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Posts Tagged ‘Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars’

The Future of Gaming is…Adventure Games?

Posted by Nick Dinicola on July 17, 2009

I started my gaming with the Playstation and Nintendo 64, so I completely missed the “golden age” of adventure games. I have a few memories of laughing at Sam and Max Hit the Road, and I vaguely remember enjoying one of the King’s Quest games, but that’s about it. Until recently. I was happy to find Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis as an unlockable bonus in the newest Indy game, and I bought the updated Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars after hearing such good things about. After playing both, I am now unabashedly in love with the genre. As I look back at my time with both games, I realized that these old games represent the eventual result of certain modern trends in gaming.

A Focus on Memorable Stories and Characters
As games have become more cinematic, more emphasis has been placed on story and characters. Every game wants to tell a good story now, and often the story for a AAA game is hyped up just as much as the graphics or controls. This focus on story and characters is a staple of all the old adventure games. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is remembered because it captures the fun peril of the movies, and many titles from LucasArts are loved for their humor and characters.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is no exception. Some of the most memorable moments come from interacting with other characters. From the snooty sounding British woman who’s only too willing to stick it to “The Man,” to the Middle Eastern boy whose wealth of knowledge comes from memorizing Trivial Pursuit cards, to the American tourist who thinks he’s a spy, everyone we can talk to has a distinct personality. These are not nameless townsfolk who only have a couple sentences worth of dialogue; we can carry on a full and unique conversation with each person we come across. As for the story, it starts off as a murder mystery and slowly grows into a global conspiracy. The ever-growing scope means there are always new twists being introduced, and the mystery plot, with its focus on discovering leads and solving puzzles, makes for an addicting game. Which leads into my next point.

Read the rest at PopMatters.

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Why You Should Care About Dom’s Wife

Posted by Nick Dinicola on May 22, 2009

I never understood why so many people seemed to hate Dom’s wife, or were at the very least indifferent to her. But even if you didn’t care about her as a character, you should still care about her as a plot device, because she represents a unique kind of storytelling for games.

. . .

I recently saw Angels and Demons, and all throughout the movie I kept thinking how similar it felt to an old point-and-click adventure game. The plot revolved around finding clues and solving environmental puzzles in a race against time. It sounds like the perfect setup for a game, but with the shooter genres currently driving the games industry, I’m afraid it’ll be a long time before an adventure game similar to Angels and Demons is made. In the meantime, I’m excited to get my hands on a copy of Broken Sword: Shadows of the Templars for the Wii. It’ll be interesting to see how it, Assassin’s Creed, and The Da Vinci Code all handle the various myths surrounding the Knights Templar. And if the new information about Heavy Rain is any indicator, perhaps the adventure genre isn’t dead after all.

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