The Nintendo DS is the perfect platform for point and click adventures, so it is somewhat baffling why more developers haven’t utilised its touchscreen technology to drag forgotten favourites into the 21st century.
However, seizing the opportunity, Revolution Software have brought their excellent 1996 adventure to the console, with a few added bells and whistles.
Switching between American tourist George Stobbart and French journalist Nico Collard, the story unfolds as you slowly become embroiled in a dark and murky international quest involving the fabled Knights Templar.
It’s an engaging story - helped along by gorgeous hand-painted backgrounds(drawn by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame), wonderful character animation and a soundtrack which sets the tone perfectly.
Players of the original will notice this director’s cut starts with the focus firmly on Nico, as she attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a local businessman. This shift in focus adds an extra layer to the tale and helps flesh out her background story.
Along with this new angle to the adventure, Revolution have added a few puzzles, such as a sliding blocks mini-game and a jigsaw type head scratcher. They aren't too taxing and are fun asides to the main quest.
Rather than simply take the old interface and port it to the DS, Revolution have significantly improved the control scheme to perfectly suit the DS's touch screen. Rolling the stylus over objects lights up points of interest which can then be interacted with. It's a neat system and one which is far less frustrating than clicking on every object you see.
Point and click adventures live or die by their logical puzzles, and Broken Sword is a resounding success. It’s extremely rare to find yourself aimlessly trying to use everything in your inventory to solve a conundrum, and instead lateral thinking will see you through most of the game’s puzzles.
If, however, you find yourself stuck, a handy hint menu has been included, which makes the game extremely accessible for those who are new to the genre.
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars: The Director’s Cut is a cracking adventure which proves to be an entertaining trip down memory lane for older players, and a wonderful and rich experience for newcomers.