Wot I Don’t Think: Syberia 3

There is a group of people who are going to buy Syberia 3 [official site], and they are going to love Syberia 3, no matter what it’s like. If the released game were just a black screen from which only terrifying abuse were endlessly screamed, they would love it. If playing it caused them to develop sores all over their bodies, grow pustules that bubbled and burned, and wretched sickness and diarrhoea bugs afflict them and all their loved ones, they would refuse to hear a word said against it. If the game came to the homes of their families and stole all their valuables, and then sold those valuables and used the proceeds to take out an advertising campaign in which they stated, “Everyone who loves Syberia 3 is a paedophile”, these people would still love Syberia 3, and send threatening messages to anyone who disagreed.

How do I know this? Because, man, I was there for Syberia 2, man.

The original Syberia was released in 2002, a time during which I paid my rent by writing reviews of the endless sloughing of barely translated adventure games from Europe into our shores. Games like Curse: The Eye Of Isis, Dracula (Resurrection), The Black Mirror, Schizm: Mysterious Journey, and Jerusalem: The 3 Roads To The Holy Land. (All of which are reviewed in my archaic archive of early reviews, fans.) And oh boy, the hate I would receive for giving these dreadful games the low, low marks they deserved. Oh the forum wars that would erupt, the furious missives on the PC Gamer message boards, the angry letters. Because, as I’ve said before and I’ll say again, adventure game fans are like heroin addicts: any game is a hit.

Into this mire of bubbling shite appeared Syberia, looking like it was going to be exactly the same as the rest, the same overly glossy pre-rendered sheen, the same generic white 20-something like-a-cop female with a mobile phone that starred in 90% of them, the same ludicrous premise and cruddy menus. Here I went again, I thought. And then, out of the blue, like a shining golden goblet atop a mountain of rotting arse, it was… fine.

I gave it 78%! This was a game about a New York lawyer who’d been sent to France to sort out some sort of issue with a will over a clockwork toy factory. Why? Because it was 2002, man, you weren’t there. But as dull as that premise might sound, it belied a sweet, moving story of a broken family, an attempt to understand the life of a recently deceased brilliant mind, and the experience of his astonishing (well, impossible) clockwork automatons. It dealt with autism with a delicate hand, in an era when it still wasn’t being sensibly discussed. And it wasn’t terrible!

It wasn’t great, of course. It was fine. Fine! Which, in those dire years, meant it was The Holy One, to be revered like the appearance of Jesus in some bridge mold, adventure game fans making pilgrimages to its birthplace. So, when two years later a sequel was released, expectations were high. Or, you know, moderate, because the first game had been fine.

The second game was, perhaps rather predictably, pretty rubbish. It threw aside the calm, genteel air of the original, ignored its sensible, solveable puzzles, and instead embraced the cold, spiky arms of every other bloody awful adventure of the time. As I wrote in 2004, “this incarnation contains horrid Myst-like metallic pattern-solving monstrosities. Just like all the rest. And in keeping with the wretched genre, there are no clues as to what you should be doing, and no tangible rewards for stumbling upon the solution. Just the usual blind clicking until something goes clunk.”

But no one was allowed to say so. Syberia had been the game that Proved Them Right! The game that didn’t get slaughtered by the non-specialist adventure press. The game even non-junkies rated. When the addicts were trying to claim stinking rhino turds like Schizm II were worth playing, rather than smashing into a billion pieces and scattering those pieces about the universe such that its evil may never be reunited, Syberia was the game they clung to like a life ring in a lake of vomit. So dammit, this sequel was going to be as great, and a legend would be formed! But it wasn’t. It was shit.

The legend persisted, however, and so Syberia 3 is a thing. It was originally intended to appear in 2010, but wow has it slipped. And slipped, and slided, and skidded. But after seven years of seeming like it might never happen, it finally has. Despite the universe’s best efforts.

Microïds’ sale to Anuman Interactive could have killed it, but didn’t. Instead, they stated it would miss its original release date intentions due to negotiations. Come 2011 creator Benoît Sokal admitted that they hadn’t even started the game. A year and a half later, at the end of 2012, it was announced that Sokal had been signed by Anuman to write the game. (Remember – this is the game’s writer finally being contracted to write it a full two and a half years after it’s original release date.) They predicted it’d be out by 2014/15ish. The first trailer for the game appeared in 2016. Ho boy. And then yes, this year, it was complete.

I played the first room and it was already so awful I didn’t want to carry on.

Then I got ill for a week, so I didn’t carry on, and I would rate the flu I’ve had as slightly more fun than that opening room of Syberia 3. It’s been thirteen years since Syberia II, a game that I estimate 99.999% of the population of planet Earth didn’t play, and of the 0.001% who did I imagine most will have forgotten the dreary nothing events that filled it. So I’d estimate that perhaps some sort of introduction might be in order. Some sort of explanation of who Kate Walker is, maybe. Let alone why she’s in some sort of rudimentary hospital ward with a man with no legs. It literally just carries on from the end of the previous game without even a written recap. The arrogance of this is – well, it’s bloody amazing. All credit to you, Microïds, it’s a bold and inventive move, to deliberately alienate just about every single person who could be playing this game. I applaud you.

Saying that, it doesn’t really seem to care much for what it was about before. Gone now is the delicate tale of automatons and tragic creators, picking up instead on a thread of the second game that involved a tribe of diminutive people called the Youkol, who live in a land where mammoths still exist. And now there are snow ostriches, and they want to go for a walk or something for fucks sake. Fortunately Kate is white and American enough to save the day.

This is a game so embarrassingly poor that when a guy was here to service our boiler I turned it down until I could barely hear it myself, for fear of what a complete stranger I’ll never see again might think of me for hearing what I’m doing from the next room. This is a game that contains lines of dialogue, unquestioningly read aloud by English-speaking actors, that go like:

“I did warn you, you know you can’t be at all well enough yet to deserve to be released already.”

And yeah, sorry, no. Playing this game is actively horrible. A message appears when it loads stating, “The game is more enjoyable if you play using a controller”. Those are never words you want to read when starting a point-and-click adventure, because it means one thing only: something went really wrong.

Something went really wrong. This is, somehow in 2017, a third-person game with tank controls. Kate must be rotated and pointed forward before moving, like no one has ever wanted in any game in all of history. Then, in order to really create that nostalgic feel of the early 2000s, the camera cuts and jumps about as Kate moves through a location, such that the direction you were just pointing her in no longer works. And then things are only interactive when you’ve cumbersomely steered her into them. And then you want to stop playing because no, no, games don’t need to be this bad any more.

They redrafted the same voice actor who spoke Kate’s lines in the first two, one Sharon Mann, but oh boy something’s gone wrong there. It might simply be the passing of time – Mann is fifteen years older than when she recorded for the first game, while Kate’s barely aged a week, and yet her voice now sounds like someone in her 60s. It’s so jarringly peculiar, this seemingly elderly voice coming from a woman in her 20s, although this at least serves to distract from the nonsense she’s speaking.

And then it just cascades – gibberish puzzles, doors magically open because you talked to some random person, traipsing about looking for what minute detail might have changed since you last traipsed through the scene, and a cavalcade of abysmal acting delivering half-translated nonsense.

And that’ll do it, really. Horrible to control, horrible to listen to, really surprisingly ugly to look at, and and all-round mess, I’ve no desire to put myself through this. So, I shall state for the record: Maybe it’s amazing! I mean, it obviously isn’t, because it seems unlikely they’ll fire the voice cast and implement a new control system some hours into the game, but I can’t assure you they haven’t. What I can assure you is I’ve been here too often, seen this too many times, to put myself through it again.

