Syberia II
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-08-15 Xbox Adventure T (Teen) Microids

I had never played the first Syberia, but have read several positive reviews about it.

Not too long ago, we headed to a Rogers Video store to rent some games, and saw Syberia II for sale at $9.99. We decided against it because it was a sequel and we couldn't even find the first one to rent it.

I don't remember what we rented then, but the game didn't work (it was too scratched) so my husband took it back the next day. Surprise, surprise, Syberia II was now $7.99, so he got it, saying I was to play it.

So I did, and it didn't take me long to start whining about not knowing what when on in the first game, and what was the point of playing the sequel without having seen the first title. Then I found it, quietly hanging on the top left of the screen, an option to see a summary of the story of Syberia. And suddenly starting a new game in Syberia II wasn't so pointless anymore.

After finally finding Hans Voralberg, the creator of the fantastic automatons, Kate Walker embarks on a journey to find the mythic island of Syberia, where mammoths are told to roam the blue grass covered plains. Hans' last wish is to find this land and see it with his own eyes.

But what seemed an easy exploration task becomes an obstacle course. First, the train needs to be working, but then Hans falls ill with a terrible fever. Then the train is stolen and Hans is lost somewhere out in the snow, roaming by himself.

Kate searches for him and eventually finds him trapped in a dream state. Decided to find Hans and bring him to his destination, Kate risks not coming back from this dream world to help Hans fulfill his wish.

The epic adventure is not only about the advancement of Hans' quest, but also about Kate's spiritual development. As the story progresses, she leaves her old life behind and discovers a side of her personality that she never thought existed. Instead of just a lawyer, Kate becomes a dependable companion to Hans.

The slow and explorative gameplay almost forces you to look at everything in detail, which is a good thing because Syberia II is indeed a beautiful game, true eye-candy. I couldn't get enough of admiring the scenery.

Even though the landscapes are all snowy and may seem very bland (except for building interiors), you will find the little details to be most impressive: the little snowflakes slowly falling from the sky, a bird flying by, a chunk of snow falling from a tree branch. And the cut-scenes aren't any less spectacular either. Combine all of these with very realistic sound effects, gorgeous music and good voice acting (especially Kate), and you have a recipe for success.

Although this isn't a new game (it's almost a year old now), I found it well worthy of a review. Syberia II is definitely a masterpiece in the museum of videogame art.