read they were different but he sounds exactly the same, unless I'm thinking about 4.

I'll bring everyone up to speed with the story progression, so this next bit will contain some degree of spoiler info (as far as story goes).

So from where I was, I'd just ended the scene with George crash landing and coming across a cave nearby where the scientist he was supposed to meet was being knocked about by some dodgy looking blokes. Meanwhile the scene switched giving you control of Nico where she's outside an apartment of a guy (I've forgotten most names) of some computer geek who was about to reveal the true information regarding a sacred manuscript of Voynich; which exists today and no one yet knows if it really does hold secret hidden messages deep within. After scaling the balconies and climbing through into his apartment, she finds herself involved in some kind of murder scene, and upon closer inspection, the killer reveals herself to Nico aparently knowing who Nico is and intends on killing her there and then.

At this stage there's a sort of quicktime scene where pretty everyone who plays this game will fail to notice the first time through. I was actually confused at first because the information to press something appears in the bottom corner of the screen where the button symbols usually appear while standing beside an interactive object or person. Upon getting shot, the scene restarts over and over as naturally you are watching what is going on. Usually in a quicktime event, there is an obvious indication of what to do by way of a flashing button somewhere to make things a bit more obvious and urgent. There are few moments to continue this but it's pretty straight forward. Nico uses a pan to deflect the bullets and the door of a fridge to knock the woman back at which stage she decides to flee all too easily. At this stage you regain control of the situation and can start searching the apartment. Looking around reveals a small safe hidden underneath a floorboard which is itself underneath a rug. There is no whereabouts of the actual number though aside from a few failed attempts trying out existing numbers that happen to be around.

Shortly after I find myself taking Nico into the streets searching for further clues. It turns out there's a woman who was this dead guy's girlfriend in a park who you break the news to, but she just cries and runs off in dissbelief. She's some sort of extreme goth. There's a woman who seems to be quite eccentric and works as a ticket warden but knows a lot about guns and arms. Later she reveals herself to be in some kind of group against the coming of aliens. There's also a younger guy on skateboard who keeps being rather chatty uppy towards Nico and a bitter woman who sweeps the roads, angry with the world in general due to losing her man to a singer when she was a dancer. She despises Nico and is jealous of her looks, trying to put Nico down by telling her that she is already losing out on age judging by her picture on her ID card.

I was trying to find out where to go from here for a while, and you can openly walk around and even return back to your own apartment, but nothing was showng up to progress the story. Turns out I'd missed a wall I could climb up right outside the back of the dead guy's apartment into a small closed off courtyard. In here I find the wig the killer was using and use it as a clue to gain more information. The killer eventually turns out to have driven away in a red sports car, and the warden (who happens to be friendly with you) gives you the license plate number as she'd booked it earlier. She also talks of a mask seen in the passengers seat. Shortly after this takes place, cop cars approach and take Nico to the station claiming she's the one. "The One?" Well I'm guessing she's being framed here. They question her along with an ugly fat bitch who is dead cert on Nico being the killer, but Nico just acts quite calmly as she knows she isn't the murderer. Things aren't looking good though, and it is here that we switch back over to George.

George is still in the cave with the guy who got beat up, except he's on the verge of death. Fortunately he's still alive but not for a moment longer as he dies whilst giving George some important infomration. A name, salazar. Upon a table nearby George finds a postcard telling the scientist that they know and that he is leaving Paris to go to Glastenbury, signed Bruno. George knows he has to go there and find Bruno. After a little bit of crate moving (but not much so far) and detroying of some machine,


George makes his way outside of the cave and lights a fire where a hollow statue resides up on a hill. Below is what I think is Salazar or at least one of the bad guys who kills the scientist along with a couple of his henchmen. Oddly enough George's companion from the plane earlier happens to be a stones throw away in a jeep waiting for George. The henchmen see the flame burning and take it as a bad omen so run away leaving only Salazar on his own. George at this timely moment slips and falls to the bottom of the hill, where his Jeep friend tells him to make a run for it. I make a run to the jeep while being chased by the guys who ran off holding AKA47's, get right up to the jeep shouting "come on....come ONN....COME THE FUCK ONNN" and nothing FUCKING NOTHING, I get shot and die. Piss take, I have to watch the entire fucking sequence all over again unfolding as an unskippable cut scene, not to forget a long ass loading screen before hand. Luckily the second time I run to the jeep I try and position myself right at the back instead of to the side and it triggers the next scene where George jump on the back while they escape. Quite how this guy in the jeep didn't get any hasstle from the bad guys I'll never know as it all seemed a bit too convenient a moment. Nevertheless, George escapes and decided it's time to head straight to Glastenbury.

