Broken Age: Act 2
Top Critic Average
The second half doesn't quite live up to the first, but Broken Age is still a journey worth taking.
Good but inconsistent, with an anticlimactic end
Overall Broken Age is hugely fun game, but hardly the second coming of LucasArts as many backers probably hoped. Animation, sound, voice acting, dialogue, character, all of this is absolutely top-of-the-range, no game better in the industry, and it all makes the experience worthwhile.
Broken Age's first act was mediocre but had potential. Potential that its conclusion squanders.
The second act of Broken Age addresses the difficulty concerns of the first, but revisits too many familiar locations, and fails to up the ante or tie things up in a satisfying way.
Beautiful in its aesthetics, smart in its user-interface, yet ultimately lacking in almost every other key area, Broken Age: Act 2 is mightily disappointing on its own. Since it comes as a free update to those that already laid money down for Act 1, thankfully no money will feel like it has been wasted. Anyone picking up the full package on a non-PC format, though, might feel a touch more down and bitter, since the second half is not a patch on the first part and the cost outlay will be fresher in their minds.
Together, Broken Age Acts 1 and 2 make a solid game that players will look back on fondly. Unfortunately, the second act doesn't live up to the promise of the first. Themes are dropped, puzzles seem a bit more obtuse, and the environments feel like a retread of the first act.
It feels rushed, uncreative and so lacking in the passion that made the first act great.
Broken Age sadly suffers from a case of too much. The watercolor art style, humorous dialogue, and clever writing are unfortunately buried under too much backtracking, too much obscurity, and therefore, too much frustration. On the one hand, you can't help but get that Portal-esque "A-ha!" feeling when you solve a puzzle. But when you stumble upon a solution after frantically combining objects at random and presenting them to every NPC under the sun that makes you tap into your inner John McEnroe and say, "You cannot be serious," you can literally feel the joy sucking out of the room. I want to see a return of the point-and-click genre, but not at the expense of my sanity.
Broken Age: Act 2 may stumble a bit trying to be something it isn't, but what it is, is still gorgeous and enthralling, and I'll put up with some frustrating puzzles and backtracking for that.