Broken Sword: Director’s Cut On PC

By John Walker on September 3rd, 2010 at 11:00 am.

Mr Gibbons returns for new artwork.

A pretty major declaration of interests here: I worked on the Director’s Cut of Broken Sword, now available on Steam and GamersGate, from concept to release, and thus am in no position to tell you whether it’s any good or not. But it’s great. Especially the new diary and hint system – I mean, the quality of writing there is just exceptional. Really stand-out stuff, a league ahead of anything else that’s ever existed. Anyway, that aside, this version originally developed for Nintendo DS and Wii, then iPhone, is now available on PC. It has a whole new opening story, interwoven with the original beginning, this time giving a background to Nico and building on the main plot.

There’s also new artwork from Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons Some of the puzzles have been much improved, including the legendary goat puzzle, and as mentioned there’s now a rather fine hint system that will give you progressively more clear clues should you get stuck, and a diary that updates as you progress, reminding you of what’s been happening, and including whichever jokes I could sneak in. Oh, and since I’m declaring that interest, I’ll also add that I got paid for my work at the time, and get nothing at all from any sales. So there. Details below.

It’s ten quid, and is out now. Here’s the blurb:

“Paris in the Fall… a brutal murder at the Palais Royale. When Nico Collard is invited to interview statesman Pierre Carchon, she finds herself inextricably drawn into a terrifying conspiracy.

One of the all-time classic adventures, multi BAFTA-nominated ‘Broken Sword: Director’s Cut’ pitches sassy journalist Nico Collard, and intrepid American George Stobbart into a mysterious journey of intrigue and jeopardy. Guide George and Nico on their globe-spanning adventure, exploring exotic locations, solving ancient mysteries, and thwarting a dark conspiracy to reveal the secret truths of the Knights Templar.

‘Broken Sword: The Director’s Cut’ introduces an intricate new narrative thread, alongside the classic story that has charmed millions of players. It’s time to experience George and Nico’s worldwide adventure in a whole new way, with brand new puzzles, hilarious new jokes, and the distinctive, rich story that made the series so deservedly renowned. This is adventure gaming at its very best.

Key features:

Director’s Cut of the classic – Reinvented and enhanced:

Whole new story arc added, with 2 hours of additional gameplay
Addition of contemporary first person perspective minigames
New facial expressions drawn by Dave Gibbons, co-creator of Watchmen
Help system incorporated – ensure that player won’t get frustrated
Enhanced audio – both music and voices”

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62 Comments »

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  1. Theoban says:

    I was searching for this for ages for the DS, finally found it yesterday and picked it up. Now I’m going to have to buy it again, ah nuts.

    I’m such a consumer whore

  2. HidesHisEyes says:

    Looks smashing; I love these remakes with built in hints now that we’re no longer trying to sell premium-rate phonecalls to stuck kids…

    (morelike goat kids, badum tisch)

  3. Daniel Rivas says:

    I played this on the DS, and was a bit disappointed when the Nico section finished and I had to play the rest of the game as the American fella.

    It’s very good, apart from the hint system only sporadically working. I never worked out why I was suddenly allowed to get another hint, or why I wasn’t before. The sad face was a nice touch, though.

  4. Carra says:

    Broken Sword is one of the best adventure games ever made. And I still have the Wii version laying around to replay it one of these months…

    I do wonder when we’re going to see a *new* game. I’d much prefer that to a remake of Broken Sword or Beneath a Steel Sky.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Ah, the Goat Puzzle. I got stuck on that too.
    I remember there being a hauntingly beautiful piano soundtrack in that scene though.
    http://www.steve-ince.co.uk/blog/2006/10/infamous-goat-puzzle.html

    This happened a couple of times in the Sam & Max episodes (and in earlier Lucasarts games such as Monkey Island and Grim Fandango). Suddenly there is a puzzle where timing is important. I always get stuck on those.

    POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WARNING:
    The manual to the original game made me sad. They had an interesting part where they talked about the real historical Templars, and suddenly I came upon a sentence that went something like – “The Templars were, likely falsely, accused of ritual sacrifice, satanism and all sorts of vile acts. They were even accused of homosexuality.” Oh. Thanks for that, Revolution Software, or whoever wrote the manual. That was nice of you.
    I wrote a letter to them about it expressing how I felt, never got an answer.

