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Friday, 29 October 2010

Syberia (PC)

The last PC game I played was Clive Barker's Undying, a game I'd never played before but that my wife Lorraine had played in America. Today, I played Syberia, a game I'd never played before but that my wife Lorraine had played in America. I sense a pattern developing. Still, if it worked last time...

Syberia is a point-and-click adventure, and it's very much in the classic vein of that genre. That also means that it has its frustrations and limitations. The amount of times you'll hear "No point, it's locked" or "No need to go down there" is ridiculous. But with this game, it's well worth getting past that and sticking with it...


Hello, Kate Walker. I would say "Good day", but it obviously isn't.

You play Kate Walker, a somewhat downtrodden business lawyer who's been shipped abroad on a quick trip to close up the purchase of a toy company whose owner has died. Any thoughts of tying up the deal and getting home quickly soon evaporate, though, when it turns out that the company has a surprise heir...

What follows is, I can say without reservation, one of the greatest PC adventure games of all time. It starts off slowly, and like I said, it can be a bit frustrating. But you can't give up. You know how point-and-click games work... you can't do something in one area until you've found everything in another area. Think of it as unlocking new parts of a game... that's in vogue these days. Once you get into that mindset, you're away... otherwise, there's always the online walkthroughs to help you along, if you must...


Well, that's just typical.

I know that's cheating, but with Syberia it's worth doing whatever it takes to complete the game. I haven't done it yet on this play through, but I can remember vividly from watching Lorraine that Syberia is a great story, one that has real emotional weight as it unfolds. The people in Kate's life at home, on the other end of her mobile phone, are obnoxious morons, and you really feel for her as she gets drawn into the world of the Voralbergs and the remarkable automatons they've manufactured.


Oooh, you don't want to be hanging around there. It's Halloween!

Syberia is a beautiful-looking game, even for its age. The town of Valadilene and its surroundings look like the sort of place you could easily lose yourself in. As Kate's life in New York exposes itself as being less rosy than she'd thought, you find yourself entirely on her side as her journey through Europe on her quest to find the rightful heir to the company takes on a different meaning...


Ooh, that's clever!

Unless you really can't stand point-and-click games, and I know that's entirely possible due to their somewhat plodding and contemplative nature, I implore you to play Syberia. Yes, that's right... I used the word "implore". For me, it's right up there with Grim Fandango in terms of quality PC game storytelling. It doesn't have that game's sense of humour... it's not that kind of game. But it's one that will stick with you for a long time afterwards.

You can buy it from GOG.com for $9.99, although occasionally they'll offer it for less.

3 comments:

  1. My wife loved this game and Siberia II.
    Used to keep her quiet whilst I watched Myth Busters ;)

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  2. Nice one! It definitely appeals to females, and I don't think that's just because of the main character. Does your wife know that Syberia III is supposedly in production? ;-)

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  3. Funnily enough I was reading about that last night. Hopefully it will be out for her Birthday.

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