STAFF REVIEW of Broken Age (Xbox One)

Friday, August 18, 2017.
by John Elliott

Broken Age Box art Parts of me feels like an old man set in his ways when people talk about PC gaming as I shake my head on the inside, thinking about how much console gaming is not necessarily better but is a whole lot easier to deal with. No video cards to worry about or other programs hogging resources that I have to shut down, just pop in the game and boom I am ready to go. Broken Age first and foremost is a PC game which I am lucky, if you consider waiting over two years for it to come to console lucky, to get to play and review it for Xbox One.

Initially I was drawn to this game after being impressed by the visuals in the trailer and I wanted to see if Broken Age would continue to deliver on the story front. Broken Age really showcases the artistic talents of Double Fine. There are people out there who would question how great the visuals of a game can be when it is simply a cartoon. Sure, there are realistic games like Quantum Break that push a machine like the Xbox One to its upper limits, but when I look at the art in Broken Age I see so many different levels. The expansive palette of colours used combined with the superb shading and textures create the world of Broken Age, where the environments range from bright & cheerful exploding with positivity, to the dark, gloomy and depressing depths of outer space. The two main characters of Shay and Vella are carefully crafted to create two very distinct personalities that fit in well with the light and dark play within the environments.

Personally, I love it when big name talent lend their voices to games because it draws the attention and interest of those gamers who may not normally check out a point and click title like Broken Age. Broken Age features Elijah Wood, Jack Black and Wil Wheaton to name off the big guns so to speak. In addition to these, there are some wonderful voice actors like Jennifer Hale, Cree Summer and Richard Horvitz, who you may not immediately recognize by name but would definitely know their work if you checked out their resume. When you have such a star studded cast you are usually in for a real treat, and Broken Age definitely delivers on the voice acting front bringing you in deeper to the world that Double Fine has created.

The musical score is just as impressive as the voice cast with composer Peter McConnell, who like some of the voice actors, you may not recognize, but his resume includes composing for franchises like Star Wars, Monkey Island, Sly Cooper and not to mention the cult favourite Grim Fandango. Suffice to say the Broken Age soundtrack is wonderfully composed and the years of experience Peter has shines through. The score is something I would gladly add to my video game playlist to enjoy throughout the day.

As a point and click adventure game there's not a whole lot to talk about controls like I normally would in most reviews. The best way to go at it is just to dive right in and experience the story itself. Double Fine are master story tellers and they know how to evoke emotions in their audience and keep you coming back for more. Without wanting to ruin the story which I would if I went into detail, I'll leave it to you to discover on your own.

With Broken Age you have a superb musical score combined with stunning visuals and not to mention a thoughtful and emotional story. If you're a fan of Double Fine games, point and click adventures or just want to enjoy a great story, Broken Age is a title for you.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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