And why would I, anyway, because the people who’ve already decided they’re going to love it will be loving it against all perceptions of reality, and I’m fairly sure at this point in the game series’ life, no one else could care less.

Syberia 3 is out now for Windows and Mac via Steam, for £30/$40/€40.


  1. Troubletcat says:

    I enjoyed this article, so at least indirectly the game brought pleasure to somebody.

    Probably not going to do any favours for John’s reputation as “the one wot hates errything” though.

    • vorador says:

      To be honest Syberia 3 has been almost universally panned by most mainstream sites. It is definitely way too conservative, almost a game of 2003 kept in a time capsule for release in 2017. Not to say about the horrid english translation.

      So John is not alone on his opinion. Still, i predict he will get a lot of flak for this review.

    • batraz says:

      He hates female white characters, that’s for sure. I wonder why ??

    • waltC says:

      I’m sorry but isn’t it possible to do a game review these days without being racist? What has “white” got to do with anything? It would not have made the slightest difference had she been black or green or polka-dotted, eh? WTF? Keep racist comments private, please–they are so tiring and boring and stupid. And highly offensive. And, who cares if she’s “American”? Hey? Kate has to be from somewhere? Hello? *Everyone* is from some nation or other, eh? Not an issue unless you are scrambled in the brain department, imo. Walker–be ashamed. It’s beneath you–this sucking up to the lowest common denominator status quo! Ugh!

      I’ve been reading the reviews of the game and they do almost universally stink to high heaven–but it has *nothing* to do with skin color or Kate being American. Nothing at all. **This** is the first “review” of the game that has descended to such plebeian levels that I have read anywhere! This is the first review of the game I’ve seen that waxes racist and pretends that being from a particular country is somehow perverted or something. Walker, you write like you have a lot more sense–please show it, eh? Comments like those are idiotic and boorish. I like all colors of skin and I like everybody’s country–which, btw, no one can help as we are all born into these things. To pretend otherwise is to be an ignorant dummy–come on, you know better. Not asking for an apology–just don’t repeat it, eh?

      I won’t be buying this game until they fix it. It is quite obviously a console game ported poorly to the PC. My wife and I loved the first two games–they were original and had brains and class behind them–two very, very rare commodities among computer games. I realize that if you were ten years old when you played SII that much of it would have been way over your head–but please, try and remember that some of us were in our 30s before the Tandy 1000 rolled off the line and before we played our first computer game–and that was like *30+ years ago*…;) Gaaaaa….;) (I’m freakin’ *ancient* already–don’t remind me–you’ll be here before you know it…;))

      You guys run a great site, I think, and I have liked it for a long time. Usually, you stay above the lowest common denominator garbage and don’t confuse silly 16-year-old non-comformity (where we all were at one time or another!) with *computer game reviews*. This is the first real lapse I’ve seen from you guys! Try and keep it smart, OK? Skin color and one’s country of birth have nothing to do with the game at all, eh?

      Thanks–from a fan, believe it or not!…:D I *understand* how much you wanted to like this game because I feel the same way–to be greeted with a piece of excrement that is 6-7 years *late* and runs on a PC like a nightmare…*is no fun* and I commiserate! Well, the good news is that they are *trying* to fix it–the developers say on Steam, anyway. I *will not buy* until they do. The irony is that S1 and S2 are running fine today on my Win10x64 build 16184, RX-480 8GB rig at home! Go figure! But different people like different types of games–it’s time to adjust to that reality, my friend…;) For instance, why “The Sims” is planet Earth’s best-selling computer game I’ll never know…;) Never bought the first copy–eeeeeooowwww…;)

      • Troubletcat says:

        Dude you’ve totally gone off the rails and lost control way harder than anyone in the original article or in these comments.

        Please stop.

      • Shinard says:

        Um. OK? Might be worth splitting that into two comments in future, you switch gears pretty heavily halfway through.

        As for the white and American thing, I don’t think John was saying that being from America was “perverted or something”. I think he was just saying that a ton of other games in this genre have a white American protagonist, despite not being made or set in America, so this game doing that as well is very cliché. And kinda boring.

        He wasn’t saying being from America is a moral failing. He was saying it’s an unoriginal protagonist.

      • fuggles says:

        Buddy, it’s a complaint about lack of general protagonist diversity coupled with the lazy trope of white person using their superior knowledge and culture to fix a tribe that apparently can’t solve problems themselves. Mighty whitey trope, shown in many films and games – how grateful the tribe must be that one average white person solves their problems in ways all of them could only dream of.

        It’s just lazy and has cultural superiority implications.

        • Unclepauly says:

          I don’t think it was even that much. I think it was just the originality part honestly. That is all I got out of it.

          • Unclepauly says:

            *ok maybe it was.
            That is a discussion for another day I think. I think it has alot to do with who is buying the game and what would motivate them to want to play. Also it’s a part 3 of a series that started a long time ago and is trying to keep the momentum going(what little is there). I dunno, seems like a topic that could go for days that one.

      • Merry says:

        pretends that being from a particular country is somehow perverted or something

        John pretends no such thing. You rather missed the point, and have now dug a very large hole for yourself.

      • Chairman_Meow says:

        You…you don’t know what racism is, do you? Mentioning someone (or a character’s) ethnicity and/or nationality isn’t racism. The fact that you are walking around with these ideas in your head is…disturbing.

      • brucethemoose says:

        “white and America 20-something chick” is just another way of saying “generic character”.

        Now I kind of agree. If the character had any redeeming qualities, the term “white” wouldn’t need to be mentioned at all, like her skin pigmentation somehow takes away from her character… But in this context, that’s not what it means.

      • Hideous says:

        I can’t decide if this is the funniest or the saddest comment.

        No, wait, it’s definitely the saddest.

      • John Walker says:

        Er, I was pointing out that adventure games in the early 2000s all seemed to star the same archetype and described it. And then pointing out, as have other reviews, that it employs the lazy trope of the white outsider saving the ancient rituals of the non-white tribe.

        • brucethemoose says:

          link to tvtropes.org

          Edit: You know, you should seriously consider linking TVTropes in future reviews.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            But tvtropes is really easy to overdose on, especially since they use other tvtropes to describe the one you’re currently reading about. This leads to you having two dozen tabs open simultaneously and keep wanting to open more, but can only read one at a time. I know, because I’ve been in that situation and have heard others say the same on this very site. Not linking to tvtropes is to everyone’s benefit.

          • melnificent says:

            You can’t casually link to TVTropes, are you trying to make people lose sleep with a browser full of tabs to read “before bed”.

          • MacTheGeek says:

            tvtropes.com has sucked so many hours out of my life, it would rate as one of my most-played games. Must… not… click…

          • brucethemoose says:

            Well that’s the reader’s problem, not John’s.

            Also, Chrome crashed on my phone a little while after posting that. Too many tabs… Hmmm maybe you have a point.

          • bananana says:

            @Darth: are you implying that’s a bad thing?

        • Fnord73 says:

          Have you seen Nordic Nazi TV?

          Its fucking scary.

          • Fishslap says:

            I’m more scared by a million people watching and listening to the garbage they spew on CNN than I am by 27 people watching Nordic Nazi TV. They are easily avoided. CNN and the jerks who run it are not.

      • Kala says:

        Observing that protagonists within a genre are similarly designed isn’t the same as being racist. It’s not saying white people are automatically horrible or all look alike or anything. Just that it is (one) of the characteristics that type of game appeared to favour.

        Like being a woman. And having a mobile phone. Here is actual quote:

        “the same generic white 20-something like-a-cop female with a mobile phone that starred in 90% of them”

        white is one adjective there. you also have ’20 something’ ‘like-a-cop’ ‘female’ and ‘mobile phone’. …It’s actually curious why you decided to fixate on white.

