Cursed to repeat
There's a certain retro charm to playing a new Broken Sword game in 2015. No, not the fact that it's a point-and-click adventure just like its earliest 1996 release, but that this latest next-gen release is the same game that was Kickstarted in 2012, released episodically over 2013 and 2014, and already found its way onto mobile devices.
Thankfully, this latest port offers a few enhancements that while perhaps not warranting a revisit if you've already played the game, do make this the definitive version to pick up for newcomers. Visuals have been given an overhaul, justifying its appearance on full HD capable consoles, and audio has been given a once over too. More animated content is included, and a newly added character gallery now offers important background info on the wide cast.
Otherwise though, The Serpent's Curse remains ostensibly the same game as it has been for the last two years. Players meet (or become reacquainted with) American lawyer George Stobbart and French photojournalist Nico Collard as the pair become embroiled in another global adventure with roots in ancient history. This time, it's the theft of a mysterious painting in the 1930s that leads to murder and a far-reaching conspiracy the pair must thwart in the present.
Traditional point-and-click mechanics are adapted well to a controller interface, though there feels to be something antiquated about flitting through menu screens to inspect or combine items, then trying them on every interactive spot on the map. Thankfully, fantastic voice acting and beautifully created worlds are enough to keep your interest through numerous repetitions of "I don't need to do that right now" when something doesn't fit.
For the most part, the game's puzzles are well-thought out and creative, leading to some satisfying "aha!" moments as you solve them, and the sizable story is appropriately evocative of the classic pulps that serve as the series' inspiration. This is about as far as we want to see The Serpent's Curse reimagined though – can we move onto Broken Sword 6 now?