    • Starky says:

      Homosexuality is clearly worse than those other minor things though. I mean in those days ritual sacrifice was a Sunday hobby in some parts, frowned upon publicly but quite common in the rich churches orgies of debauchery. Homosexuality though resulted in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of innocent people…

      Oh, wait did I get those mixed up again? Hmmf.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Everyone knows that sexual interaction without the express intent of procreation is the worst thing you can possibly do, unless it’s between a man and a lady in which case it’s totally fine.
      /sarcasm (In case it wasn’t clear)

    • Tei says:

      Is a historical description. Not the author opinion.

    • Klaus says:

      @ Tei.

      The way the sentence was put together, it does sound like an opinion. It’s pretty sloppy writing if it was meant to come across as just educational. As you can see, it is easily misconstrued.

      I can imagine it being ‘just educational,’ I have to stretch my mind a bit though.

    • Kadayi says:

      I believe Tei is in the right here gentlemen. Sodomy was one of the many accusations thrown at the Templars during their dismantling.

  6. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Sweet, it’s been years since I played this but I remember it well (I may be one of the few people who sussed the goat bit out in under two hours).

    Adding to list of things I will buy but have no time to play properly.

  7. Gremmi says:

    I’m torn with buying this. I already own the original version four times (three boxed copies, one GBA cart), and the DC three times (Wii, DS and iPhone (well, iPod Touch technically)). I don’t think I can really justify paying out for yet another version of it. Sad day.

  8. Risingson says:

    Sorry, but I consider diaries and hint system as FATAL FLAWS in adventures. Actually, I hate diaries. If the player doesn’t know what to do and how he arrived there it’s your fault for having a bad design and storytelling. And if the player needs a hint, then the puzzle is too obscure.

    And Broken Sword barely had those two faults.

    • Carra says:

      Well, if you’re a manly man adventure gamer then just don’t use the hint system. And don’t read the diary.

      Fixed.

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      If no player needs a hint (for sufficiently weak values of ‘needs’), then it isn’t a puzzle.

    • John Walker says:

      Er, then don’t read them.

    • Risingson says:

      Yes, I know, in this case it does not hurt, but in most modern cases it adds to the design lazyness. After all, the player can read the walkthrough anytime, so why bother with the clues and such.

      Risingson, remembering Detallion.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      If it helps, I found the hint system indispensable. I’m no good at the pointing and, man. The less said about clicking the better.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      If you have played Machinarium and are still saying this then you are not human. Probably a bot. In fact I fully expect you to try and sell me a shoe or a handbag any second.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      The item highlighting cannot be turned off, so for those saying “don’t use them” he can’t actually do that.

      And it is VERY annoying.

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      The existence of walkthroughs on the internet encourages lazy design. We’re too late to stop that one. But a good in-game hint system can point the player towards the appropriate clues first and then hinting at the solution if he’s still stuck. It can encourage him to solve the puzzle rather than looking online. It has the advantage of being written by someone who knows the order of thinking expected, not just the order of actions required, and can be a positive influence.
      Of course I always start by switching hints off, and a game that can’t be solved without them is broken. But the fact that they’re available is (at least potentially) a good thing.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Risingson, what is the definition of “self-control”?

      Also P7uen, I’ve got a size 12 shoe here for political statements. I’ll sell it on Ebay if you want. Something something handbags something something shoes something something your mom came out.

    • Klaus says:

      Such things are useful because if I stop playing the game after a couple weeks and get back to it, my first thought after two minutes of playing shouldn’t be ‘Where the fuck am I supposed to be heading???’

      That’s what I used the diary in DQ9 for.

  9. Brumisator says:

    I think I still have the original game somewhere around here…probably in French.
    “Les chevaliers de baphomet”, that’s what I’ve always known these games as.

    But I’m such an RPS fan I think I’ll just have to get these new diaries

  10. DeepSleeper says:

    The voice acting transitions sound a bit rough between old voicework and new voice work (best heard in the scene where they’re in Nico’s apartment and she lists the murders in the original voice work, and then comments to herself in the new voice work.)

    For that matter, the sprites seem to scale oddly, and the contrast between the Bluth art and the Gibbons art often makes me boggle that they’re supposed to be the same character.

    Meanwhile, they actually -added- sliding block puzzles to a game made in 1996 that didn’t -have- sliding block puzzles. Someone needs to be beaten savagely for that design choice.

    That said, this is an amazing game. Buy it. If you have it, buy it again so they’ll remake the second.

