Syberia: The World Before - Review
Ahh Syberia, an old friend we haven't seen each other in a long time. Quality though often meaningless puzzles, a wonderful soundtrack and dialogues, clockwork technology, and a certain "innocence of the environment" are the factors that brought warmth during the time spent behind the monitor. In this way, Syberia gained the status of a therapeutic agent. No person has played without saying that the music is wonderful and that she felt only positive vibes.
You didn't get angry with the computer, but with a smile on your face, because during the campaign you could discover another small detail about the world in which Kate is trying to find Hans and try to find a solution for a mechanical toy factory with Oscar's help. Benoit Sokal did a great job from the aesthetic and screenwriting side. A real little masterpiece for the then modern design.
No one is disgusted with success, especially not the creator and publisher himself, so efforts have been made to throw out the continuation of this adventure. Syberia 2 sold even better thanks to the lessons learned from the previous episode. The continuation of the story was very good with less problematic character development and too pale an antagonist, but the final part of the adventure gave such a good vibe that the game as a whole was a shade better than the first part.
Unfortunately, the third part was a slave to its time and design solutions that remained stuck in the first decade of the 2000s. Too many bugs, clichés, and everything else that is the complete opposite of what the Syberia series represents has completely "channeled" the franchise. The lukewarm reception from fans and critics indicated that we would have a hard time seeing the return of this game to our screens.
The time of redemption has come with a new sequel that begins somewhat shyly
and with a very solid introduction to our protagonists that we will guide
through the story. For a start, we have Dana Rose, a young pianist who is
trying to escape from a small town to the music academy in the spring of 1937,
while the Nazi occupying shadow is hovering over Europe.
On the other side is Kate Walker in 2004, who is trying to escape from the salt mine where she was locked up after the events from the third part. In time, a stay in that mine, memories, and a complete emotional breakdown awaits Kate until she realizes that the time has come to move on and escape from that horrible place.
It is interesting how during her escape, Kate manages to come across a picture of Dana Rose and see a large number of similarities between the two, which gives her additional motivation to go to the heart of Europe to reach the root of that mystery. The intertwining of the two historical timelines is quite well done with the causes and consequences that you can feel in the campaign and what significance they have for the main character.
The return of a well-known character completely thrilled me because it was generally my favorite NPC in the first part. The dialogues are solidly written, make sense, and are somewhat devoid of clichés. The situation is not so rosy, but at least it is at the level of the previous parts.
With that attitude, the interface was not further changed, they did not try to deal with innovation, but with evolution, which has not moved much into modern waters. The UI is intuitive enough to guide you through the story unpretentiously and give you some guidance if you get stuck somewhere. There are no holding hands, which is very important, if you have problems with progression, some "hints" will appear here and there, and that's it.
Throughout the campaign, you have standard point and click things you need to do. Exploring the location, you may have to hunt for pixels, but this does not happen often, talking to the characters and exhausting the dialogue, and of course, collecting objects that provide important information or are key to progression. Most of the puzzles are not some difficult puzzle at the level of Lucas Arts or Sierra games, but it is completely in the spirit of the previous parts so that fans of the franchise will feel the charm of the home field.
Although the linearity of Siberia is its middle name, optional quests will
also be offered with certain benefits if you complete them. These are not some
astronomical things, but they will give you an insight into the characters and
this wonderful world that came out of the mind of Beno Sokal, who
unfortunately passed away last year, which significantly affected the tone of
the game itself.
There is some anxiety and sadness at every step and insecurity in the events that will follow. But let's go back to the optional quests, they will come naturally to you and you will somehow solve them spontaneously so that they do not seem to "stick out" but are an integral part of the story itself. An elegant solution indeed. Many will say that this is more or less the same Siberia as the previous games, and they will not be deceived much, of course, it is a trend in the industry plus the trauma that is certainly drawn from the previous part.
Graphically, Siberia looks very nice, the character animations are quite good, although the facial expression is not always in place. What can be expected from a small study? It serves a purpose, and I am glad that they had the emotional strength and motivation to bring such a beautiful project to an end. Admittedly there are occasional drops in fps for no apparent reason and hopefully patches but it doesn’t disrupt the experience while playing.
This is not fps, this is a point-and-click slow paced game that should be enjoyed lightly. The soundtrack contributes to all this, which is a very high quality here. Voice acting is at a higher level, and the musical background is a special story. Composer Inon Zur has done a very good job here so I expect this OST might even be found on YouTube playlists of lovers of good music themes.
For more fans of Syberia: The World Before is a must-buy if you want to
be reminded of the good old days but don’t expect miracles. For everything
else, you have titles from other publishers. The face of the franchise has
been saved in this part, and I hope that the developers may have the courage
to show something new in the future.