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October 26, 2003
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
14/11/2003THQRevolution Studios1$99.95

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Peering around the rocks.
It has been a long time between drinks for the classic point and click adventure title, but Revolution are hoping we haven't forgotten how playable those adventure titles were. Leisure Suit Larry, Kings Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Monkey Island and Broken Sword have millions of fans worldwide from their many outings dating back to the 1980's. Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon certainly looks impressive but as with any adventure title it will almost certainly come down to the storyline to determine if this game is a winner.

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Don't slip...
Billed as the final installment to the trilogy the storyline for Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon once again follows the fortunes of American George Stobbard and his French girlfriend, Nico. The game begins with George waking up in a plane, which has crashed in the Congo and is hanging precariously over a cliff (as seen in the picture to the left). Even from the first moments the puzzles begin as you must awaken the Australian pilot and then balance the plane before it plummets over the edge. During the game your ultimate quest is to unlock the mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript. Somewhat unsurprisingly the manuscript can unlock horrible evil which will destroy the earth. It's up to George and Nico to save the world.

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Nice.. ermm.. modeling.
During the game you will also have the opportunity to control Nico, who is based in France. This covers approximately a third of the game. Interestingly while you are controlling one character the game will occasionally switch to the other character at a crucial moment allowing you to control their fate. What is impressive is the locations you will visit during the game. George and Nico must fight through the steaming jungles of Congo, eerie castles in Prague, the chic back streets of Paris and the historic village of Glastonbury.

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Is that Indiana Jones?
Times have changed since the 1980's dominance of "point and click" adventures with Revolution's Charles Cecil even stating that the old "point and click" styled games are now dead. Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon has re-invented itself and has transformed into a more conventional adventure title. One of the great additions to this title is the little blue stars which sparkle around items of importance when exploring the locations. This removes the necessity to click on every object in the hope that something can be picked up.

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Nice, clean graphics.
Obviously the lengthy time between the second and third titles in the series has resulted in a much more powerful graphical engine with some wonderful 3D locations. As you can see from the surrounding screenshots the game still retains the cartoon styled graphics of the originals, but with a dramatically increased level of detail and infinitely better animations on all the characters. The voice cast from the previous title also returns to ensure authenticity for fans of the series. For newcomers, the voice acting will likely become a highlight of the game. The music changes dynamically according to the action on screen and as is becoming standard the developers are including Dolby Pro Logic II support.

It's somewhat comforting to know that Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon has been in development for well over two years now. This time has allowed the developers to hopefully create a detailed and engrossing storyline and if the game can capture the essence of the two previous titles then it is sure to be a great end to the trilogy. Expect a release in mid-November.