In a galaxy far, far, away, and
13 or so years ago, I said this of Syberia 2:
You will be delighted by
Syberia 2. It isnít perfect, but no game is. You can tell it has been
created with passion and feeling. It didnít simply meander to the
finishing line, but stayed strong and surprising. Like the final part of
Lord of the Rings, the completion of the journey of Hans and Kate
deserves the highest marks.
Launched from such a platform,
and with the expectation heightened by the long gestation, this should
have been a triumph. Sadly, it fails to get close.
I need to say something about
the controls. When I first played, the game started by saying it was
best played with a controller, and the cantankerous and clumsy keyboard
and mouse controls seemed to confirm that. However a controller wasnít a
whole lot better, and so I went back to my more familiar mouse.
Interactions remained fiddly and at times incredibly overcomplicated.
The ďmove the mouse to mimic the motionĒ approach (e.g. opening a draw)
didnít help, and cranky camera angles just added to the whole mess.
Recently however, in response to
observations like the above, the game was patched to be completely point
and click. Having replayed parts, it is infinitely improved. You still
have fiddly interactions, and the inventory use could be improved, but
pointing and clicking at things and avoiding the keyboard entirely makes
a huge difference. Kudos for listening Mr S.
The controls however were only
one issue. The game is still the same game, and falls down in other
It took me about 20 hours, which
is a good length, but I reckon at least a good third of that was taken
up with traipsing back and forth, be it for objects or conversations. A
glimpse of this happens early on, albeit over a short distance. You have
a conversation about getting a key fixed, get information about how to
do that, but you quickly find you canít do that. You go back to the same
person, who tells you something else that will help, and off you go
again. A portion of the solution then happens in a cutscene, which
delivered a grating juxtaposition between the drawn out bits of one
element of the puzzle, and its ultimate completion.
Graphically it left a bit to be
desired. In the same galaxy as above I said this:
All of the scenes are crafted
with a huge attention to visual and auditory detail. Realism abounds;
watch and listen as Kate runs from a metal path into the snow, and past
a puddle. Quite wonderful.
Here, we have a blockiness to
many aspects of the environment and a veiled, drab palette (especially
outdoors). None of the games have ever had a vibrancy of colour, but
whereas previously it accentuated the mood and the tone, apart from a
few occasions Syberia 3 just feels bland.
The character modelling didnít
help. Kate was better than most, but there is an inescapable woodenness
to many, and some are horrible. Dr. Olga is a case in point. She
presents as a stereotypical crazed doctor, so overdone I almost giggled.
The controlling henchmen behind her are equally gigglesome.
Puzzling is a mixed bag. Some
are fun, reminiscent of the mechanistic aspects of the earlier games. At
the other end of the spectrum are things you need to look for that you
donít know you need to look for, and would be unlikely to find if you
did. As I always say, maybe I missed the clue.
Kate herself disappointed me. I
promise this is the last time I voyage to that galaxy, but here is what
I said about her then:
Kate though is the central
character, and itís she who drags the train and its passengers ever
northward. No fluttering eyelashes, no twisted ankles, no resorting to
feminine charms. She is strong, resourceful, and unflinching, like many
real women. If there really are mammoths, there is no doubt Kate will
This time she was insipid by
comparison, and not nearly as resourceful. She deserved better.
Unfortunately I could go on -
Kate is completely divorced from what went before, the end is a
frustrating cliffhanger, there is a lack of empathy with any of the
characters, the game autosaves for you and wonít let you do anything
else, the story is a lightweight shambles.
Which may just be me projecting
my overall disappointment, so check it out for yourself.
I confess that not everything
was a letdown. Some cutscenes were impressive to say the least, a number
of the locations intriguing, and I always like a 3D world. But that is
not a lot to hang a game on, especially one with this pedigree.
As I said about Kate, Syberia 3
deserved so much better.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz
RAM: 32GB GDDR5
Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB
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