  11. Premium User Badge

    DollarOfReactivity says:

    I barely gave this a look when it popped up on the Steam news. Now my interest is considerably piqued. I must know more about this…

  12. Shadrach says:

    I love graphical adventure games but never played Broken Sword. I’m a sucker for these new remakes and buy almost all of them, but I no longer have the time nor the patience (or brainpower) to sit down with inane puzzles any more.

    So I’m sceptical, but it does look very nice.

  13. Cynic says:

    Played and loved the DS version with my wife, we’re both hoping the next one will come out eventually. Will it come out, eventually?

  14. yuriks says:

    What exactly is your point there? They’re not implying any of that is true, quite the contrary.

    • John Walker says:

      Presumably that was meant to be a reply to Lars’ comment about the manual.

      The point would be that phrasing heavily implies that homosexuality is considered worse than satanism, ritual sacrifice and “vile acts”.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      @yuriks

      If that was a reply to me –

      I think it was the little word “even” that rubbed me the wrong way, which even if it wasn’t consciously intended that way, certainly could be interpreted as if the last thing was something even worse – an accusation really beyond the pale.

      Compare
      “They were accused of satanism and vile acts. They were also accused of being jews.”
      with
      “They were accused of satanism and vile acts. They were even accused of being jews.”

      Which would you prefer to hear, if you were jewish?

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’m Jewish. And to be honest since South Park, you just get used to it. I understand that South Park aren’t being offensive, they are very funny. But it gets picked up by stupid people or often naive kids who don’t really understand what they are saying.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Hm, I’d take it that the author was simply suprised about it. He probably knew about how accusations of whichcraft and satanism etc. were used in the middle ages as political gunpowder, but had not expected that homosexuality (“Sodomy”) was also on the list (officially). Actually, Wikipedia vaguely says that accusation of homosexuality was only “utilized” politically in very few cases, and gives the examples of Edward II. and: the knights templar.
      So maybe he wanted to express the specialness of that case and just worded it poorly.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I dunno if the same is true there, but here sodomy was defined (in our backwards ass laws of the south, thanks guys) as “any sex that is not consensual missionary position between a man and a woman”.

      Sodomy doesn’t have to expressly imply homosexuality, does it? I merely assumed that it was a big faux pas because god help us (literally, no one else can) if the woman enjoys it.

    • Kadayi says:

      Homosexuality as a term didn’t exist back then (that was coined in the 19th century). So you’be be judged on your actions (sodomy) as a sodomite at best.

  15. Malagate says:

    Hmm, is there any difference between this version and the DS version? Other than the platform and graphical fidelity, naturally. If there is I might be tempted to get it, otherwise I’ll stick to the DS for now, which I haven’t finished yet.

    Considering I haven’t played the original version, I must say I am quite impressed with this game, although reading here (@DeepSleeper) that the sliding block puzzles was a recent addition does make me wish for the original version (goddamn sliding blocks were the bane of my youth, I’m better at them now, though I still despise them).

    The only actual problem I have with this game is the feeling that I’m missing something, it does tend to carry you away when you hit a plot point, so much so that I get the feeling that if I do something in the wrong order I might miss out on a vital detail or clue and cannot backtrack to it. Specifically I open a safe, first go straight for the photo fragments, put them together, Nico freaks out (I saw it coming however) and then a straight cut to back at the apartment…sooo no chance for me to look at what else might have been inside the safe? I will not know if I missed anything else relevant now.

    I only worry about that I might have missed something because it actually happened before, when I didn’t know the green swirly arrow symbol means leave the conversation when talking to Nico as George for the first time, so I got a case of “Hi, bye!” and she buggered off. Reloaded and managed to get a tonne of information and a telephone number, quite the difference…

  16. Radiant says:

    Whoa okay spooky.
    I bought broken sword ds at the market two sundays ago.
    It’s sitting in the kitchen at home.

    Is there someone selling a pc version of hot chocolate and fresh donuts? ‘Cause I bought those too, although, those aren’t sitting in the kitchen at home.

  17. Navagon says:

    I take it it’s the same as the DotEmu version, right?

  18. DrGonzo says:

    Is Broken Sword anything like Steel Sky? For some reason I never got round to playing them, but I love Steel Sky and know it’s the same guys who made it.

  19. Quests says:

    2 hours of new puzzles???

    nice

  20. R. says:

    Nico is the greatest woman in gaming. This is unescapable fact.