        Below image makes a similar point, also mentions white (amongst other things) and also isn’t racist. Just an observation on a particular prevalent style:

        link to static.giantbomb.com

        • Rumpelstiltskin says:

          It’s pretty formal logic from this point on. There’s a stereotype you/someone else clearly is not happy with. Race is mentioned as one of the stereotyped properties. Removing any property from the list would make the stereotype less offensive (that’s verified by assuming all properties are removed, which will effectively dissolve the stereotype completely). Hence, by means of deduction, if the protagonist conforms to the stereotype, it is assumed to be desirable for her to not be white.

          • Kala says:

            …honestly, that seems like the equivalent of looking through a telescope from the wrong end to me, but I’m clearly no logician.

            (from my pov it’s a stereotype not because of what makes it up in isolation, but how often they appear. so saying you’d have a problem with white people, if swapping white with Chinese makes it ok, ignores the context – i.e if the protagonists in those games were most frequently Chinese women with mobile phones, *that* would be the ‘stereotypical’ protagonist of those games, that after a while would seem generic).

          • Captain Strychnine says:

            That is in no way formal logic.

          • Rumpelstiltskin says:

            Which of the items do you object then, specifically?

      • bongi347 says:

        That’s like saying that your playthru should be exactly the same if you play as an elf or a dwarf in Dragon age origins. But an elf and a dwarf live different lives.

      • vahnn says:

        As a white American, thank you for defending me. I’ve been under attack by computer game reviewers for years and I thought there was nothing I could do to help myself. You are a saint!

        I’m 100%, absolutely, definitely totally serious.

        (That means I’m being sarcastic as heck.)

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Vahnn, it is impossible to take anything g you say seriously with that avatar. :P

  2. Lukasz says:

    Thats unfortunate. I will pick it up of course one day but right now there is no hurry.

    I have beaten first two syberia in 2006 for the first time. and it’s interesting how I can barely remember the second game. It was indeed very forgettable.

    I hoped the third one will have the first games charm and story where there is no threat to the world, no real baddies and great puzzles.

    I did play it in polish so the acting was pretty good. S3 was fully translated as well. at least the issue with acting will not be present.

  3. Eight Rooks says:

    Never played any of them, never likely to, but I, too, enjoyed reading this. The following alone

    This is, somehow in 2017, a third-person game with tank controls. Kate must be rotated and pointed forward before moving, like no one has ever wanted in any game in all of history

    warmed my blackened, cynical little heart no end; I can already hear the old-school Resi fans gnashing their teeth (something something it makes you feel vulnerable and terrified, man something something).

    • SigmaCAT says:

      I sincerely believe that there’s something to achieve with clunky controls; even if they were technical constraints, they kinda serve the old school survival horror because feeling heavy makes you feel fleshier in the game world. Im technically more of a Silent Hill fanboy if that makes you forgive me :)

      They are reused in Octodad, Qwop, Snake Pass for fun purposes; but what I find quite interesting is that MOBAs are inherently unwieldy and it might be a big part of the appeal, that simply getting your hero to do what you want is already a satisfying feat in itself.

      Butttt we’re talking about an adventure game, and even if Microids havent ever made a game where movement wasnt terrible, this is an incredibly stupid choice. Of course it’s coming to consoles as well but heck, Benoît really needs to play some games that went out in the last 20 years, I’m quite sure Telltale tackled the movement issue in a much smoother way

      Where the hell was I going with this already

      • Melody says:

        Mobas are inherently unwieldy? You right click and your character goes there. Are you sure you’re not thinking of another genre.

        • SigmaCAT says:

          I’m talking about animation cancelling, last hitting, juking with awkward pathfinding; I havent played much LoL or Hots, mostly dotes. What I meant is the games are built on RTS engines, which clearly werent designed for focused control of one unit

          • Unclepauly says:

            That’s a completely different concept than tank controls. You could liken moba controls to an RTS version of an action game like bayonetta or DMC or something, but I still get what you mean.

    • wisnoskij says:

      The controls are bad, but they are not tank controls.
      Or course it would of been nice to use the mouse, but the only part of the navigation that really hurts the game is the camera angels.

      But then the author of this review does not seem to worry too much about the facts. Hans does not have autism, he has brain damage.

      • Someoldguy says:

        I bet it was the camera devils that made you say that.

      • wldmr says:

        it would of been nice

        Why do you people of to do this?

        • Merry says:

          I agree, but I get more embarrassed than angry. Would have is the conditional perfect tense. There is no reason to replace have with of except for learning by mishearing contractions like would’ve, and I really hope we don’t soon get I will of been to see her or even I of been there.

        • Marclev says:

          Mishearing it (as Merry already said), for some reason not wondering about why other people write it differently (“it’s clearly everybody else that’s wrong!”), it never occurring to them that the combination of words they are saying make no sense at all, and resisting any attempts at correction would be my guess.

          I used to get annoyed by it in my early days of using forums and message boards, now I just accept it as being “a thing”, sadly.

        • Unclepauly says:

          That is how many people talk. I know it, I’of heard them.

          • TheMightyEthan says:

            Except when people speak they aren’t saying “would of”, they are saying “would’ve”. If you want to write “would’ve” then fine, nothing wrong with that, but “would of” is just wrong.

          • phlebas says:

            Except that some people do actually say ‘would of’. Generally the same people who would write it, the error being thoroughly ingrained.

          • Fishslap says:


            People also say “y’all” and “LOL’, but that’s no reason not to laugh at them. And to correct them as often as possible.

    • GameCat says:

      As a Resi fan I don’t really get the hate for tank controls.
      I think they’re good for games with fixed camera angles.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I played Silent Hill 2 for the first time last year and while I don’t think every game should have tank controls it was kind of refreshing in a way. It requires you to put in a little more input while just walking around so by the end of the game you feel like you’ve gotten better with the controls.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, tank controls are freaking awful. So glad the Grim Fandango remaster lets you ditch those. (Even if Tim Schafer still – tongue in cheek, I hope – asserts they were a correct decision.)

    • welverin says:

      There was another reason Resident Evil had the controls it did, the regular camera angle changes. Having the movement relative to the character instead of the screen allowed for changes in camera angle without the character going off in the wrong direction.

      If I remember correctly, RE4 actually had the same basic control setup, but because the camera was locked behind the character, it didn’t get the same amount of hate.

      • TheMightyEthan says:

        Another (and imo better) way to address that issue is to have the character continue to move relative to the previous camera angle until you let go of the stick and then push it in a different direction.

  4. Risingson says:

    John Walker AGAIN saying that lateral thinking is bad gameplay. LEAVE OUR GAMES ALNE PLEASE. I cannot trust your criteria if you insult any other opinion with your usual arrogance.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Was this post translated by Microïds ?

    • MortyDice says:

      I thought he said “lateral tanking”.

    • Beefenstein says:

      It is for people who don’t like it.

      Is it arrogance to insult the opinions of others? If your comment is insulting, are you being arrogant? If you do not realise this, are you just sadly bereft of self-analysis?

    • skeletortoise says:

      “Send this message to three Syberia fans or John Walker will break into your steam account and mess with all your games.”

    • Merus says:

      But lateral thinking is bad gameplay in a computer game. In person, it’s fine, because the improbable situation is an impetus to have a conversation with a good friend and try and suss out which rule of reality has been temporarily suspended to make this improbable scenario happen. In a computer game, you don’t have that kind of fidelity, and every interaction is a special case. How are you supposed to subvert a mental model of how the world works when most of these games don’t give you enough information to build one in the first place?

    • Aquarion says:

      Lateral thinking has nowt to do with it. Lateral thinking is a keystone of Adventure Games over three decades, the realisation that this item in that place could do the job.

