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Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game: Secrets Revealed

Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game, formerly titled Angel of Death, is the fourth installment in the Broken Sword adventure and once again, George Stobbard finds himself in an Indiana Jones-esque plot.

It has been some time since Stobbard's last adventure. Since we left him, he has started up a bail bonds business and left his crazy past behind him, at least that's what he thinks. One day, a young woman walks into his office who is in possession of a manuscript containing ancient secrets about forgotten rituals and cults. But when the manuscript is stolen, it is up to George to retrieve it and finish deciphering the puzzle.

Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game will have you seeking out blueprints that were once hidden away in the Ark of the Covenant. These blueprints are supposed to explain how to build "The Angel of Death", a force that can kill only those the user wishes.

For centuries, the plans and the Ark have been secreted away, but now it seems the Angel of Death has been reawakened and Stobbard is once again forced into the hero role. This game's story seems to blend fact and fiction so well, that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Based on how deeply I have been able to delve into the game thus far, the puzzles are not only a challenge, but they tend to make sense. Where a lot of adventure games falter is in the placement of random puzzles for the sake of puzzles. In these games, the obstacles make little or no sense and just pull away from the overall storyline. In Secrets of the Ark, this isn't the case. From the very beginning, the tasks you have to perform in order to get away from a group of thugs just make sense. These jobs include using a golf club to knock a lock off of a door and then moving a filing cabinet in front of the newly broken door in order to keep it closed behind you. The same cabinet is used to help get you through a hole in the ceiling and get further away from your pursuers. All of these puzzles feel natural and really seem to fit with the feel and flow of the game's story.

Like Sleeping Dragon, Secrets of the Ark is a full 3D environment, but is based on a totally new engine that really makes the game visually appealing. One of the more interesting aspects of this game is how well the NPCs conveyed emotion during conversations. It looks like the game's Virtual Actor System really helps to make the characters more believable and people you actually want to talk to.

Look for both the game and review of Secrets of the Ark to come out later in February.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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