New Game Review

Review – Syberia 3 (Switch)

Automatons, giant ostriches, and Eastern Europeans with Californian accents.

Initial reception to the long awaited Syberia 3 was far from positive. I remember looking at the initial reviews and being shocked with the overall negative reception from critics, even though fans seemed to be a bit more forgiving. At that time, I had never played a Syberia game before. I waited until the re-release of the first Syberia game on the Switch find out what the fuss was all about. I also played the second one later on, after grabbing it for dirt cheap on a Steam sale. I found the games to be rather enjoyable, mostly due to their excellent plot, while I found their visuals dated.

I’m finally able to play Syberia 3 on the Switch and I can definitely see that the game is flawed and not as good as its predecessors. Bad game, you might ask? Nah, it’s actually fine.

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It’s like playing a modern game on the lowest graphics settings.

The main flaw here is the visual department. Syberia 3 is hideous. I have to say that the art style the developers came up with is actually pretty good, but the game itself looks terrible. The textures are blurry, devoid of saturation and very stretched, and the framerate is all over the place. The facial animations are really weird; their mouths open and close like they’re characters from the Wallace and Gromit universe, never being in sync with what they’re actually saying.

Speaking of which, another thing that weirded me out in Syberia 3 was the voice acting. Don’t get me wrong, some of the characters are actually well-voiced, but a good chunk of them felt like random American people were selected to voice a bunch of characters with their natural voices and accents and expected to do everything on their first take. Mind you, they’re supposed to be Eastern European, but they all ended up sounding like teenagers from California. Even the old people sounded way too young for their own sake. Thankfully, not everything is lost in the sound department, as the soundtrack is easily one of the game’s highlights. Upon booting up the game, you’re greeted with a fantastic theme song of borderline epic proportions. While the other tunes in Syberia 3 are nowhere near as epic as the theme song, they still get the job done.

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I don’t know what’s more evil: Thrift Shop Rasputin’s face or using Comic Sans as font.

In terms of technical quality, Syberia 3 is mixed at best and a disgrace at worst. But as an adventure game itself, especially an adventure game ported to a home console with buttons, it’s not half bad. Two things are fundamental for an adventure title to be enjoyable: a good story and good puzzles. Syberia 3‘s story is enjoyable due to the fact it doesn’t try to be epic. To be fair, it’s very straightforward: you’re trying to help a tribe of nomads and their awesome Star Wars-ish giant ostriches complete their pilgrimage across dangerous territory.

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They really want you to know that the bad guys look like REAL BAD GUYS.

The game was clearly made with a mouse in mind, and while it is a bummer that toucscreen support hasn’t been added this time around, the game doesn’t do a bad job in terms of controls. Every interactive object has a little circular prompt that tells you what you can do with it. Buttons will show up in four different corners, representing each face button on the Switch’s controller. There is also a run button (you will use it a lot, as Kate Walker moves at a snail’s pace). The main issue regarding the gameplay is the abundance of fixed camera angles. Thankfully, tank controls are nowhere to be seen.

Solving puzzles isn’t a difficult task; they’re not complicated, but not stupidly easy either. If you’re stuck at a specific puzzle, there will always be an object, a sign, or an NPC giving you a hint on what to do, without giving out the solution at once. They’re just characters, not Gamefaqs.

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Lara Croft who?

I do think the criticism Syberia 3 received was a bit exaggerated. Either that or the Switch version fixed a lot of previous bugs I’m not aware of. It’s riddled with poor design choices and ugly visuals, but it’s is still a decent adventure game. It is a fitting conclusion to the Syberia saga, and due to that, I can only truly recommend this game to fans of the previous two games. They are most certainly better than this one, but fans will be able to have a good time with Syberia 3.

 

Graphics: 3.5

Feels like you’re playing a demanding polygonal game on the lowest settings available just so it can run on your aging PC. The texture quality is very low and the framerate is inconsistent.

Gameplay: 6.5

Your character’s movement can often be too slow and the fixed camera angles are definitely something that shouldn’t have been brought back from the dead, but the item management, skill trees and puzzle solving mechanics are far from bad.

Sound: 6.5

The main theme song is fantastic, with the rest of the soundtrack not being as great, but still decent enough. The voice acting is a mixed bag. Some characters are well-voiced while others, like Kate Walker herself, aren’t.

Fun Factor: 6.5

Syberia 3 is still a fun adventure game with some clever puzzles despite its technical shortcomings. It’s only recommended to fans of the series and massive adventure game fans… who have previously played other games from the series…

Final Verdict: 6.0

Syberia 3 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Syberia 3 was provided by the publisher.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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