Thursday, May 19, 2011

Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror


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Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror
Developer – Revolution Software
Publisher – Virgin Interactive
Release date - 31 October 1997



Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror
is a point-and-click adventure video game. It is the second installment in the Broken Sword series, and the first game in the series that does not follow the Knights Templar storyline. The player assumes the role of George Stobbart, a young American who is an eyewitness to the kidnapping of his girlfriend Nicole Collard.



The game was conceived in 1997 by Revolution. Though serious in tone, The Smoking Mirror incorporates some humor and graphics animated in the style of classic animated films. It was the fourth and last game built with the Virtual Theatre engine, which was used to render the locations of the game's events.


Development

Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror was conceived in 1997, by Charles Cecil and Revolution. Charles Cecil was the director and writer of the game; Tony Warriner, David Sykes, Jonathan Howard, Paul Porter, James Long, Patrick Skelton, Chris Rea and Pete Ellacot worked on the software side of the project. Noirin Carmody was the executive producer. The game uses the Virtual Theatre engine, which was previously used for Lure of the Temptress, Beneath a Steel Sky, and Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars.

The artwork for Broken Sword II was developed through a number of stages. Initially pencil drawings were made of characters which were then digitally coloured in, before being cleaned up. The background layouts were produced in a similar way, starting out as pencil designs, and were all drawn by Eoghan Cahill and Neil Breen, who previously worked on the first Broken Sword, working together with Amy Berenz and Lee Taylor. The game's graphics are animated in a style which resembles classic animated films.

The music in the game was composed by Barrington Pheloung, who also composed the music in Shadow of the Templars, with Bob Sekar adding the closing score. Audio features of the game include recorded sound effects, orchestral music and voice acting directed by Edward Hall. While Rolf Saxon returned to voice George Stobbart, a new actress, Jenny Caron Hall, was cast as Nicole Collard. The rest of the credited voice actors in the game are Dennis Chinnery, Stephanie Clive, Jeff Fletcher, Corey Johnson, Chris Miles, Gary Parker, Flaminia Cinque and Leo Wringer.

Plot

Six months after the events of The Shadow of the Templars, protagonist George Stobbart and his girlfriend, Nicole Collard, visit an archaeologist named Professor Oubier to learn about a mysterious Mayan stone Nico uncovered while researching a newspaper story. At Oubier's home, they are ambushed by two Central Americans, who kidnap Nico, tie George to a chair and set the building ablaze. George unties himself and puts out the fire. He contacts Andre Lobineau, who reveals that Nico had suspected that something would go wrong and had left the stone with him. Lobineau tells him of a gallery owner who can tell him more about Mayan art. George discovers that Oubier supplies the gallery with Mayan artifacts, which he imports through a company named Condor Transglobal. Following this lead, George finds the two Central Americans who kidnapped Nico. One of them, whose name is later revealed to be Pablo, is shown threatening and berating the other (later revealed to be called Titipoco). George knocks Pablo unconscious and discovers that Condor Transglobal has links with Quaramonte City in Central America. He also frees Titipoco, who had been manacled by Pablo. George finds Nico, who reveals that, while trying to expose a drug ring run by a man named Karzac, she was sent the stone instead, prompting her to arrange the appointment with Oubier.

GamePlay

Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. Via a point-and-click interface, the player guides protagonist George Stobbart through the game's world and interacts with the environment by selecting from multiple commands, while Nicole Collard is also a playable character in selected portions of the game. The player controls George's movements and actions with a mouse (PC and PlayStation), or a gamepad (PlayStation). Player can collect objects that can be used with either other collectible objects, parts of the scenery, or with other people in order to solve puzzles and progress in the game. George can engage in dialogue with other characters through conversation trees to gain hints of what needs to be done to solve the puzzles or to progress the plot. The player uses a map to travel, and new locations are added to it as the story unfolds. By right clicking on an object, the player gets a description and clues. The player character's death is possible if the player makes a wrong decision.

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