      Magical Adventure Game Thinking is inserting a credit card into plasticine to jam the LED signal. It’s throwing a ball at a specific palm tree because that one’s rubberwood EVEN THOUGH THE DESCRIPTION DOESN’T SAY THAT. It’s using the hammer (but not the scalpel or the tongs) on a medical tray so it will overbalance and distract the surgeon. It’s where either the leaps of logic aren’t even remotely telegraphed in dialogue or description, and most players – even experienced in adventure games – will resort to Try Everything In My Inventory or Gamefaqs.

      • frenchy2k1 says:

        You forgot the best. Magical game thinking is when you have to use glue on a black cat to collect black hair to assemble a black mustache to disguise yourself as another character THAT IS BOTH BLOND AND CLEAN SHAVEN.

    • phlebas says:

      Has John edited the post? I can’t find the part where he says lateral thinking is bad.

  5. trollomat says:

    What a gross and unnecessary introductory paragraph.

    (For the record, I don’t care for Syberia or adventure games at all, and the rest of the article is mildly entertaining.)

    • LearningToSmile says:

      Isn’t it? I don’t exactly expect this kind of unnecessarily combative click baiting from RPS, but maybe I missed John reviewing games in genres whose fanbases personally offended him before. Particularly since Syberia 3 seems to be getting panned, well, everywhere(and for good reason), so insulting its imaginary defenders is kind of weird.

      • Beefenstein says:

        “…so insulting its imaginary defenders…”

        The article covers the reasons why John has certain expectations for the treatment certain people will give him. Have you heard of deductive and inductive reasoning?

      • John Walker says:

        what do you think “clickbaiting” actually is?

        • Neurotic says:

          I just want you to know, John, that as a long-time PCG reader who still has all his magazines piled up in the attic, I remember well the years of crap adventure games you reviewed, particularly the whole Syberia saga of ‘Not too bad first one, terrible pants second one’. Reading this post about 3 made me smile and gave me an enormous sense of strange satisfaction. Thank you, John. Decades after I first ‘met’ you in PCG, I am still greatly enjoying the journey. :)

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Clickbait is when you put something at the beginning of a piece of writing that makes people want to read the rest of it. Like, “Now is the Winter of our discontent”, and “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” are classic examples of clickbait. One time I read the first line of a novel and before I knew it I’d read the whole thing! I went straight to the comments to see who else was complaining but the only post was from the OP, banging on about his wife and kids! I posted a pretty well-rounded complaint on the inside back cover, but the OP never even responded! Sickening.

      • dsch says:

        Pretty par for the course for JW.

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      I agree, a blatantly needless ‘come at me bro’ that reads like a Trump Tweet without a 140-character limit; bereft of taste, high in hostility, and basically deriding a subgroup of people. Shame really because the rest of the review is super on point, and really helped me to not buy this arse of a game.

      • Fishslap says:

        I don’t understand why people feel the need to drag the latest pretend president of the federal reserve, uh I mean the United States, into every single conversation, regardless of the topic. I find your reply Obama-esqely irrelevant and muddled. Please write it again.

  6. acroberts says:

    I love the Syberia series, so even though (based on EVERY sensible review I’ve read) it probably IS shite, I’m probably going to end up buying it, so screw you! I did really enjoy your review though :D

  7. Buggery says:

    I fully expect to hate every second of playing this but unfortunately I will buy it and play it through. The original game is special to me – such a lovely, lived in world – and I hated almost all of the second, but I still played it twice. Sorry John.

    • wldmr says:

      You’re not defending it, so I don’t think John Walker will have a problem with you.

      Then again, I don’t want to put words in John Walker’s mouth, which is probably already filled with sailor’s cocks anyway.

    • John Walker says:

      You complete me :-)

  8. rustybroomhandle says:

    I did not mind Syberia II as much as Mr Hyperbole here. It was definitely worse than the first, but good enough for me to still give the Benoit Sokal+game equation the benefit of the doubt.

    What killed it for me, however, was 2006′ Paradise. Character walks into a room with a dead body and barely reacts or has anything to say about it. It was just flat and without emotion, terrible animation, weird parts where you play a leopard, etc.

  9. TheSplund says:

    Controller?! WTF?!
    The first installment was quite pleasant, if a little meh in places, but I’d not even think to play Syberia 3 after the god-awful mess that 2 was. Thankfully I paid very little for Syberia 2, but it was still too much for the short time I suffered (I barely got half way through Ramansburg before developing a total hatred of anyone that spoke to KW). This review seals the ‘no-deal’ – thanks John.

  10. Spacewalk says:

    IS this in any way related to Cyberia, apart from both being pretty bad?

    • pepperfez says:

      Aha! That’s why it confused me so much to see Syberia dated to 2002. We just can’t let that poor pun enjoy its retirement, can we?

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      That was pretty bad but back then we played it because we didn’t have much. Oh my first PC.

  11. Shadow says:

    This is a bit confusing. Given this is a Wot I Don’t Think, is Syberia 3 actually a misunderstood gem which triumphs over its predecessors? And that John’s actually speaking in favour of those who would love it no matter what?

    • Unclepauly says:

      I think you’re right, he doesn’t think this. Although, that doesn’t mean he loves it either. It would be like me telling someone “The sky isn’t red” and walking away, they’d be standing there waiting like “huh?” while I’m skipping to the fish market.

      • Merry says:

        while I’m skipping to the fish market

        Is that a thing we could often find you doing?

    • Shadow says:

      True. He doesn’t think it’s awful, nor that the established fanbase will love it despite reality.

      What he actually thinks, we might never know.

    • pepperfez says:

      Is it that most of the thoughts aren’t actually about Syberia 3? So maybe it should read, “Wot I Think, Largely About Other Things: Syberia 3.”

    • Don Reba says:

      And John doesn’t actually hate white Americans.

    • John Walker says:

      Sadly not. I just wanted to differentiate this from being something I’ve reviewed “properly”.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        That’s awfully nice of you, but why bother writing anything in the first place? You don’t like the genre, and you don’t want to review anything within the genre properly, yet you keep spitefully mashing that keyboard as if you had a word quota to fill.

        • crazyd says:

          It’s not that he doesn’t like the genre, just that he thinks most games in it are terrible. I consider myself to be an adventure game fan, to the point that I have a Grim Fandango tattoo. Syberia 2 still sucked, regardless, as do a ton of games in this genre.

          A good adventure is hard to find, and extremely hard to make.

          • Fishslap says:

            I disagree with this. They are not any harder to make as long as you have a good writer. The problem is that there aren’t too many writers who get the very basics of story telling, as developed at least in western culture by everyone from Homer to James Cameron.
            In order to have drama you must have either comedy or tragedy. And although these two seem to be opposites, they are actually very close to each other. It really depends mostly on who dies/slips on the banana peel more than anything else. And that is why there is such a thing as tragicomedies, which can be at the same time funny and sad. Fargo is a good example. Personally I would argue that the best comedic writing always has a hint of the tragedy about it, and vice versa.
            Aristotle said that tragedy displays the misfortunes of man while comedy displays the misfortunes of the individual. And that is how simple it is to tell a good story. Whenever a writer doesn’t understand this simple principle, the story telling suffers. What might be tragic instead tends to become morbid and self-indulgent, and what might be comical instead tends to become cheap and vulgar.

            You can do it anyway of course, and lots of people do. But it is still bad writing. And Sokal is one of them, even though I enjoyed his comic books. He tells, and has always told, the most despondent, depressing social-realistic stories imaginable. And it is self-indulgent in the extreme. Which is why he NEEDS comic relief. And there is none of that in the Syberia games.

        • John Walker says:

          I adore the genre more than any other, having played it since its inception in 1984, and persisted through its most terrible times.

