Why you should not let Broken Sword 5 pass you by and how it restores faith in Kickstarter

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 released on December 18th, 2013

2014 begins, and I have yet to pledge a penny to any Kickstarter project, successfully funded or not. There's a certain... uncertainty to whether the funds will eventually lead to an actual release of a crowd-funded game. But there's a large list of Kickstarter projects I have tweeted about to help get the word out about.

A handful of those, Broken Age (formerly Double Fine Adventure), Divekick, Pillars of Eternity (formerly Project Eternity) and Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse, had they been minutes away from failing, and my money could've been the difference between success or failure, I honestly can't tell you if I'd have bitten the bullet or not. As the four projects went:

  • Broken Age is the big success story of Kickstarter video games, its $3 million raised after an initial $400,000 asking amount. But development hit a snag when Tim Schafer openly admitted that he'd designed too big of a game and ran into problems regarding the game's size, budget and release date. It has yet to be released but there's nothing to suggest that it won't be eventually.
  • Divekick's total was reached but the campaign was cancelled and no money was taken (but the varying pledge rewards were still honoured, much to the dev's credit) when Dave Lang and Iron Galaxy stepped in, becoming developer and publisher. The game as a result was a much superior product and released on several platforms (and indeed is planned for even more platforms) than the planned $30,000 Kickstarter funded PC release.
  • Pillars of Eternity asked for $1.1 Million and received almost $4 Million, development is ongoing and to my knowledge there are no problems to report at this time that suggest it won't be released around the planned time and will be as good as it looks.
"Once again, Paris had shown me her dark side."

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 1 is the first game I've been invested in that has successfully released purely on its Kickstarter Campaign funds and development. Admittedly it has not released as a full game, but as 1 of 2 episodes (episode 2 is penned for Q1 2014 as free DLC). It cost me £15 (/$24), lasted 9 hours and I couldn't be pleased more with how it turned out.

Using 3D models on a 2D plane in the style of Broken Sword 1 and 2 has worked wonders for The Serpent's Curse. George Stobbart and Nico Collard have been brought forward a decade, meaning mobile phones and the internet, but for them the world and time-line is unchanged. The classic point and click detective work is as it should be, while maintaining an ease of use that players take for granted in this day and age.

The mystery surrounding a stolen painting, the new and old characters it uses and the questions that are asked and answered by the end of episode 1 are fitting of a studio without chains placed upon them by an action-hungry publisher. I will say that if you're not a fan of cliffhangers and expect to see this story through to the end in a few sessions within a week, you may want to consider waiting until episode 2's released and play it all as one product.

Personally, I have a back catalogue of 2013 games such as Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Grand Theft Auto V that I need to play, so I have no issues with waiting for episode 2 of Broken Sword 5.

Links

Broken Sword: The Serpant's Curse on Steam

FLStyle on Twitter

9 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by DevourerOfTime

The first half of Broken Age (it's been split in half much like Broken Sword) is being released in just a few weeks (if all goes according to plan) and the second half should be out in a few months. There's very little to suggest a delay of the first chapter beyond maybe early February, as the game has been content complete for a while (if I remember correctly).

Glad to hear of a fan enjoying their time with Broken Sword 5. Impressions have been fairly scarce and it's always good to hear about a Kickstarter that meets expectations.

I am, however, glad I decided to wait for the second half to be released before buying it. Cliffhangers always leave a bad taste in my mouth, which means I'll probably hold off on playing Broken Age as well.

Posted by TruthTellah

I think the success of FTL: Faster Than Light is another one well worth mention.

Glad to hear Broken Sword 5 is turning out well!

Edited by Brodehouse
Edited by Yummylee

Hey, if it was on PSN/XBLA, I'd totally buy it! The original is one of my all time favourite games.

Posted by jimmyfenix

I will wait until the second episode is out then i will get both fo Vita! It is weird how it is not avaliable for PS3 though.

Posted by Darji

I really enjoyed the first part of Broken Sword. It was much more like the older games even though the puzzles were not really challenging in any kind or form. They did a really good job with the characters and I can not wait to play the final part this month^^

Posted by FLStyle
@yummylee said:

Hey, if it was on PSN/XBLA, I'd totally buy it! The original is one of my all time favourite games.

Maybe they're waiting to get episode 2 out of the door beforehand? Very strange that it's not on PS3, 1 and 2 are synonymous with PS1.

Posted by joshwent

I think the success of FTL: Faster Than Light is another one well worth mention.

I thought FTL alone would have been enough to quell people's paranoia about crowdfunded games. Especially after their measly $10,000 goal expanded purely thanks to fan interest, giving us all one of the best games of last (last) year.

I guess abstract fear will always make more interesting stories than success. :/

Edited by Yummylee

@flstyle said:
@yummylee said:

Hey, if it was on PSN/XBLA, I'd totally buy it! The original is one of my all time favourite games.

Maybe they're waiting to get episode 2 out of the door beforehand? Very strange that it's not on PS3, 1 and 2 are synonymous with PS1.

The idea that it's apparently also available on Vita makes it extra strange. Still, I hope you're right that they're (for whatever reason) waiting finish up both episodes so they can sell it as a singular product instead.