    I don’t care that I’ve already played the original to death, I am so buying this.

  21. toni says:

    is it coming to gog ? maybe ?

  22. kyynis says:

    Great, first Recettear and now this comes out just the week I lose my credit card. Can I e-mail these odd cash monies to internet somehow?

  23. yves torres says:

    I’ve played the DS version of it and I have to say this new version is one of the bestest adventure games I’ve ever come across. anyone who hasn’t played it yet and likes adventure games or has only played the original version, do yourself a favour and play this. you’ll thank revolution software for this gem, especially for the price of less than 10 dollars. why are you still standing here, come on, go to steam and buy, like NOW!

    I wish the mighty game gods would hear my plea to offer us more of the same blissfull goodness.

  24. Hmm says:

    The game’s also on Impulse for $6.

  25. squirrelfanatic says:

    Been there – done that (about 6 or seven years ago).

    Seeing this – buying this – again. :) One of the best adventure games ever made, in my opinion.

  26. Urthman says:

    Oh, and since I’m declaring that interest, I’ll also add that I got paid for my work at the time, and get nothing at all from any sales.

    And your ability to get similar work in the future has nothing to do with how well this game sells.

    But seriously, I hope none of the RPS crew would withhold information about an awesome project they’d worked on just because you had a financial interest in it. Thanks for the post.

  27. StingingVelvet says:

    This edition is not good at all in my opinion.

    First of all it has a permanent item highlight on, which ruins the fun a lot of adventure gamers have in looking for items and such. Make it optional, not a permanent blinking all over my screen.

    Second the art is actually worse… I loaded this up along with the ScummVM version and the original has more detail and color, which is surprising. Also animation in the levels is missing, like the flags outside Hotel Ubu.

    Thirdly there is missing dialogue… I didn’t play far, but George’s comments about the lamp and umbrella right at the start are missing for example. The original opening, “Paris in the Fall…” is missing as well, replaced by a lame Nico one.

    While Monkey Island 2’s remake deserved a little flack for cutting the intro it was mostly intact and a great remake… this one cuts a lot of content, has worse graphics, and the new sections seem uninspired. I wouldn’t really recommend this to fans of the original game, only newbies who dislike adventure games for the most part and want a casual one.

  28. The_B says:

    More importantly, what is John Walker, Professional Adventure Gamer(TM)’s take on this title? Has it bested him or can we expect the inevitable WALKER 3000 MOUSE tie in product for MAXIMUM ADVENTURING?

  29. dingo says:

    There’s also new artwork from Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons Some of the puzzles have been much improved, including the legendary goat puzzle

    Fuck the goat (puzzle) seriously! :p

    Got the game from Impulse a few days ago for cheap.

  30. Thirith says:

    From the trailer I just watched, the Gibbons art (as much as I like much of his work) really doesn’t sit particularly well with the original art.

  31. craigdolphin says:

    Looks interesting. But not going to touch anything with SecuROM or Steam so I won’t be getting it I guess.

  32. Meme Time says:

    And how.

  33. damian says:

    yes yes yes! I considered getting a DS just to play this, I’m such a BS geek. This has made my week!

  34. Ted says:

    Excellent! Immediate Steam buy when I saw this. Played I think 2 and 3 of Broken Sword, but missed the original. It’s really great this concept is spreading to more companies.

  35. squirrelfanatic says:

    I have to agree to some extend with StingingVelvet. The new art and the animations don’t show as much detail and sharpness as the original, which is sad. Nico’s voice acting seems a little weird too – no problem with a cliché french accent, but some words have a strange stress (if this is the right word) and her voice sometimes bounces up and down.

    But I haven’t played very far, so I’ll see how it works out later on. I just I didn’t keep the game in a better (and false) memory than it really was.

    Fun fact: You are able to repeatedly open and close a certain’s corpse eyes. Off… and on… and off… and on. :D Good times.

  36. Simplex says:

    Very fair pricing on steam, 10USD for Americans and 10GBP for UK residents. I think I’ll call those chaps at Steam and ask them to exchange my 1000USD into 1000GBP. I’m sure they’ll agree.

  37. Robmonster says:

    Forgive me for being a bit thick, but is this a remake of the /original/ Broken Sword , or just a new game set at the same time of the first one?

    I’ loved BS1, and it’s be great to play it again. The screenshots look a bit more cartoony than I remember the original BS to be though…