          • Faxmachinen says:

            You didn’t exactly make that clear when you called the genre “wretched”. It’s also a bit special to claim to love a genre even though you hate the majority of the things in it, and then proceed to make fun of people who actually do love the genre.

  12. gschmidl says:

    Other than Syberia 1, Benoit Sokal’s 2.5D games have been beautiful to look at but mostly garbage to play. Since they moved to full 3D, the prettiness is gone as well. It’s a shame this isn’t better but I’ll probably still pick it up when it’s $5 or in a Humble Bundle because I can’t help myself.

  13. Laurentius says:

    Whole opening paragraph of pre-emptive grumpiness… that’s kind of new, even for John.

  14. Talahar says:

    Like the wonderful double whammy of emesis and diarrhea during gastro-intestinal distress you can get Syberia 2 right now for free on EA’s Origin client. Enjoy?

  15. skorpeyon says:

    Even with all the horrible press, I’m going to be getting this game. As soon as it’s on sale for around $5, anyway. Shouldn’t take too awful long.

  16. amaguq says:

    I think I have Syberia one and two in my steam library somewhere, unplayed. At this point, I think they’ll stay that way. That said, this review made those purchases worthwhile.
    Roger Ebert, the American film critic, compiled a wonderful book of his most vitriolic reviews (“I Hated, Hated, Hated this Movie”). There’s something about utter contempt that produces good writing.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      Bracing review, like a stiff breeze in Skegness.
      Reminded me of a Jay Rayner demolition (dig out his Le Cinq review).
      I raise a glass to you John, good show.

    • malkav11 says:

      The first game has its charms, as Walker says. For some reason it was held up alongside The Longest Journey, and it really pales in that particular comparison (for example, The Longest Journey does my favorite adventure game thing where attempting pretty much any kind of interaction with anything produces a unique line or two, often snarky; Syberia doesn’t let you interact with things except in the prescribed way and doesn’t even have that much description through “look” interaction). But it’s solid enough on its own. II was safely skippable because, as Walker says, it didn’t understand what was enjoyable or interesting about the first game.

      • Marclev says:

        Well, the sequel to The Longest Journey didn’t understand what was enjoyable or interesting about its predecessor, so they have something in common.

        I do remember though, in the wake of The Longest Journey, people were desperate to find other adventure games like it, assuming it must herald a new generation of epic adventure games, far removed from the more cartoony Lucasarts game that dominated the genre.

        Given that it’s pretty much (to this day, sadly) one of a kind, I’d imagine all sorts of things got labelled as being as good despite being nothing of the sort.

        (If anybody’s reading that has any influence on these things, just to put it out there, I would in fact pay serious money for a HD remaster of the Longest Journey).

        • malkav11 says:

          Well, the best bit of TLJ was the writing, which was still really good in Dreamfall. The idea that it should move away from the adventure genre, not so much.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I haven’t played any Syberia games, barely even played an adventure game, but when I look at metacritic, Steam and GOG, both professional and user reviews give Syberia roughly 8/10. I can understand that a game’s quality can change over time and all that, but all in all based on my shallow research (did see a couple less-than-great reviews on GOG’s first page of reviews, though), people seemed to have enjoyed Syberia 2 as much as the first one.

        • malkav11 says:

          I’m not sure why you’re responding to my personal experience of liking Syberia II much less than Syberia (which I didn’t like nearly as much as the buzz about it suggested I should to begin with) by citing Metacritic ratings as though my experience will change to get in line.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            I just responded to your comment, because it was one of many that said that Syberia 2 was worse than the first one and I don’t know why so many here at RPS thinks so, when the sources I mentioned above say differently.

            Of course, Metacritics and other stuff doesn’t mean anything compared to an individual’s opinion (you like it or not, that’s not going to change and I don’t want to try to change that, because it’s stupid on several levels), just wanted some feedback to perhaps explain the disconnect. Otherwise, I’m just gonna assume that people are different and leave it at that.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          GOG is not a good place for unbiased reviews. The only people who are buying the games off their site are generally going to be people who already like the game.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        Syberia is the only game I’ve ever played where I had genuine ethical qualms over what my character was doing. I mean sure, loads of games have you doing horrible shit, but it’s usually in the service of something important – like saving the world.

        In Syberia you’re doing shitty things so that… a toy company can buy a factory. That’s it.

        There’s bit where you set up a meeting between a retired singer and a clearly insane fan. It’s blindingly obvious he’s going to kidnap her (he stole your robot companions hands!), but you do it anyway because…. a toy company wants to buy a factory. I just couldn’t get around that being your driving motivation.

        • phlebas says:

          Is that still her driving motivation by that point in the game? I honestly can’t remember.

  17. CartonofMilk says:

    It baffles me that people believe its shit and will still buy it. It’s not how it’s supposed to work. It’s ESPECIALLY baffling since in 3 seconds you could easily find a torrent of it somewhere and not reward people for making terrible games. If there’s ONE thing pirating should definitely exist for it’s to play terrible games without having to pay for them. If nothing else, try it first and see if you want to throw money at the devs

  18. Binky the Boojum says:

    I purchased the first two games only after they were stacked in large piles. I shall wait patiently, very patiently. Does’nt Bernie Clifton own the copyright on those ostriches.

  19. Don Reba says:

    Wot I Don’t Think: Syberia 3

    If I understand the title correctly, the article is the exact opposite of wat John thinks, so the game is… good?

    • pepperfez says:

      The words sprang forth, unthought, directly from John Walker’s soul. They are the product of inspiration, not the fallible churning of the human mind.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s a bit confusing, unless as a USAian I don’t appreciate British irony or something. We take things literally over here, ‘ya know.

      I guess it’s supposed to be something like John’s inner voice trying to say “Don’t Buy This.”

  20. fuggles says:

    Incidentally, syberia is free with the latest pcgamer (star wars on cover).

  21. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    “Everyone who loves Syberia 3 is a paedophile”
    I can see this being the review’s excerpt on aggregate review sites.

  22. Cvnk says:

    I’m glad I hated the first one so I didn’t have to experience the last two.

  23. DinoSteak says:

    Preach it! I was there in those early double ‘aught days of ported Euro adventures, they were like foreign aid to the American Adv. game industry, which was floating somewhere in purgatory at the time.

    Having said that, I found more consistent quality in the composition of my stool than anywhere in Syberia 2. The first one was -OK- with caveats, the world was a little different and it was enthralling to see a cold little automaton adventure play out with Kate. The undying love for the series always perplexed me. TBH for the timeframe I had more fun with Ankh…which was the clinical definition of -OK-.

  24. The Bitcher III says:

    I have the same bemused disdain for the euro-adventures…. but there’s a fine line between subjectivity and self-indulgence.
    Amusing rants, exasperation, despair… all good. Insulting ill defined groups of people, reliving long forgotten internet arguments…. not so good. A bit childish and ugly.

  25. noodlecake says:

    I haven’t played Syberia 2, but it does have a Metacritic score of 80, an average taken across 23 different sources. I would be very surprised if this is because the sites reviewing the game were full of hardcore Syberia fans.

    That being said, Syberia 3 recieved almost universally bad critic reviews, so I expect it’s probably terrible.

  26. Robert Post's Child says:

    “And it wasn’t terrible! It wasn’t great, of course. It was fine. Fine! Which, in those dire years, meant it was The Holy One…”

    Come now, this is game hype we’re talking about. Let’s not kid ourselves with that “in those dire years” qualifier.

  27. Det. Bullock says:

    What is it with classic adventure games that don’t let you use a mouse, spacesims that don’t let you use a joystick and similar bullshit?
    What’s next?
    A Civilization VII that will “play better with a controller”?

