BROKEN SWORD II: THE SMOKING MIRROR
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on October 4, 2019
Welcome, dear readers, to another thrilling episode of the one and only Big Red Timemachine. As you might recall from the ending of our last outing, in which Dennis took you on a trip to revisit Halo Wars, things were not going all that great. True, I did actually have a tiny little bit to do with the total and utter destruction of our last Big Red HQ but, and be honest here, how was I supposed to know you never, never, never-ever shake a Fluxdimium Reprocessor? Now, I don't know about you, but back in my time, they used to build these things a whole lot stronger, I can tell you that much! And besides, which demented mind comes up with the plan to combine said Reprocessor with an old bicycle tire and a coffee grinder. That, my friends, spells trouble in my book!
But let's not start pointing fingers at each other but, instead, start pointing machetes at the guilty party: Aliens! Yes, dear readers, Dennis and I have come to the conclusion that, seeing as how no one of us is to blame ever, there must be a guilty party. So, does the fault lie with the manufacturer of the Reprocessor? I think not, because they are built to very specific. ehm. specifications. So, only one logical explanation remains: Aliens had infiltrated our home base and messed with this very sensitive part, resulting in the total destruction of yet another Big Red HQ. This resulted in yet another expensive relocation project. After so many, we decided to go a bit less high profile and went back to basics. Now, we won't tell you where we have moved to, but you can rest assured that the hills are now indeed alive with the sound of both Dennis and myself!
Today, however, we are set to launch our Big Red Timemachine into time and space and go in search of one of the forgotten treasures of gaming. Now, I couldn't come up with a game featuring a decent threat from outer space but, seeing as how ancient gods are about as alien to me as. well. aliens, I chose to go down that path and selected a now classic point 'n click adventure as today's game of choice. Time to buckle in, set all the dials and blast of towards 1997, in search of Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror.
Originally released in October of 1997 for Microsoft Windows, The Smoking Mirror reunites us with George Stobbard and Nicole Collard who, as we all expected after their exploits during the first Broken Sword game, have become a couple. Now, Nicole, who is a much heralded reporter by now, is doing research for an article, when she discovers a mysterious stone, which she believes stems from the Mayan civilization. Together with George, she sets off to visit a renowned archeologist, Professor Oubier, who just happens to be an expert on all things Mayan. When they finally get to the good professor's house, things go awry really, really quickly.
Nicole is kidnapped by two men of Central American origin and George gets knocked out cold and tied to a chair. To make matters even worse, the men set the house on fire and leave poor George to burn. don't you just hate it when that happens? It's up to George to get out of this hot mess and save his girlfriend and, very possibly, the world. Wait. The world?! Yes, the world! You see, this seemingly random occurrence kicks this adventure off and will lead our heroes right across the world, from the luscious jungles of Central America to a museum in London, right back to a creepy Mayan temple. It's during this epic road trip that Nico and George will have to do everything in their power to stop an ancient Mayan god from destroying the world as we know it!
If you played the first Broken Sword game, Shadow of the Templars, The Smoking Mirror will not hold any surprises as far as gameplay is concerned. The game follows the time-old rules of a great many point-'n-click games; You'll explore locations, talk to people, gather items and solve puzzles, sometimes by combining the items you've found. The graphics also don't vary too much from the first game in the series, seeing as how they are built around the same game engine. Now, some people might reason that standing still equals going backwards where technology is concerned, but games like Broken Sword prove that this is nowhere near being true.
I just love the look and feel of these early Broken Sword games. Although they are pretty old by now, they still manage to look awesome and their stories never get old. IT's like starring in your very own Indiana Jones movie, without actually having to participate in all kinds of tiring and hazardous escapades. You'll get all the adventure and excitement, but without breaking a sweat! How awesome is that?! But seriously, folks; I vividly remember sitting in my room at night with a bottle of soda and a family sized packet of crisps and simply not being able to quit playing until sheer exhaustion made it impossible to focus. I spent hours and hours in this awesome world, getting information from cool and quirky characters. I solved many a puzzle and tried to combine items that even MacGyver wouldn't think of combining.
I absolutely, positively, unequivocally adore Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror. It's a perfect continuation of what started in Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars and presents us with a brand new grand adventure. George and Nicolle are easily relatable and you will really feel for them when the chips are way down. So, if you've never played this game before: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!?!?! Get out there and get yourself a copy. Luckily for you, both The Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror are available in a remastered version and thus playable on modern PC's!
And with that, we have arrived back at our glorious Big Red HQ. Wait. what are these sheep doing in the control room? Dennis! Did you leave the door open again? Dennis? DENNIS?! Damn, where is that guy? And why is there a shepherdess dress on the floor. and a pair of undies. and a bra.? Oh, okay, never mind; I think I just discovered what Dennis is doing. Or should I say "who" Dennis is doing. Oh well! For now, this is your old pal, Sadhonker, signing off and wishing you a lot of fun playing classic games! Until next time, when Dennis will take you on a trip through time and space in the next episode of THE BIG RED TIMEMACHINE!
...Wow, saying that through this epic Alphorn really makes it sound so much cooler, don't you think? Well, in any case, bye bye now an until we meet again!
BROKEN SWORD II: THE SMOKING MIRROR
Revolution Software & Virgin Interactive