There are no inbetween scene's as he immediately appears there. I seems to be quite rural and quaint on a single road covered with houses on either side and the occasional touristy shop. One of them is home to a guy selling potions, books and lots of hippie crap, while another is home to Zazie or something who's a black african fortune telller. It reminds me a little bit of the scene in the first BS when George visits Ireland. Ironically you meet an Irish guy waiting for the local pub to open at 10am, but who also happens to be a BBC presenter of odd little shows about odd little places such as that street. The guy running the potion shop seems to be hiding something upstairs after being questioned, as he acts a bit suspiciously. After bringing the Irish guy into the shop after a short dispute over the legitimacy of a series of poems that the shop owner claims are his own, this argument gives you time to sneak upstairs and find out who was there.

Turns out it isn't Bruno (as he'd hoped) but a posh blonde girl, who also happens to be the daughter of a retired sergent type who happens to be looking for her after she deicded to run off. It also turns out she's related to someone in the first game, and I think off the top of my head it's the posh woman from the hotel you go in judging from the accent. After speaking with her briefly she decides to meet up with her father and returning downstairs again, the shop owner (after lying about the poetry) is put into a guilt trip and blackmail situation regarding the girls dad, decides to help you. He admits Bruno was living there but had moved on. As usual that's all you get aside from one piece of clothing he left behind. Some boxer shorts, which currently have no use what so ever.


This is pretty much where I'm up to and currently as of last night I seemed to be stuck with nowhere to go. Upon leaving the shop, the girl's dad has disappeared along with the Irish BBC guy. The shop keeper has nothing else to say, and the palm reader also has nothing more to say. Earlier she asked for silver for her services, and I even got the shop keepers poem book which contains silver plated coins in the front, but I can't use it on her. She took a look at it earlier, but you get it back and the story moves on without the need to use it at all. Right now there is no way at all to try and give her anything as for some odd reason it's the only place you don't get the opportunity to walk about inside her shop. You sit down straight away and have to exit. The other guy's hippy store you can talk but he doesn't speak as there isn't anything to say, aside from one brief message when I tried to use his book on him, but It was trivial information. There's nothing left to click inside so the shop is useless. The street is completely empty and the pub is still closed. All the other doors to other houses are superficial aside from the pub and its back door but I can't get through.

There's a slight element of comedy when walking through an alley between two houses on one side of the road, instantly brings you out of a similar alley on the opposite side of the road further along or midway. It keeps changing and is greeted by George getting highly confused by the ordeal. They simply act as short cuts up and down the road.

So that's it so far. The loading times are definitely annoying, and sometimes you will meet a loading screen for about 30 seconds only to reappear at the same spot as some change somewhere in the game has been made. My biggest irritation though is not being able to skip dialogue at all. Man this winds me up more than anything. Where I am now, if you walk too far up or down the road, George spits out a slow conversation about not wishing to leave (which you have to fully endure) and then if it couldn't be any worse, he automatically walks to the centre of the road regardless of where you are stood, and you have to allow it all to happen before regaining control. Highly irritating at times.

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Somewhere I read they were different but he sounds exactly the same, unless I'm thinking about 4.

It's the same voice actor in all of them, including the upcoming one.

He's also in Mission: Impossible as the guy whose drink is spiked with laxatives by Tom Cruise.

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I'm really sure that George at least is the same actor as in the originals. Somewhere I read they were different but he sounds exactly the same, unless I'm thinking about 4.

George has always been voiced by Rolf Saxon.

On the other hand there have been 4 Nico's, the directors cut of BS1 has two different voices because of the mix of old and new content.

edit: beaten while I tried to research Nico's actresses.

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That must have been what I read as I had this solidly set in my mind and was never looking forward to hearing a new George. Glad he's still in this.

