Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (Circle of Blood in the US) is the first in the series of adventure games by Revolution Software. It was released on PC in 1996 and has since been ported to Mac, PlayStation 1, Game Boy Advance and Palm OS. It is a point and click adventure game, where the player must solve various puzzles and riddles in order to advance the plot. Spanning 2009 to 2012, a 'Director's Cut' edition of the game featuring new art and an additional part of the story has been relesed on the DS, Wii, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and PC.
You play as George Stobbart, an American tourist visiting Paris in the autumn. After narrowly avoiding an explosion outside a traditional looking Paris cafe, George must follow clues and track down the clown, who planted the bomb. But you soon realize, that there is a lot more to the plot than a simple murder mystery. Soon a larger more sinister plot of conspiracy is revealed involving the Knights Templar, who are still at work, and must be stopped.
The Shadow of the Templars is set in different locations around Europe:
Paris - The capital of France is where the story begins, and is the city which the game is centered around. George returns here numerous times throughout the game to meet Nico Collard, as well as for the introduction of new locations such as Montfaucon, The Hagenmeyer Clinic and an excavation at Site de Baphomet.
Ireland - George visits a traditional Irish pub and hears of a murder which took place right outside. He also explores a ruined castle, cleverly avoiding an angry goat.
Syria - George visits the town of Marib in Syria after finding an empty matchbook from a hotel room in Paris which reads 'Club Alamut', an exclusive club in Marib. Georges main task in Marib is to find a way to get to a landmark called the Bull's Head.
Spain - Here George visits a Spanish villa whose owner is a wealthy old woman, in the hope he can find out more about the woman's ancestors, who are thought to have been part of the Knights Templar. George also returns here later in the game to unveil the truth of the Templar to the old woman.
Scotland - Nico and George travel by train to Scotland where they discover an old church in Bannokburn. It is here that the mystery is tied up once and for all.
Along the way several characters are introduced, some good, and some determined to hinder Georges quest.
George Stobbart - George is an American lawyer who is knocked out by the explosion outside the cafe in the opening sequence. George is the main protagonist of Circle of Blood as well as the sequels. Voiced by American actor Rolf Saxon, George is seen as a character who enjoys traveling and is fascinated by history.
Nico Collard - Nico is a French photo journalist who meets George shortly after the explosion outside the cafe at the beginning of Circle of Blood. Very little is known about her past but inside the game Nico does mostly investigative work in her Paris apartment.
Khan - Khan is a Syrian assassin who views Neo-Templars as enemies of Allah. Khan wants to kill all members of the Knights Templar to stop them finding the location of the sword of Baphomet.
Andre Lobineau - Andre is a history student who constantly is trying to win over Nico. Andre and George are natural enemies who don't see eye to eye throughout the game.
Inspector Rosso - Rosso is the inspecting officer for the cafe bombing case in Paris. Rosso closes the case due to lack of evidence, but Rosso is infact a member of the Neo Templars. Despite this he still aids George at the end of the game and gets killed in the process.
Todric (also spelled Todryk) - French tailor who is very unhelpful to George. Very good sound bit though.
A full video walkthrough of the game can by found via Youtube here.
The game was a commercial success paving the way for 3 sequels Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror (1997) , Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon (2003) and Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (2006)
An updated, Director's Cut version of the game was released for the Nintendo Wii and DS in March 2009, with an iPhone version following in January 2010 and PC version in September 2010. It features new puzzles specifically designed for each individual platform and new art and animations done by Dave Gibbons, best known for being the artist and co-creator of the acclaimed graphic novel, Watchmen. Gibbons had previously worked with Revolution on Beneath a Steel Sky. Some puzzles are seen from the first-person perspective and some offer multiple solutions. Nico's backstory is introduced as an entirely new gameplay segment, and some of the original voice cast has returned to reprise their roles. The DS version does not feature voice overs, however.