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Syberia: The World Before Review – A Painting of Intertwining Stories

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Syberia: The World Before is the latest installment entry from the Developers and Publishers for the adventure game series. Benoit Sokal was the tremendous and impressive mind that spawned the series and in Syberia: The World Before, Microids studio is staying true to the late creator of this chapter. With an intriguing world, charming and at times laborious puzzles, and an appealing narrative, I can’t help but be drawn to see how the rest of the story plays out. I am also engaged in seeing how these characters’ relationships weave and make this design as I continued on with the game for over twenty-plus hours.

When it comes to the setting of this game, Benoit Sokal was able to blend an idealistic real-world scene with historical ideologies. Such as an industrial timepiece that is far more advanced, where robotics are doing human actions such as driving vehicles and playing music. An ongoing organization brought up in this world is known as the Brown Shadow, which from what I learned is comparable to Germany’s Nazi party from World War II. I wouldn’t say they are a threat to the characters at large so far, but they are definitely antagonistic and seem to be a focal point in Syberia’s narrative.

Kate Walker strolled the streets of Vaghen.

As the newest chapter begins in Syberia, you have taken on the role of Dana Roze, a young woman who is trying to build a career as a pianist returning to her home of Vaghen.

This is a small town facing rising tensions that are about to unfold at the beginning of World War II. You only portray Dana for a short period of time to help establish some world-building and your normal run-of-the-mill familiarity with the controls.

The landscape is vast compared to other puzzle games I have played.

Now is when the game takes over and you have whisked away to another time and put in the shoes of Kate Walker, the main protagonist for the rest of the Syberia series. For me, the jumping between the two characters gave me the feel of being Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap, so it was an intriguing feature. Her story began as a prisoner in a salt mine, where she quickly learned about the death of her mother.

Thanks to her friend Katyusha, they come across an abandoned train finding a painting of our other playable character Dana and coincidentally enough, they look exactly the same. This puts Kate on a mission to find the origin of this painting, who painted it, and who the mysterious girl actually is. Being that we get to play as both people, it was a fascinating idea to watch both lives unfold and see how they fuse into one that had me on the edge of my seat at times.

The outfits and the machinery give the game a historical feel.

When it came to the gameplay itself, I found the puzzles to be pretty straightforward early on. If you ever played any type of challenging puzzle mystery game, and you know what to look for, most of the clues are laid out like any other game. Basically, look for a simple object to progress through the story like a pen or a key. Then later in the game, the puzzles became more challenging and my interest was peaked.

Instead of just one piece to unlock the puzzle, there became more and more pieces and more locks to unlock a bigger puzzle. Now, was there any puzzle that I came across that was so hard to figure out that I was stuck in the game? Unfortunately for me, no. However, if you are new to these types of games then you may be in for a surprise.

Shopping at stalls and looking for clues.

As you explore the world, you will interact with a myriad of different objects and locations that kept me entertained and coming back to the game to see what I was going to do next. I was able to shop at stalls, and find all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to help me down the road. I was also even able to interact with an old-style piano.

Syberia: The World Before doesn’t seem to be attempting anything groundbreaking for the interactive storytelling genre, but if you are a returning fan of the series or someone who is looking for something to fill that classic adventure-game-sized hole in your heart, then Syberia is something to be excited for. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of Dana’s and Kate’s adventure plays out when the game is released on March 18, 2022, for PC for $39.99 on Steam, EPIC Game Store, and GOG.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This review was written based on a digital review copy of Syberia: The World Before for PC provided by Microids.

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