  28. brucethemoose says:

    This is a game so embarrassingly poor that when a guy was here to service our boiler I turned it down until I could barely hear it myself, for fear of what a complete stranger I’ll never see again might think of me for hearing what I’m doing from the next room.

    I feel way about almost every game I play, even if it’s a gorgeous game with great dialogue.

    With a few exceptions. Antichamber, for example.

    Hmmmm… Maybe I should talk to a therapist about that.

  29. SuziQ says:

    John Walker “reviews” are starting to turn me away from the site. This is just malicious and cynical.

    Also, how is the press failing Black Mirror so hard. User ratings are very high and the game is a classic here in Germany (where it received 80s).

    • Merry says:

      This is just malicious and cynical

      You’re misunderstanding. John is many things, but malicious and cynical he is not. Maybe the humour doesn’t translate too well to German thinking? It’s very simple comedy in overemphasis.

      • Ghostwise says:

        If one has been called an insane broken fanatic enough times for daring to like the wrong sort of games, it doesn’t come across as hyperbole. More like a Monday.

        “Gamer culture” is so toxic hyperbole doesn’t work. There’s no top to be over.

      • Bernardo says:

        I’m German. Humor in general doesn’t translate well into our language.
        link to media.tenor.co

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Ask for a refund on your way out.

    • phlebas says:

      Given he mentions Black Mirror as ‘barely translated’, it’s quite possible (indeed likely) that it’s a much better game in German than it turned out in English. (for what it’s worth I quite enjoyed it, but the dialogue and voice acting were pretty bad)

  30. Premium User Badge

    zapatapon says:

    Not all adventure game fans in the 2000s were as starry-eyed at each new game as is implied by John! As an evidence, I give you the adventure game reviews of this era by Andrew Plotkin (more well-known for his contributions to IF production around that time): Zarf’s home

    I can recommend in particular his entertaining “non-review” of Journey at the center of the earth, written in a very Walker-y style.

  31. haldolium says:

    I’m still wondering why this game hang around my “top sellers” and “popular new releases” list for at least 4 days after it’s release.

    I was thinking that I’ve missed out a re-release of some adventure game I didn’t care about 15 years ago and can’t think of any reason that this is an actual 2017 3rd installment of a entirely irrelevant series.

    For some reason though it appears to have quite the fanbase with almost 1000 people currently playing it.

    The world is a weird place. But the review made me smile, thanks!

  32. MaxMcG says:

    I totally get this. I’m 45 – I’ve been playing games since I was 8 on a Vic-20 and it’s taken me 35 years or so, as well as other stuff like having a baby, to finally realise that life is too short to play shit games. The number of shit games I have doggedly played through to the end, despite either hating or just not enjoying them, is staggering to me now, to the point where I wonder if I was mentally ill.

    A “Wot I don’t think” is just as valuable an article as a “Wot I do think”.

    Thanks John.

  33. CKScientist says:

    Oh wow, I read your archived articles. You are a much better writer than you used to be! Or maybe it’s just that the tone adopted by those early 2000s gaming magazines annoys me.

    Edit: Actually, I’m reading your RCT2 review now, it’s much better. Maybe it was hard to muster enthusiasm when reviewing the 50% games (and yet you do so well at it here!)

    • John Walker says:

      I was definitely a way worse writer back then. (Reading any of them now makes me wince hard.) We are talking 15 years ago, so I’ve had some practice since! (It’s worth mentioning, those are all the unedited versions rather than the subbed versions PCG printed.)

      To slightly defend myself, they were brutal word counts, often as few as 280 to describe, evaluate and make jokes, which makes it much rougher.

  34. gobbo14 says:

    Criticising sentence structure and yet producing rubbish like this –

    “It might simply be the passing of time – Mann is fifteen years older than when she recorded for the first game, while Kate’s barely aged a week, and yet her voice now sounds like someone in her 60s.”

    Barely readable. I didn’t enjoy the over the top tone of this article.

    • Branoic says:

      I don’t get it? That appears perfectly legible to me.

    • John Walker says:

      Um. You’re going to have to enlighten me as to the issues here.

    • gobbo14 says:

      It’s a poorly written sentence that runs far too long and barely retains its meaning. It also contains two commas and an oddly placed dash. Could be written far more succinctly.

      In saying that, it’s certainly in the style of verbal diahhroea that you adopted for this article, but this ties back to my main issue with the whole piece. I expect this sort of unnecessary hyperbole from a blogger, not a journalist.

      • John Walker says:

        It’s a perfectly easily parsed sentence, as you’re well aware. It must have been very frustrating that this was the worst one you could find when scanning the whole 1500 word piece to try to make your zinger! Apologies.

      • Sin Vega says:

        You just complained about a sentence using two commas as though that’s bad writing (reality: it means absolutely nothing), and then did the same thing yourself in your very next sentence.

        You are being very silly.

      • Nauallis says:

        I especially like how you misspell “diarrhea” with extra letters and the r in the wrong place. Let’s hear it for Muphry’s Law!

    • ButteringSundays says:

      There really are more Syberia fans than I expected.

      • gobbo14 says:

        Actually never played past the first one. Loved it, but got out of the series while the getting was good.

        I’m just a long time reader expressing my views about an article I didn’t like. But if it helps to peg me as a raving fanboy or a desperate troll then be my guest.

        In the end the (lack of) content of this trash piece speaks for itself.

        • ben_reck says:

          I suppose we could talk about the dashes if we wanted to.

          One does use commas before and after words or phrases that interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence. He’s A-OK there.

          As a college-writing instructor, I say the sentence is fine. I would not edit it.

    • skeletortoise says:

      Ah, let me help.

      “It might simply be the passing of time. Mann is fifteen years older than when she recorded for the first game. Kate’s barely aged a week. And yet her voice now sounds like someone in her 60s.”

      Got rid of all those tricky commas, now it flows beautifully.

      • gobbo14 says:

        You can’t polish a turd. Better to scratch the whole thing and start again. But it’s a good sign you’ve hit a doozy when it takes two attempts to read clearly and contains multiple disparate clauses.

        • skeletortoise says:

          I mean, since you’re straight up the only person with this issue it seems strange to keep acting like it’s so overwhelmingly obvious how poorly written and hard to grasp it is. I’ll confess, it may very well have violated the ancient and sacred laws of proper writing with some minor infraction, and that’s gone far over my head. Sure, fine. But to pretend it’s at all difficult to read when it just isn’t is silly.

    • Otterley says:

      Barely readable? What the hell are you talking about?

    • bretfrag says:

      An actual solecism occurs in the third sentence – the clauses after ’caused them’ should be non-finite, but ‘bugs afflict’ is marked for tense (or the wrong tense if you construe ‘bugs’ as the subject of an independent clause). Not an appealing opening in any way, really. Why not explicate a point instead of belabouring it by increasingly bizarre examples?

    • AbyssUK says:

      “It might simply be the passing of time – Mann is fifteen years older than when she recorded for the first game, while Kate’s barely aged a week, and yet her voice now sounds like someone in her 60s.”

      It’s fine if a little overly complicated for non-native English speakers. An example simplification…

      “It might simply be the passing of time as Mann is fifteen years older than when she recorded for the first game. However Kate has barely aged a week and now her voice sounds like someone in her 60s.”

      …but now for a native English speaker it is quite boringly written…

      I aid with writing for scientific articles for international journals.. removing flamboyancy is 90% of what is required. I am also a native English speaker, but live in Germany.

      Not sure if RPS is trying to branch out into other language markets, but it may aid them a lot to simplify the English in places.. or perhaps offer “plain English” options. Pretty sure we get a lot of Germans on here (I can tell from the English sometimes)

      • bretfrag says:

        The original isn’t over-complicated at all, but your substituting ‘as’ for the dash has made that opening sentence far too laden: it takes away the natural pause after the long phrase ‘passing of time’. The original complaint about this sentence is absolute nonsense.

