What is Syberia III?
Syberia 3 is a point and click adventure game set in a hostile and snowy land. Picking up where Syberia 2 left off (although you don't need to have played Syberia 1 or 2 to follow the story here, as the plot is fairly self contained), the game tells the tale of plucky ex-lawyer Kate Walker. After being found half-dead in a snow drift and nursed back to health by the nomadic Youkol tribe, Kate decides to repay the rural peoples' hospitality by lending a hand with their traditional snow ostrich migration - an event which happens only a few times each century. Hitting plenty of road blocks along the way, whether it's the locals' dislike of the Youkols, climate change stopping the ice from freezing over, or some shady government types who are pursuing poor Kate, it turns out helping the tribe won't be quite as easy as Kate had first thought. Packed with plenty of puzzles to solve, Syberia 3 is a game that'll really test your brain.
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How do you play Syberia III?
Like many other games of its ilk, Syberia 3 is a game of observation, exploration and puzzle solving. With many an obstacle getting in your way, it's up to you to examine your surroundings, pick up useful objects, and figure out what to use where to solve all kinds of puzzles. Whether you're using a knife as a makeshift screwdriver, or forging a pass to get through a police checkpoint, Kate's journey is full of problems that'll tax your grey matter. As you wander the game's many exotic environments, you'll need to interrogate the locals for useful information, favours and clues, and keep your eyes peeled for items that may come in handy later - like a washed up squid, which can be used as a source of ink. When chatting to certain characters, you'll get a choice of responses and questions you can say in return - some answers simply let you learn more about the things in question, while others might be crucial to your progress.
As with its predecessors, Syberia 3 has a focus on 'automatons' - intricate mechanical items you'll need to tinker with in order to solve puzzles. One early example involves using a key to leave a hospital - only this is no ordinary key. Consisting of a number of wispy arms, each attached to a different tumbler, you'll need to carefully rotate each arm so it perfectly matches a complex silhouette in the background in order to leave the mental asylum.
How easy is Syberia III to pick up and play?
Syberia 3 is a game designed to be challenging. The game's many puzzles can take a fair amount of logical reasoning - and the occasional creative leap - to figure out, and with little in the way of hints or guidance, it's likely to be one for the more experienced player. While there is a choice of difficulty at the start of the game, with the easier 'Voyage' difficulty saying it gives you more hints and visual clues, in practice there's little difference compared to the default 'Adventure' difficulty. With only a very vague hint system in place, if you get stuck, you're likely to be stuck until you can figure it out on your own.
The game's controls can take a little getting used to at first too. Interactions with your surroundings are mapped to each of the controller's four face buttons (in the case of the Playstation 4, thats X, Circle, Square and Triangle) - however, as Syberia is a game that's light on tutorials, you're mostly left to experiment and figure out which button does what. Some interactions also require you to move the analogue stick at the same time as holding down a button, perhaps to rotate clock hands, pull open a drawer or remove a screw from a call box - with no button prompts to help you, it can be a bit of trial and error at first.
For the hard of hearing, it's worth noting that Syberia 3's subtitles can be a little bit hit and miss at times. Sometimes the subtitles seem to bear little resemblance to what's actually being said in game, while other scenes remain totally unsubtitled.
On the other side of the spectrum, Syberia 3 is generally voiced throughout - however, a reading ability is still a requirement, as clues can sometimes be hidden in separate text documents you'll pick up along the way. Choosing the correct conversational options also requires a reading ability.
- "Use the waterway to get to the Youkols"
- "Capsules: Take daily, preferably at tea time."
- "There is more urgent business. Come see me later in the boiler room; we have to take care of those damn nomads..."
On the whole, Syberia 3 contains little mature content front - there's no sex scenes, and no real bloody violence. Occasional moments depict the odd violent act, such as a character running from an armed assailant, a character shooting a giant squid with a shotgun, and one character who talks of how he lost his leg in a bomb blast. Bad language does crop up occasionally, particularly in the case of the frequently-drunk Captain Obo, who can be a bit foul-mouthed at times, with the occasional utterance of damn, p*ss and b*stard cropping up in dialogue.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4