Review: Syberia 3 (Computer)
- Release Date (NA): April 25, 2017
- Release Date (EU): April 20, 2017
- Publisher: PQube
- Developer: Microïds
- Genres: Adventure
- Also For: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Back in the cold, snowy land where mammoths are rumored to still roam and the nomadic Youkols ride their snow ostriches for their annual migration, Syberia 3 is here to take you back into the fantastic world crafted by Benoît Sokal...
... at least in theory.
Development and Hell
Initially slated for a 2010 release, Syberia 3 went into a development hell of sorts and only saw the light of day this April. I'm pretty sure the script for the game wowed the developers into making the game a reality; The story is an intriguing adventure tale that gives you control of Kate Walker as she wakes up from a coma (Snake, is that you?!) after being rescued by the nomadic Youkols from the brink of death. You'll have to guide her as she helps the Youkol tribe in their migration while fending off some mysterious detractors. You'll get to experience Kate's adventure first hand, literally every step of the way, all the while solving puzzles one more unique than the other. Sounds like a perfect revival of the series, no?
In practice, it doesn't really work out as planned. The whole game is plagued with technical issues. First off, the characters have really awkward animations mostly apparent with their unnatural motion and their poorly animated facial expressions (and you thought it'd stopped at Mass Effect Andromeda). Not to mention the mediocre voice acting, often so awkward that I feel embarrassed for the couple of voice actors who voiced the whole game. The latter barely made an effort to sound any different from each character they voiced, often forgetting to convey genuine emotions. It could have been looked over had it been NPCs and/or for only a few occasions but even the main character suffers from the same issues.
Even the trailers hint at the issues mentioned
Additionally you'll encounter glitches and interminable load times on several occasion that you'll grow to accept them as being part of the game. I'm not sure about the cause of the load times because the graphics seem to have stagnated in the era the game was initially supposed to be released.
One of the many, many glitches in the game
If you thought that was all, then I'm sorry to say you're wrong. The 3D, third person approach does not quite fit the bill in this game as the camera angle changes whenever you move to a different frame and you'll need more than just a keen eye to discover some key items in these conditions. And it doesn't help that the controls are rather clunky and often unresponsive. The video below will give you an idea what you have to deal with:
Another issue I've noticed is the discrepancy between the spoken dialogues and the subtitles. Although not consequential, it is definitely noticeable.
Some issues were reportedly addressed with the major update of April 27th but I did not find much improvements as whatever I've listed above still persist at the time of writing.
The gameplay itself is linear and the puzzles are not too hard to figure out and they are actually the only high point of the game as each puzzle is unique and require different solutions. Solving the puzzles are how you progress in the game, and in true Syberia fashion, it is done by thoroughly scouting your environment. In fact you'll need to explore every available area in the game to find clues, key items and what not. But a few ingenious puzzles can't save such a broken game.
As for the story, it follows shortly after the events of Syberia II, but the game offers no recap for newcomers or those who played the last game nearly a decade ago. Although it was arguably not necessary to bring Kate Walker back into action, the story of Syberia 3 manages to weave into the prequels' universe somehow. Nevertheless it is far from being perfect with its plot holes and illogical sequences.
But oh boy, the story now ends in a cliff-hanger of sorts and now I'm genuinely scared for Kate's fate, not based on the plot, but on the backlash of her fans. Syberia 3 effectively turned Lara-soft into Lara-crap and it'd be for the best if they left it on that note if they were to follow up with a similarly broken sequel.
Syberia 3, with all of its broken mechanics and animations, could have made for an acceptable mobile game by an indie team of one or two developers back when it was supposed to be released in 2010. But in 2017 it does not hold its own as a PC game. The bar has been set high with the games of late but the developers of Syberia 3 don't seem to have kept up with the times.
Looking to play as an adventurous female protagonist in a puzzle-filed game with a captivating story? Look no further than Rise of the Tomb Raider. You'll even have the added bonus of proper animation and professional voice acting!
Syberia 3 is only barely recommended for those eager to follow the latest tale of Kate Walker.
We all know where this is going...
+ Unique puzzles all throughout the game
- Clunky controls
- Poor animation
- Poor voice acting
- Weak storyline
Poor animation, poor voice acting and a weak story make for an overall poor presentation.
The puzzles are the highlight of the game but the controls and awkward camera angles take away the fun when they constantly do their best to not help you.
Unless if you want to unlock all of the achievements of a very broken game (which should be an achievement on its own), this game doesn't hold much of a lasting appeal. Managing to finish the game once in its state should make you feel more than satisfied.
out of 10
(not an average)
Syberia 3 is a game that looks and feels old, and not in a good way. The game is infested with technical issues like clunky controls, poor animation and mediocre voice acting that take away any amount of fun that could have been present. It is only barely recommended for those die-hard fans of Kate Walker too eager to keep up to date with her latest adventure; and I'm not sure how much of a fandom will be left after this title...