Broken Sword: The Angel of Death

Wednesday 13 September 2006
It shouldn't be a surprise, really, that 10 years on from its debut Broken Sword is beginning to resemble the series' recurring hero, George Stobbart. After three previous adventures, spanning most of the globe and all of a decade, it's clear that something of George has rubbed off on this latest instalment, so now both he and it share the same traits: intelligent, capable, handsome and confident.

Confidence first: the accomplishments of the last Broken Sword, The Sleeping Dragon, were self-evident but there was no disguising the anxiety behind the game's shift to 3D.

The awkward integration of the block puzzles, the elaboration of the context-sensitive controls and the over-reassuring twinkle of interactive objects all gave the impression of a game falling over itself to placate a sceptical audience, to solve the problems of the player before the player could get on with solving the problems of the game itself.

Above: Block pushing puzzles will return but it's promised they'll be better implemented than in previous games

The Angel of Death, by contrast, has an air of absolute indifference. The empty interface leaves you in peace to enjoy the atmosphere, and the context-sensitive controls present a single best-guess option (nearly always correct) when you select an object to use.

The controls accommodate both point-and-click and direct movement, and although those more used to action games may take a little time to adjust, there are no grounds for finding The Angel of Death anything other than graciously obliging.