Syberia 3 developed by Koalabs Studios is rather unsurprisingly the third installment of the adventure puzzle game franchise, Syberia. Go figure. This game has been in some sort of development for around 7 years so it really is a long time coming. We’ve been tracking its release for a few weeks and now we’ve finally got our hands on it, and we’re keen to dive right in and see if it’s any good. I haven’t played Syberia 1 or 2, so I will be reviewing this game as someone completely new to the franchise, which indeed I am.
Syberia 3 starts off with our American heroine Kate Walker being found unconscious in a wrecked boat by a small nomadic tribe called the Youkol, who are on their sacred pilgrimage to the Snow Ostrich breeding grounds. After this you wake up in a clinic ran by a very shady and sinister cast of characters that do not want Kate to or her or an injured nomad called Kurt to leave the clinic. Now it’s up to Kate to get the hell out of the clinic and back on her adventure, but without spoiling it (which I am loathe to do) that’s about as much as I want to share with you on the story itself.
Suffice to say, the story has a dark One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest feel about it. With Sister Olga doing her best Nurse Ratchet impression and Doctor Zamiatine who has all but admitted that he prefers to torture his patients than ask them nicely. The earlier parts of the game are certainly a nice advert for ‘private’ healthcare.
We’re looking at a fairly standard puzzle adventure game. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad thing. You know exactly the type of game you’re getting and in my opinion it’s been done well. You walk around talk to people, grab objects and use them to solve various puzzles. There are little twists on this, such as using the controller buttons to look around or to physically move things to solve problems such as rotating a knife to unscrew a screw.
Another element of the game that has a little something extra are the way you conduct conversations. By holding left trigger, you can hear what Kate Walker thinks about the various conversation responses before you say them. It may not make it obvious which is the better response of course, but it does suggest how that person might react. There also appears to be a time element to answering. Don’t respond for a while and the other person will try to urge you to speak or just get irritated about your silence.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically Syberia 3 holds up to many of the modern adventure puzzle games out there. There doesn’t appear to be any lip-syncing. Although whether this is because English is not the native language of the game and it’s syncing to another language I don’t know. It’s not a major thing anyway. The settings themselves are distinct and they’re animated enough to make them feel alive. In short it’s as polished as it needs to be.
Soundwise it’s a real mixed bag. The music is wonderfully atmospheric and in the most part the speech has been done really well. However, there seems to be a near constant use of Kate’s name in every conversation. At first I thought it was just a cultural language thing that they had added for the Youkol tribe and Kurt, but I found other characters were doing it as well. It’s not a major point, but it does get a tad annoying after a while.
So far the puzzles have been fairly easily solved, but that’s due to them not flooding the game with objects you won’t need to use for ages. They’ve kept it all fairly simple. At the early part of the game there is also not very far you can walk, so you know the answer lies somewhere within a handful of locations. You haven’t got a giant sprawling map to get the answer from.
The above things keep the game ticking along closely. Don’t worry about finding insanely illogical puzzles in this one.
Honestly, there probably isn’t any. Sure, you can play again to see how conversation’s play out with different responses, but the ending of the game will remain the same regardless. This is a game that’s best to enjoy as much as you can on your first playthrough, as there’ no guarantee you’ll want to play Syberia 3 again.
If you like the sound of Syberia 3 and want to give it a try, and want to test your luck enter our Syberia 3 Steam Key Sweepstake. You could be in with a chance of getting your hands on a free Steam key for Syberia 3. Just follow this link.