        • AbyssUK says:

          The “as” acts as a “natural” break in the sentence does it not? much like “and”, “however” and “therefore”… the comma is kind of optional; is it not ? – Genuine question btw.

          “I could not do my homework as I had little time”
          is the same as…
          “I could not do my homework, as I had little time”

          • bretfrag says:

            ‘as’ is a conjunction linking two clauses, so it doesn’t have to do with creating a break or pause – that’s what punctuation marks like the dash or colon are for. So your two example sentences are grammatically the same, but the comma makes a difference in respect of how they flow – just as the absence of a dash in John’s sentence would (to me , at least) make it flow too quickly and the sentence feel overloaded.

          • AbyssUK says:

            Don’t want to stretch the issue.. but I was taught, for figuring out how to place punctuation marks, read the paragraph out aloud. If you need to pause use a comma. However when you read out aloud and get to an “and” or “as” for example, you naturally pause, so a comma although should be used is normally dropped.

            “I went to the cinema to see a film and eat some wonderful popcorn”
            “I went to the cinema to see a film as I wanted some wonderful popcorn”

            you could/should put a comma after film as you pause but don’t need to because everybody will pause there when speaking it.. putting the comma in looks odd (to me).

            Perhaps this isn’t the time or the place…

          • DelrueOfDetroit says:

            Except in those two examples the sentences have slightly different meanings. In the first you are going to the cinema for both movies and snacks. In the second you are using a film as an excuse to eat snacks.

          • Nauallis says:

            And you only ‘naturally’ pause before ‘as’ if you are being dramatic.

  35. Srtest says:

    I opened the Odyssey browser on the AmigaOneX1000, came here to register for the first time and this is my first and last comment:

    You are a piece of shit. You can’t grasp adventure games because of that. You are shit in the same way a fascist tries to evalutate anything that relates to people. Anything that has something to say other than blasting its way to continuity. The same way someone like that can’t be a judge of art, you can’t be a judge of adventure games. The fact that this site gave you the job of writing this review tells me a lot about everything I’ve been thinking of the gaming and comp industry for the last 20 years. This is a symbol of the corruption just like a clerk can take an envelope of cash, you have been put in this place to produce said review so people will continue to buy expensive hardware to shoot people. There is one word for it – a shill. Now, I’m a margin within a margin, within a margin. A guy from the middle east which uses a ppc Amiga in the year 2017 to play adventure games. I’m just waiting for people like you to stomp on me because I’m far away from the mainstream but you know what? it is so much fun and free here.

    First and last comment, no worries.

    • GeoX says:

      Are you…okay?

      • kament says:

        Well, the guy says he’s from the Middle East. It’s probably hot as hell where he lives. And judging by the hardware he’s using it’s unlikely he has an AC. I think in those conditions only posting a comment, such as it is, actually shows restraint.

    • Don Reba says:

      I’ve seen your kind. Big adventure game development buys you a fancy AmigaOneX1000 so that you fire up that Odyssey browser and attack independent journalists. Well, it won’t work here, sir. No way.

    • John Walker says:

      Those complaining about my opening paragraph may want to apologise to me now :-)

      • Premium User Badge

        zapatapon says:

        To be completely honest, writing an incendiary paragraph somewhere in the internet, concluding by “and surely these people will send threats for this” is a particularly reliable modern form of self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          Yeah, shouting at a group of people and calling them cunts, then acting like you won because one of them defends themselves is about as petty as a man approaching 40 (Or have passed 40 now?) can achieve.

        • kincajou says:

          Exactly this.

          Additionally, being annoyed by the tone of the first paragraph can coexist with believing that some people should think twice before posting.

          Personally i find the first paragraph needlessly agressive, that said i think srtest’s post is stupid. :)

          • Srtest says:

            I agree with this comment and besides, it’s not the first place on the net where the talkbacks save the old regime.

        • kament says:

          To be completely honest, some people just can’t take a joke. That’s all there is to it.

      • Robert Post's Child says:

        The Piers Morgan approach to dealing with the public is… not the best one to imitate.

    • Aim Here says:

      U Did you really go to all the trouble of buying an obscure computer so you could randomly challenge people on the internet to hate you for it for no reason?

      After all, pretty much anything else you could try to do with that machine (including playing Syberia) would surely be easier on a proper computer. And reading your post, it reads like you fired up the machine solely to create your RPS account and drop your funny comment. Maybe you have a real machine which you used to *read* the review in the first place; you just switch to the Indignatron 1000 or whatever it is when you need to do some offended hipstering.

      Anyways, it’s either a funny comment or a quality troll. Keep it up.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      This is wonderful. I hope someone at RPS towers frames this in the lobby.

    • Srtest says:

      This is called being a gamer. This is called caring about something. Where I come from they love letting gaming be this child’s play while the grown-ups talk and write about movies, tv and theater in their little outlets. When those are the kind of people who write about games and those are the type of people following them, it is not surprising that games will continue to be taken as a joke between the cash grabs of the gaming corporations and those isles of arts that guard their precious little mediums. I see how difficult it is to talk about games and touching you in certain ways on facebook to people that come from all walks of life. This just adds more insult to injury so you can rest assured it didn’t affect me as not being able to reach people who want to be affected by creations deep within them, yet what they read is never about games because they are absent from the places a lot of good people go to in order of knowing what’s what.

      Yes, I’m an Amigan in the year 2017. Yes, I do almost everything with my comp except what I need my native language – Hebrew, to accomplish because most people do what the powers that be tells them to do and buy and learn. Yes, I play Syberia on the PC because I’m a gamer and the yard does not belong to me, nor have I any say on the matter.

      • skeletortoise says:

        a) I guess your first comment wasn’t actually your last comment?

        b) No where in these comments is there a convincing or even coherent criticism of the substance of John’s review. If it weren’t for the first comment (in which you dismiss John’s right to even have an opinion on this game and compare him to fascist) I wouldn’t even be entirely sure you had a dissenting opinion.

        • Srtest says:

          Well, I actually didn’t read past that.

          I get it as it does traffic or so you would think. It’s exactly the same thing they said about a bunch of games between companys and their “journalists” while completly missing what led to the crowfunding boom. Did they all quit? did a bunch of white, english speaking dudes (or duds) quit because they sold to the public a cerain story about gaming and who is interested in what that was proven utterly wrong by the successes of crowdfunding? no. Those of course were qualified people. Let us say that if they were qualified to write game reviews and the writer here is qualified to write about adventure games then I am unqualified to read this review. Proud to be one of those.

          You see, I get it. You do this and that and take your enjoyment and entertainment and what makes you feel about specific titles and it seams that this is all there is. Yet someone else in a different area of the same medium and genre suddenly says maybe you missed something. Maybe you didn’t take what it gave you. Maybe you looked at it without being prepared as a gamer who is embodied in a culture and what drives it. I get it, it means that you are less special so you take it out on me, just a guy who made a single comment. It seams the writer’s prophecy wasn’t the only one that came to pass. Maybe it is also an age thing where it takes an older gamer to appreciate more about what makes you experience worlds and interactions (on your mind’s level) than what your run of the mill action and response gamer can comprahand.

          • skeletortoise says:

            Dude (dud?), I think you need to step back and realize that no one in here is on the same page as you. This whole thing sounds like a very specific Alex Jones rant directed at the already converted. You take it for granted that we’re already very familiar with this vast globalization adventure game fan mind control conspiracy. You need to start us off with the basics, not go right into the weeds of this particular government staged shooting Manchurian game reviewer activation.

