It feels good to hit the road with old pals
Nico and George are back on the road with Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse – Episode 2. The previous episode of the fan-funded adventure game ended on a cliffhanger, with the conspiracy-loving duo barely escaping London with their lives. Episode 2 keeps up the pace by delving more into the mystery of La Maledicció, a stolen painting that allegedly harbors a world-changing secret.
The hefty length of Nico and George’s newest adventure made it necessary for Revolution Software to split Broken Sword 5 in half. Episode2 plays much like Episode 1 as a result, meaning the latter retains the former’s strengths and weaknesses alike. But Episode 2‘s story should keep you engaged through all its twists and turns, which is arguably the most important thing you can say about an adventure game.
Whereas Episode 1 involves murder, fraud, and the more worldly side of the law, Episode 2 of Broken Sword 5 is a bit more focused on the supernatural elements of La Maledicció. Nico and George learn more about the painting, its connection with the Gnostics, and the forces that want to conquer the world.
Like its predecessor, Episode 2 is broken up into several different locales, most of which are packed with puzzles that must be solved before George and / or Nico are allowed to proceed. Interacting with the scenery is done via good old-fashioned pointing and clicking. If something is worth looking at, an eye icon will hover over the scenery or item. If it can be picked up, the icon changes to a hand. And if something can be interacted with, you’ll know when the icon switches to moving gears
Said “gears” usually indicate a puzzle is at hand. As is the case in Episode 1, sometimes solving a puzzle involves combining two items in your inventory. Need a decoy to be shot at in the place of Nico’s head? Try mixing a mop with a helmet, and see what you get.
Of course, as is the case in Episode 1 – and many adventure games, when you get right down to it – some puzzles may cause you to throw your arms in the air and yell “Oh come on!” Word of warning, Broken Sword fans: Episode 2 has a goat.
Luckily, the game’s gorgeous scenery acts as balm for your puzzle-weary soul. Manors and mountains alike look gorgeous and richly colorful. Nico, George, and other character models still move a bit stiffly and animate awkwardly at times, especially when they “present” an item for another character to look at. More frustratingly, Nico and George move across the sprawling scenery at a pace usually reserved for tourists taking in all the sights.
Nevertheless, there’s no question that Episode 2 of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse is a must-play if you’ve already engaged in the first half. Newcomers to the series shouldn’t have a problem jumping in with series entry #5 either, though it’s obviously good sense to start at Episode 1, not Episode 2. The price of admission for Broken Sword 5 includes both episodes, however, so now’s as good a time as any to start traveling with Nico and George.