It’s taken me a while to get around to it, but I recently played through the second part of the latest Broken Sword game, The Serpent’s Curse. I thought I’d share some brief thoughts [gee, thanks! – a reader].

I think I was expecting to not enjoy the second part as much as the first – which I really did like – and that has largely proved to be the case. I suppose I was fond of part one because it mainly involved capering about in cities, trying to get to the bottom of something as down to earth as an art theft, which is where I feel Broken Sword has always been at its strongest.

At the midway point, however, it became apparent that DARK AND UNKNOWN FORCES may be involved, and my spidey-sense detected (correctly, as it turned out) that the second part would involve flying off to remote destinations, finding secret trap doors in old buildings, some puzzles involving symbols, and an unfathomable conclusion.

I really can't get too excited about this kind of thing.

I really can’t get too excited about this kind of thing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never really been able to follow the story in these games. I’d have to pause before I could give you the subtitle of any of the previous efforts, and I certainly couldn’t tell you how they related to what actually goes on. Even with this one still fairly fresh in the memory, I still couldn’t even tell you why it’s actually called “The Serpent’s Curse”. There aren’t even any snakes in it! AHAHAHAHAHAH! *falls off chair* [You’re fired – FFG shareholders]

What this means is that, just when the story is supposed to be building momentum, I start to lose interest. The good bits are always the incidentals, the stuff that has little to do with any mystic ancient artefacts and everything to do with trying to work out how George can talk his way past an obstructive minor character. I’d almost rather George and Nicole ran a detective agency and just quit with the rest of it.

Aside from the story, I enjoyed some of the puzzles in this second part, but for others I had to make use of the hint system (which is a welcome feature, incidentally). There was, of course, a symbol decoding effort, which I just didn’t have the patience for. Oh, and a ridiculous one involving a cockroach and some jam. And at least two involving goats (fans of the first game rejoice!)

George vs the Goat. And a gun.

George vs the Goat. And a gun.

Taken as a whole, I still rather enjoyed The Serpent’s Curse. I particularly liked the fact that George and Nicole work through most things together, and when they’re split up you do at least know what the other is doing (which hasn’t always been the case). As I mentioned before, it all looks great, and there aren’t as any major tonal missteps this time – at least until the very, very end, where there are a couple of clunkers. Despite some flaws, though, it represents a step forward for the series for the first time in years, and I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s the strongest Broken Sword game yet.

[EDIT: Just a quick note to point out that it was the Android version, not PC, that I played. I have no idea if they’re different. Also, I forgot to mention that you should definitely play this game if you’d like to hear people say the word “ouroboros” a lot.]