February 27th, 2009

Broken Sword II Cover ArtBroken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror is a classic, point-and-click adventure game created by Revolution Software. As the 1997 sequel to the 1996 hit Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (Circle of Blood in the US), Broken Sword II is the last of the series’ four games that would use 2D sprites.

Broken Sword II tasks players with guiding the series’ main character, patent lawyer George Stobbart, through his adventures with his journalist girlfriend, Nico Collard. Though almost twelve years have passed since the game’s original release, Broken Sword II is still one of the finest adventure games available today. This is due in no small part to its outstanding voice work, scripting, and direction coupled with plenty of humor, mystery, and intrigue throughout the story. Player frustration and bewilderment is kept to a minimum by way of accessible and satisfying puzzles. There are a few brain teasers and situations where players will need to think and act quickly lest they end up on the business end of a gun, but there’s nothing as obtuse as duct-taping cell phones to cats or quicktime events.

Personal Notes & Acquisition

If you are concerned that playing Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror out of order will tarnish your experience, don’t be. There are recurring characters and a few locations that are revisited across the series, but the designers were mindful enough to tastefully implement exposition throughout the game so that the player isn’t left wondering who a person is.

Though I originally played Broken Sword II in 2006 during a week-long marathon run through all four games, many scenes remain fresh in my memory. I was delighted to see it recently added to the Good Old Games catalogue in their $5.99 price tier, both so that I could revisit it as well as recommend it here on DoSu in a Cheap Games feature. Up until now using ScummVM was the only way to play the game on modern PCs. Thanks to Good Old Games’ guarantee that all games they sell are compatible with XP and Vista, Broken Sword II is once again accessible.

Surely, spider guts on your shoes would mean Game Over. Find another solution. This cafe should be familiar to players of the original Broken Sword Cutscenes in the game are good old 2D animation.

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