'Broken Sword - The Sleeping Dragon' is the third game in the Broken Sword' series that orignally started with 'Broken Sword - The Shadow of The Templars' back in 1996. The inaugral installment was considered to be quite a success both by reviewers and gamers. Although the third entry in the series has a few references to previous games in the series, the references don't really affect the story or the game, and people who haven't played the two previous games can play this one without feeling they are missing much of the fun. Old fans of the series though, are sure to find the game even more fun with the several humorous references to the previous games. 'The Sleeping Dragon' is another adventure game released by The Adventure Company, in what seems to be an attempt to rebuild the adventure games genre single handly. They're doing an excellent job of it, at that.
In 'The Sleeping Dragon' we once again meet - and play as - George Stobbart, the adventurous patent lawyer, and his friend Nico Collard, a french photojournalist. The two are soon caught up in an adventure of a mystical nature and have to save the world from a danger involving a powerful new type of energy that was used by an ancient and lost civilization. If that wasn't enough, they have to contend with a madman who wants to harness it for his world domination plans.
The gameplay in 'The Sleeping Dragon' is usually good and fun. There's plenty of normal adventure game puzzles which consist of using various items on various other items to solve any number of situations. These puzzles are generally logical, and not to difficult. In addition, they've also included a a box moving type of puzzle, in which you have to move boxes (surprise) around until they are in a certain order. Once you've done that, you're able to climb or walk over them, moving ahead in the game. These puzzles are also pretty fun, but they can get repetitive and tedious as the game progresses.
The game also has scenes that let you jump and climb over obstacles and perfrom other various physical actions in order to move ahead, and these are pretty enjoyable. A more irritating experience involves certain cutscenes where you have to press a specific button fast enough to escape some life threatening danger. The problem with these is that they start very suddenly and you have no idea what button to press, so you usually di on the first try. Luckily the scenes repeat until you manage to survive, so you don't have to worry about losing the game this way.
In a departure from traditional adventure games, 'The Sleeping Dragon' doesn't use the usual point and click interface we've seen throughout the years. Instead it uses four special keys to perform every available action. the interface is easy to learn and very intuitive, but it might frustrate old genre fans.
The graphics throughout the game are excellent and presented in full 3d. The environments are drawn beautifully, from a dark abandoned theatre in Paris to the jungles of Congo to the ancient temple in Egypt. The environments are immersive, and add to the feel of the game. The characters are also drawn very well, the bad guys look sinister and our heroes look handsome (George) and sexy (Nico).
The dialogues in 'The Sleepy Dragon' is usually witty and humourous. You'll find plenty of funny one liners in the that try to imitate hollywood adventure movies like such as 'Indiana Jones' or 'The Mummy'. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, but generally they're very beneficial to the atmosphere of the game, and inject a nice sense of fun into the proceedings.
The game doesn't have much music, but sound effects and voice acting - where many other games fail to show quality - are done well and certainly work towards adding to the immersive game experience.
All in all, 'Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon' is an excellent adventure game which is sure to appeal to most fans of the genre. In addition, the game has the potential to greatly please even those fans who don't usually play adventure games. It's a great addition to a genre which is slowly returning to mainstream gaming.