Syberia II

Developer/Publisher Microids
Release Date October 2003

Cindy Yans

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This article originally appeared in Computer Games Magazine #150

Microids’ widely-acclaimed adventure game Syberia was one of last year’s could-have-knocked-you-over-with-a-feather surprises. Probably the best thing about it was that creator Benoit Sokal wasn’t necessarily creating a game when he conceived it, he was creating a story. The trouble is that the story was too epic to fit into one retail box. So you can think of Syberia II as the second chapter of the saga.
Once again you control Kate Walker in a tale that takes her, along with her old friends Hans and his sympathetic automaton, Oscar, through an eastern-European-esque game world. Now, Kate will be traveling with the whimsical toymaker Hans, as opposed to trying to find him. This time around she has fewer business ties, so the old “cell phone footage” will be greatly diminished. You begin where the original game left you, in Aralbad, and end up in—yes, you guessed it—Syberia. The game will have four separate regions several of which have been inspired by Europe’s post-WWII atmosphere. From early concept art, it looks as though a “wintry mix” will be quite the norm.
Of course, they’ve upped the ante on the graphical engine, which now provides for multiple light sources. This will provide the type of dynamic real-time effects that the original, although extremely good looking, just wasn’t able to. Expect flickering shadows, animated snow and ice, and more camera angles.
One of the things that sets Syberia apart from most traditional adventure games is its astounding integration of puzzle and story. There was little if any “Try this with that…uh no, how about that with the other thing? Uh, no…” type of activity which has become the unfortunate staple of far too many games. You can expect the same here. Don’t download that walkthrough before even starting.
Microids has certainly done its part to liven up the adventure game market, so it’s still likely that, with this sequel, no one will be left out in the cold.

This article originally appeared in Computer Games Magazine #150