            For starters, I don’t know you and you don’t know me and I have no idea who ‘they’ are. Either you’re fuzzy on those points or you were being very liberal with your pronoun usage (you said ‘you’ or ‘your’ about a dozen times, and I’ve genuinely no idea whether and to what degree you’re actually talking about me). It’s hard to tell for sure, not knowing exactly who you’re talking about, but I think you’re projecting a bit here.

            So, trying to interpret the Beautiful Mind style tapestry you put together, I think I can safely tell you a few things.

            a) John’s opinion and your opinion can both exist. That is fine. His and others’ opinions conflicting with yours is not indicative of a media conspiracy to undermine a genre of games.

            b) Your opinion is no better than anyone else’s. The developers of this game or a toddler who’s never seen a computer for could both play this game and both their opinions are totally valid. You do a very fun have-it-both-ways thing here. You apparently thumb your nose at the elite gaming press establishment and how they think they know better than your populist crowdfunding adventure loving hoard who are trying to make adventure games great again (MAGGA). But you’re also incredibly condescending and imply that you can revoke just about anyone’s right to an opinion if they don’t meet your expectations (most likely by agreeing with your opinion) for adventure game credential. This is dumb, and you should stop it.

            c) A little personal, but it reads like your identity might be a bit too wrapped up in the ‘I really like adventure games and have strong opinions on them thing’. Live and let live and all that, but when your personal ‘us vs them’ tribal nonsense is about game reviewers I think you may want to take stock of your life.

            Also, sick burn on white dudes. We’re gonna be feeling that one for weeks.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Hey there fellow Amiga user! Whispers: We both know how expensive our basically useless machines were – let’s not call people shills for expensive hardware, when comparitively, the hardware they are refering to is quite the bargain. I mean, our £2500+ boxes that perform like a £200 PC is our hobby and our love, but we can’t criticise the money others spend on their rigs.

    • Marclev says:

      I’m a margin within a margin, within a margin

      Deep, man!

      (* WTF?!)

  36. Biggus_Dikkus says:

    Black Mirror wasn’t that bad as i recall

  37. tanith says:

    I liked the first Syberia, although I played it long after it was released. I got both Syberia 1 and 2 on a GOG.com sale. Syberia 2 isn’t as forgettable as I thought it will be but I mostly remember the background scenes and that lady singing with that terrible accent in the beginning. I don’t really remember anything about what I DID, though.
    My interest for a sequel faded away over time and when I found out that Syberia 3 is coming I couldn’t get myself to care.

    I wonder whether the same thing happens with Beyond Good & Evil 2. IF the sequel comes one day I don’t know whether I can get myself to care. And I loved that game. It’s just been too long.

  38. Mr Underhill says:

    My only gripe with all this is John’s claim, in the Escape from Monkey Island review, that it’s better than Curse. Blasphemy!

    While humor may be more of an eye of the beholder thing and extremely subjective, I think we can all agree that, visually, of all Monkey Islands, Curse has aged most gracefully. It’s one of the very few adventures I wouldn’t mind an HD remake of but can still stand as is and look stunning. Escape… not so much.

    I do find Escape has been unfairly judged as bad by most adventure fans, and I think it has tons of charm. I like how they translated the cartoony look into polygons, even though a remaster would require a complete overhaul (and is kind of rendered moot by Tales of MI). And I do understand the enthusiasm stemming from the fact that 3d adventuring was such a new thing… but just watch a couple of minutes of both games in action and it’s pretty obvious which one is the timeless one and which one looks severely dated.

    Still, tangentially related to this article, 17 years down the line and it’s pretty clear that 3d really is not the way to go with adventure games. I’m very happy that more and more 2d titles are faring well, and I do wish all adventure games success, regardless of their approach.

    Even though I’ve never been invested in it, it’s too bad such a beloved series like Syberia had to come to such an underwhelming end. As a particular orange clown would put it, SAD.

    • John Walker says:

      Can’t argue. As it happens, I admitted I’d got that wrong back in 2010:

      link to eurogamer.net

      • Mr Underhill says:

        Oh, whew. Yes, that article put a big smile on my face. I can also see how Curse’s ending would put a damper on the whole experience, but everything else is so good that the rushed final part sticks out like a sore thumb.

        I’ve had the pleasure to briefly chat with Larry Ahern, and his advice to budding adventure game creators was “make the ending part early so it’s there in case you run out of time and budget”, which shows they were aware that the finale could be better.

  39. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I loved the early Myths, basically environment puzzles without talking or indeed much backtracking and solutions actually make sense, not for everyone, sure.
    Games in the way of the cellphone heroine trope became popular after The Longest Journey (year 2000). That was a good one but I never get warm with the Syberia-likes.

  40. pegolius says:

    Now is this considered an editorial or a non-review review?

  41. icarussc says:

    RPS Commenters: Fair and balanced reviewing of professional game reviews since 1874.

  42. scubahocam says:

    it was written on the plate near the ship model… “… to overcome the difficulties.. always good to add up certain skills that you have(?).. when need arrises to know how to think backwards..” as far as i understand you did nothing..

  43. inexorable passage of time says:

    Schizm: Mysterious Journey

    Ooh, that takes me back. I bought that game at a Walmart with my hard-earned preadolescent cash, and boy was it a mistake. I’d burned through all the Myst the local library had in stock, and thought Schizm would be similar. Which it was, in all the worst ways. I’d like to say preteen me had good enough taste to recognize it for what it was, but really the reason I dropped it was because the walkthroughs on GameFAQs weren’t nearly as good as Myst’s were.

  44. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Sigh, it is continuing the streak of bland returning adventure games, I am afraid. Just like I loved the first two Broken Swords and waited for a considerable sale on the last one and…the story is just unmemorable, 3d character models look more like upscaled renders from late 90s, and the adventuring itself is just bland, flat, and tiring. Oh well!

  45. nottorp says:

    I ordered the collector’s edition sight unseen… then I thought to check the reviews… and saw the big “This game is more enjoyable with a controller” warning.

    Fortunately I managed to cancel my order in time. I’ll probably get it for completeness when it’s $10 or under.

  46. arrr_matey says:

    “Because, as I’ve said before and I’ll say again, adventure game fans are like heroin addicts: any game is a hit.”

    It’s always great when gamers — long shunned by society and having to constantly fight off negative sterotypes from the larger culture — decide to pick on subgroups of other gamers and stereotype and shame them the way mainstream culture has done to gamers for decades. What a fantastic example to set.

  47. baekgom84 says:

    There have been many articles written by John where I, like seemingly many other readers, have disagreed with his opinion, and/or disliked the particular tone of his writing.

    But I very much enjoyed this article. There’s nothing quite like a hilariously savage takedown.

  48. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    How does a game not get written until two years after it is supposed to come out? That is the maddest thing I have ever heard.

  49. Iacus says:

    So, what exactly is horrid or monstuous about “Myst-like metallic pattern-solving”?

    I’m guessing mr John here isn’t even a Mensa member, huh?

  50. charmed23 says:

    I played Syberia 2 first–liked it very much–then went back to the first one, and love the whole serious.
    I guess I was too young (in 7th grade or so) to notice the awful aspects of Syberia 2 like many, including John, have pointed out.
    So it’s just the bad gameplay right?

    Anyway, such a bummer about Syberia 3. Man, I was longing for it for the longest time. Reading these reviews broke my nostalgic heart. Probably will still buy it and end up hating myself for it. Benoit Sokal should have done better.

    John, what is your take on Dreamfall Chapters? I still love TLJ and Dreamfall so so much for their narrative, but found Chapters bloody atrocious. Just absolutely horrendous in plot devices, gameplay and game designs. Ragnar Tornquist should have done so much better too. Ugh.