Broken Sword: Director's Cut

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Broken Sword: Director's Cut is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Broken Sword: Director’s Cut Review

The iPhone, to everyone’s surprise, has brought about a rebirth of the adventure game genre. With your finger replacing the mouse, point-and-click has become drag-and-tap, but the stories and characters remain the same. Broken Sword is a masterful adventure that a lot of gamers may have missed on the PC, but it is a Must Have for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

The heart of Broken Sword is its interesting story, which starts off in Paris with the murder of a prominent French politician. You play as Nico Collard, a journalist who is about to interview the politician when a mime breaks into his apartment and shoots him dead. The mime is the latest disguise in a series of ‘costumed killings’ that Nico has investigated, so she decides to bring the killer to justice herself. You also play as George Stobbart, an American on vacation who gets swept up into the mystery as well.

This ancient relic looks far snazzier with a fresh coat of paint.

Throughout the story you will do your own crime-scene investigating, like sifting through the pockets of the recently deceased to find clues. As Nico points out, this ensures that there is only one way forward, since you are tampering with evidence from the very first moments of the game. While the path in Broken Sword is always laid out right in front of you, it’s a very entertaining story that will make you think while it engages you on an emotional level as well.

To navigate through the streets of Paris with its ornate hotels, museums, apartments, and underground chambers, you simply let your finger rest on the screen until items appear marked with a blue circle. These are elements you can interact with, like portraits that reveal wall safes, or tools that you can pick up and use later. Since you’re not ‘pixel hunting’ with a mouse, the game sails along smoothly, and a link to the hint system will appear in the corner if you ever need a nudge in the right direction.

While you’re exploring, a few minigames will appear along the way. These include sliding-puzzle locks, substitution codes, and shredded photos to assemble like a jigsaw puzzle. We loved these brief distractions, and wish they could be played all on their own.

Can’t we just smash it with a hammer?

Although progressing through the game is nearly effortless, with no barriers at all in this iPhone translation, there is an awful lot of side conversation. Some of it is very interesting, and provides more depth to the characters and their situations. However, a lot of it is unnecessary, like the way every character you meet has an opinion about the manhole lifting tool, should you care to ask.

The characters in Broken Sword each have their own gorgeous, hand-drawn animation, and our only complaint about the way they move is that they can stroll a bit slowly. For example, if you were pursuing a killer, would you perambulate along without a care?

Between the high-end production values and the fascinating story (which quickly spins off into a ‘Da Vinci Code’-like historical conspiracy), Broken Sword: Director’s Cut is a real winner, even among other classic adventure titles. We hope that the rest of the series comes to iPhone as well, mostly because we need to know what happens next.

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Revolution Software Working on Two New Titles

It was a happy day for all adventure fans when Revolution’s point-and-click classic Broken Sword: Director’s Cut hit the App Store, following the success of Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered just a few months earlier.

Of course, this iPhone Director’s Cut had already popped up on the Nintendo DS, but according to Revolution Managing Director Charles Cecil, bringing Broken Sword to the App Store offered distinct advantages.

‘The major benefit is that we have been able to include full speech,’ Cecil told us. ‘But, on top of that, we have had the luxury of the time to hone the game further, fixing any minor glitches, and building on the interface that we developed for Beneath a Steel Sky. The beauty of iPhone publishing is that games don’t get announced until a few weeks before release, so we really do have the opportunity to hold a game until we are happy that it really is finished before announcing it.’

It was the warm reception that greeted Beneath a Steel Sky’s release that encouraged Revolution to drive forward with Broken Sword, claims Cecil, and its ‘cult following’ gave it a good, early push.

‘A number of adventures had previously been ported to iPhone, with mixed reviews, so I was a little concerned,’ Cecil said. ‘We took the approach that we would design the control system from the ground up and, if necessary, change any other elements to fit. Thankfully Beneath a Steel Sky was very well received, and provided a great platform on which to build further for Broken Sword.’

And Revolution doesn’t intend to stop there, either. ‘The opportunity to self-publish Beneath a Steel Sky and Broken Sword has been fantastic,’ Cecil added. ‘It has proved that this new development, publishing approach is viable.

‘We are already working on original products, one of which is a new adventure and one a narrative-driven game in a different genre. Both will take the touch control further in terms of offering an extraordinary new interface.’

With two new titles already being lined up, Revolution could well serve as an example to the bigger, traditional publishers that dominated the market when Broken Sword originally made its PC debut in 1996. Cecil says larger outfits could find the advent of the digital download era harder to manage than smaller, more concise outfits.

‘I can’t see how the large publishers, particularly those that don’t have very strong in-house development, can operate in these new markets,’ he said. ‘The music labels have been decimated by the consequences brought about by digital distribution. The big, traditional games publishers run the same risk if they turn a blind eye to the inevitable changes. But for a small developer like Revolution, the opportunities have never been greater.’

Opportunities that may well result in Revolution taking to the recently announced iPad, although the studio doesn’t have anything concrete to announce on that score just yet.

‘We don’t have [iPad] hardware yet, but the software emulations of both adventures at higher resolution on iPad looks amazing,’ he concluded. ‘We are very enthusiastic supporters of iPad and, while we may well publish custom versions of our current games, our main development thrust is going into creating new titles for the format.’

With new material planned, fans will no doubt be hoping that Revolution let George and Nico take to the streets of Paris for just one more new adventure on iPhone, if not many more.

Broken Sword: The Director’s Cut Announced, Hitting App Store Soon

From the company that brought us the superlative iPhone adventure Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered several months ago comes the announcement that their upcoming game will be very similar. Broken Sword: The Director’s Cut is also going to be a remastered version of a classic adventure experience.

Revolution Software announced that the core gameplay will remain the same. However, Broken Sword: The Director’s Cut will have a bit of an upgraded look as well as all-new cutscenes.

“We’re particularly excited to be introducing the game to a whole new audience,” said Charles Cecil, managing director of Revolution Software, in a press release. “I am confident that the quality of the original adventure coupled with significant updates and new assets will ensure that the game appeals both to new players as well as those that played the original first time around.”

Back in October when their first title Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered was released we awarded it our coveted Game of the Month award, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting news on what the future will hold for Revolution.

Clearly there’s no shortage of classic PC adventure games to be remastered on the iPhone. Which adventure games would you like to see remade? Let us know in the comments. We’re desperately hoping for a Grim Fandango iPhone version.