Classic point-and-click adventure series Broken Sword is set for a two-pronged return after a decade away; boutique U.K. studio Revolution Software has announced that it is working on a sixth title, Broken Sword — Parzival’s Stone, as well as a full 4K remaster of the 1996 original, The Shadow of the Templars.
Both games are in development for console, mobile, and Windows PC. Broken Sword — Shadow of the Templars: Reforged is set for release in early 2024, while Parzival’s Stone is undated, but further off.
The Broken Sword games are light, conspiratorial adventures with a historical bent, very much in the vein of the LucasArts classics of the early 1990s like The Secret of Monkey Island, but with gentler humor and (arguably) more logical puzzle design. The games follow American patent lawyer George Stobbart and French journalist Nico Collard as they trot the globe, solving riddles, investigating conspiracies, and uncovering ancient secrets.
Parzival’s Stone will reintroduce 3D graphics to the series, after a return to the original 2D in 2013’s fifth, Kickstarter-funded game, The Serpent’s Curse. But series creator Charles Cecil has dubbed the new graphical style “Super 2D” as it attempts to recreate the look of the original games by applying hand-drawn textures to the 3D geometry. It will have a classic, point-and-click adventure game interface.
Parzival’s Stone will send George and Nico on a quest for the mythical Holy Grail — “but not as one might expect,” according to the press release. Their quest will take them to Montségur in the South of France, former stronghold of the Cathar Christian sect, and pit them against tech entrepreneurs, government agencies, and energy corporations in a story that also involves Nazi treasure hunters (but of course) and quantum physics.
The new version of the first game — in which George witnesses a bomb attack on a Parisian café, drawing him into a mystery involving the Knights Templar — notably updates its hand-drawn, animated-film-style visuals from 640×400 pixels to 4K resolution with fully redrawn assets. This enormous task was accomplished with a mixture of human artists and A.I. techniques; Revolution head Charles Cecil told Polygon that the tiny studio “just simply couldn’t afford” to remake the game without using A.I. The game’s audio will also be upscaled, a few minor changes made to story and characterization to fit modern sensibilities, and gameplay improvements brought over from the currently available Director’s Cut version.
Cecil said that, if the reissue of Shadow of the Templars is a success, the intention is to follow it up with a remaster of the second Broken Sword game, The Smoking Mirror, using the same techniques.