Broken Age: Act 2
Top Critic Average
Whether you're new to the journey or playing to see how it ends, Broken Age is a wonderful coming-of-age tale that's worth the trip
Broken Age: Act 2 is an amazing adventure filled with great writing and fantastic puzzles.
Act 1 was just an appetizer. Act 2 is the meaty main course that defines Broken Age — and not just because it finishes the story. It's where Double Fine let loose and went crazy with the puzzles (and the complex train of thought you need to solve them). It's where characters I previously thought were only there for a joke or two became much more important. It's where Shay's and Vella's rebellion against their preordained fates turned into a cause that is much bigger than themselves.
The second half doesn't quite live up to the first, but Broken Age is still a journey worth taking.
Broken Age: Act 1 was so perfect that perhaps my expectations were inflated when playing through the second half. However, despite the challenges Broken Age is still very much a beautiful game with a heartwarming story. The puzzles, as frustrating as they are, come from a place of creative invention that defines the point-and-click genre. I choose to treasure its high points-- the charming characters, ingenious dialogue, and silly childlike whimsy.
The game formerly known as Double Fine Adventure is a fine adventure, but definitely one best taken as a whole rather than in two parts.
There are a few bumps along the way, but overall Broken Age is a fun ride
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 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.
Despite these complaints, the character and tone of Broken Age are hard to resist. Act two may not capitalize on the potential of act one, but there are still plenty of moments that can bring a smile to your face or cause you to laugh-out-loud. Even at its worst, the world is a pleasure to be a part of, putting Broken Age in one of the most frustrating positions. There's already a lot of goodness within it, but it's almost impossible not to think of what it could have been.