@ Meh, yeah I think is have been disappointed to spend £40 on this as well like just about anyone who isn't rich. You must have enjoyed the first ones to take that risk.

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I wouldn't say it's compete turd but I am finding myself getting bored quite easily. I think it began once I got stuck in Glastonbury for what must have been several hours over a couple of days. Turned out that all I was doing is not pressing the right bloody action to combine two items together. I hate it when you can't figure out how to progress simply due to a missunderstanding on how the mechanic of the game fully works.

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  • 1 month later...

I really wanted to carry this thread on, but stopped playing it for a while in favor of Legend of Grimrock instead, but returned to it not too long ago. The problem though was that I'd got considerably further than where I'd finished during the last blog-like write up and had forgotten many of the details so decided to carry on.

Half an hour ago I just finished it, thankfully without the need to look up any hints. This in itself was a bit tough at times, but you tend to get through if you persevere. Of all the puzzles, there was one extremely irritating one which I resorted to trial and error, and it's the wine bottle pulling puzzle. You have 5 bottles that need to be pulled out one by one in order, but the whole process is clunky and slow so it takes around 30 seconds to do each combination and to wait to start again. I really wanted to look up the combination to save time, but instead decided against it, then worked out every combination and how many there were (120 in total) using a bit of calculating. Luckily I got it after about 25 mins which was around a 1/4 of the way through the whole process. I have to say since this and Legend of Grimrock are over, I'm sick of solving fucking puzzles. I need to shoot things for a bit.

So I thought I may as well add my overall thoughts seeing as it's over and I've seen it all now. On the whole Broken Sword The Sleeping Dragon isn't a bad game, but it's far from great either. Quite how Edge scored it 9/10 is beyond me, bribing maybe? It isn't a patch on the original two games and feels very clunky and slow in comparison. Controlling can be a pain at times, so too can the camera be also. There are moments when a command doesn't seem to work properly or just takes forever to accept (clicking 25 times quickly on a button to push a wine bottle for example). Those crate puzzles didn't seem too bad at first, until you begin to realise they just keep on cropping up. By the time you get to the end of the game, you realise that it's a staple puzzle that characterises BS3 distinctly, and when I say by the end of the game you will realise, this is because the last crate game is much tougher to figure out. I think I spent about 20 minutes messing about with it the first time, but ironically I did it in less than 5 after reloading the finishing save again. It's these puzzles, the clunkyness and the god awful LOA....D....................................................................................................................I.....................................NG times that slow everything down. Oh and it pains me to have to listen to every word spoken without being able to cancel an open conversation. Not only this, but there are several moments where if you walk too far off screen, another series of words have to be listened to before being walked away for what seems like an eternity, as it forces the character to a neutral starting point, all of which there is no stopping.

They have removed the need to select items to combine with people full stop. You simply talk to whoever it is you need to and then it automatically shows up as a selectable form of dialogue without making you try things out. Also combining items (when you know how it works) is simplified too, as you only need to hit combine on one item and then scroll through the list of other items until you see a combinable symbol automatically appear. This negates the need to attempt every combination. I mean in BS 2, I remember a puzzle stumping me because I didn't combine the two items together in the correct order. Something like a cup with a piece of coal and not a coal with a cup.

There are too many moments where things just seem completely unrealistic, where someone can blatently see you but they don't notice. The fat guy in the theatre hall being a prime example as you walk around the chairs in clear view and even when he hears you, you don't get spotted. Finally for disslikes, I didn't enjoy the fact that the story was just too lacking of any seriousness at almost all times. It never felt like the threatening situations were dangerous because of the overly light heartedness of George in particular. The 3D didn't do the game any favors either when reflecting back on the originals.

All those points above really take the score down for me, but it all isn't so bad. The story is ok and it does get quite interesting later on where the much late twist occurs. The biggest surprise for me though besides the main story twist was the fact it technically features an actual last boss, requiring many dodging skills. It was nice being able to go back to Paris again later in the game and revisit a couple of areas from the beginning of the first game. George still has his humour and there are plenty of comedy scenes that you can't help but laugh at (sometimes out loud).

All this leads onto one question though. Do I seek out Broken Sword 4: The Angel of Death soon in preparation for the new BS 5 that's due out soon?

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