|Index||5 reviews in total|
I was hooked on Syberia when I started playing it about three years ago. I don't know too much about the XBOX version, but I do know playing the PC version is just awesome. Easy controls (Just point and click!), spectacular graphics and just an amazing story. Once you start playing you wish it would continue forever (in a way it does, with the sequel, Syberia II). The fact that the makers of Syberia put some great thought into making this game definitely shows. Such intricate detail with every step of the character is visible. Even the dialog will catch your attention. Despite being over three years old, the game is very playable today in every sense. If you're looking for a K.O. game, this isn't for you. This is a game that takes some thought and imagination, and once played, you'll understand why I call it Wonderfully Enchanting...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
...and that's just me! Actually, this video game is absolutely stunning
in what I guess one would call set design. Visually it's a treat. For
purists out there, I didn't play the PC version--I played the Xbox
The story is simple, in theory--New York lawyer Kate Walker is sent to Valadilene, a small town in the French Alps, to help close the sale on a toy company. Once she arrives, she learns that the owner of the company, and that Anna Voralberg, whose signature she was to obtain, has recently died. Anna was the owner of the famed Voralberg Factory, which made automatons. Not robots, mind you, but automatons. Due to financial difficulties she is forced to sell her toy company to a large commercial entity. The town is understandably upset, as their cherished automatons will lose their handmade charm. As the player finds out, the automatons aren't just toys--some of them can be much more. Unfortunately for Kate, the sale of the factory veers off into difficult territory when she reads through some of Anna's papers and discovers that Anna had a younger brother, and that he would be the sole heir of the factory and in charge of selling it. From there, Kate is sent on a hunt for Hans Voralberg, a genius inventor but rather simple-minded otherwise. Kate learns of an accident in Hans' life, where he was injured trying to reach a mammoth doll hidden in a cave. (Get used to the mammoth doll--you'll see it quite a bit, and if you decide to play Syberia II you'll see it even more. Hans loves the thing, apparently.) Rather than remain completely objective about the whole thing, she becomes emotionally involved. What had started out as a business trip becomes an adventure, and as Kate makes her way through Europe she changes her values, her priorities, and even her outlook on life. If a studio made a movie with that exact plot, I'd shell out my hard-earned money to see it. Fortunately for us, Hollywood hasn't screwed it up, and we can experience Kate's adventures with her in the comfort of our own homes.
Right from the get-go, I think we are supposed to contrast Kate Walker with all the other game "heroines" out there. After careful evaluation, you realize that she's different from all of them. A more realistic person, in some ways, yet still quite different. She's a game character that could be considered a sort of role model--she sets herself a goal and she sticks with it, despite all the setbacks put in front of her. What's more, she grows as a person as the game progresses. Many people can identify with her for yet another reason--she's in a relationship that just isn't working and she's afraid to say anything about it. So, she's not like Lara, BloodRayne, Jill Valentine, or even Samus Aran, but as a character she holds up very well. That's good, because you're stuck with her for the duration of the game. As far as the realism goes, she looks like someone you might see at the mall. She doesn't have 52 double Ds, huge machine guns, or a laser cannon for an arm, but she can still get the job done. Only con--physically she's a wuss. She won't lift anything unless she has to, and God forbid she should get her feet wet.
The graphics are a stand out, but they aren't exactly 3-dimensional. Really, the graphics are a pro and a con. In the pro department, the game is beautiful, with snowy mountains, clear streams, hedge mazes (relax, you don't have to go through it), and wait until you see the train station! As for the con--I spent half an hour in one area wandering about because I couldn't see the door. It's not that I'm that goofy, it's that the door was impossible to see. With the point-and-click adventure genre, you go from one screen to another. (An icon usually points this out to you.) With this game you have to hit just the right part of the scenery to trigger a scene transition. If you don't hit the right part, you won't realize that the street is four blocks longer, or that there's another room in the attic, or that you're supposed to go through two trees rather than just run past them. It can be incredibly frustrating, and I actually had to resort to using internet strategy guides just for finding doors. I felt stupid, but it wasn't entirely my fault. I don't think it was, at least. (The sequel has this same issue, as well.) I suppose that I should play more games of this sort, and then I'd get used to examining every square inch of everything.
Voice acting is important in games of this sort because of the emphasis on storytelling. No one wants to hear a story from someone who sounds like Donald Duck, and you won't have that problem here. Great voice acting in English, and I'm going to try to play through again in French! Kudos to Sharon Mann, who voices Kate Walker. She realizes the importance of emotion, but she also knows not to go too far. She also uses different tones depending on who Kate is speaking to--for children she uses a warmer, softer tone, while she can be quite smart-assed to adults. (Can't blame her really--she deals with a motley sort.) All in all, a wonderful game, priced to move, but completely lacking replayability. For an original story that's told well, this is your best bet. (Side gripe--Syberia and Syberia II should be sold together. This game ends rather abruptly, and the sequel picks up right where the original left off. I'm not saying it should be one game because you'd go mad, but I do think both games are required to get the most out of the story.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Syberia" is one of a kind: an adventure/logic game with a clever
script, original characters, stunningly beautiful graphics, great music
and some effective comedy every now and then.
The main character of the game is Kate Walker, a spirited American lawyer who is sent to the fictional small village of Valadilene in France to secure the take-over of an automaton toy factory, owned by the revered Voralberg family. When Kate arrives, the seemingly last Voralberg, Anna, dies. However, when Kate visits the village notary to finalize the deal, it is revealed in Anna's will that her younger brother, Hans, who is declared dead and supposedly buried in the town cemetery, is still alive, and therefor is now the heir to the company as Anna had no children. Kate then has a new objective: travel across France to find Hans and get his permission to sell off the factory.
"Syberia" is not like most other logic games; you don't need to be a mastermind to solve the puzzles. However, the game requires some thinking and memory skills, but the puzzles are not too complex.
Another great thing about "Syberia" is that you can never die and get a game over or get stuck in any part of the game; you can completely immerse yourself in the game without the fear of screwing up or the need to constantly save all the time.
"Syberia" is a great game that is highly recommended and has a high replay value.
Steampunk style point-and-click with really nice graphics (just
remember it was made in 2002) and fantastic voice acting (one of best
I've ever heard in an adventure game).
Village mysteries, steampunk factories, amazing airships and intricate automatons - all this explored by young New York lawyer, Kate Walker.
"Syberia" has some shortcomings, namely some annoying unskippable animations (like stair or ladder climbing) and it is quite linear, but the story is so great I would definitely recommend it anyway!
This is a very interesting title. It's quiet and calm, but for some odd
reason I can't stop playing it. I have the Xbox version, and just
picked it up last weekend because I was looking for something
different. The graphics are amazing, although Kate looks a bit bug
eyed. Very beautiful game, and the puzzles, while many of the go and
get this variety are interesting to solve. I would say if you are
looking for something different that will play with your head a little,
and isn't all blowing up and shooting things, this is a good
trip...especially for $12.
Overall, i'd give the graphics a 10, especially the backgrounds, and the character models are not bad, but some stay permanently in the background.
Playablity is about a 6, the controls will remind you a bit of Resident Evil, but clunkier. it is hard to get Kate to point the way you want at times. Also, there is a dialog journal that is impossible to read, very fuzzy.
Music is sporadic but moody, but the sound effects are right on.
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