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Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut

Score: 80%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Revolution Software
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Last year, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut was released onto the Nintendo Wii and DS. Later, the reworked classic was ported to iPhone and iPod Touch and now it is being brought to the PC via various downloadable distributions, in the case of my review, Steam.

Visually, the game keeps the animated style of its original, but I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of work done to make it compatible with current monitor settings and resolutions.

The game offers three settings for this: Original, Full Screen and Augmented. I can appreciate having the Original setting, especially since a major pull for this game is the nostalgia of playing retro-titles. In Full Screen mode, the game takes up the entire monitor, but the jaggedness is almost unbearable at times. The Augmented setting sits somewhere in the middle, and is the best of the three. It just seems like there could have been a bit more work done to clean the game's visuals up for the higher resolutions, while keeping the classic feel.

All that being said, the game looks good for being from 1996, and the additional scenes and closeups do a great job of blending into the classic artwork without looking too out of place.

Voicework, even in the added scenes, sound right and remind me very much of the original game. I believe the original actors were asked to reprise their roles, and if not, then the ringers that did the work did a great job of mimicking the original voices, especially for the main characters, Nico and George.


Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut re-introduces us to one of the staples in the adventure genre, as well as series-long main characters, George Stobbard and Nicole Collard.

Where the original game started with George in a cafe, the new ability to play as Nico means that we can start earlier in the story and play through Nico's call to interview media tycoon Pierre Carchon, and play witness to his murder. In this new intro, we get to follow Nico as she begins to learn about the overall mystery and play through her actions right up to the point of meeting George at Cafe de la Chandelle ... where the game originally started.

The Director's Cut also adds quite a few new puzzles to the game, most of which appear while playing as Nico, but the developers also removed events like the quick-time sequences that could have resulted in George's death. Overall, the gameplay has both a refreshing new feel and a classic one as players of the original should remember how to take care of a majority of the obstacles, while the new challenges help to up the ante a bit.


Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut hits a good middle ground as far as difficulty is concerned. Like I said above, those who played the original shouldn't have any problems going through most of George's classic scenes, and while Nico's new puzzles don't really add any kind of innovative problems to overcome, they are still enjoyable, new injections of challenges.

Meanwhile, adventure gamers who didn't play the original Shadow of the Templars will be treated to a nice, more complete look at the adventure that can take several hours longer than the original game's play-time ... which already clocked in pretty long, if I remember correctly.

Game Mechanics:

To say that Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut uses classic point-and-click adventure game mechanics is a bit of an understatement since it is one of the games that helped define point-and-click game mechanics. While not a SCUMM game, technically, it came out as LucasArts' adventure games were at their peak, and cartoon-styled graphics were the thing to do for adventure games. Because of that, Broken Sword takes many cues from that era of gaming, and The Director's Cut version doesn't stray too far from the game's original style in this regard.

Overall, Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut continues to be a solid upgrade of the classic game. I do find it a bit funny though that the game has been ported back to its original system, PC ... granted not DOS, but PC all the same. The new scenes do a lot to enhance the overall story, especially for those who enjoyed the game when it first came out. Like I said at the beginning, I'm a bit disappointed with the graphics, especially after LucasArts' graphical overhaul of the original Monkey Island game, but it keeps its retro feel. If you haven't played this new version of the title on any of the other platforms it's been released on, then give it a try on Windows, where point-and-click adventure games feel most at home.

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

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7, Pentium Processor, 64 MB RAM, 1.5 GB Hard Disc Space, Any video card with 64 Mb video RAM, Any sound card

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 R.U.S.E. Nintendo Wii Guilty Party

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated