Following on from the success of Syberia, Benoît Sokal and his team at MC2-Microïds developed the sequel, Syberia 2, and released it in 2004. So, is Syberia 2 a good game? For a game that’s 18 years old at the time of writing it holds up well. It’s a solid point-and-click graphic action-adventure game that continues the story started in the original game.
Like the first game, in Syberia 2, you can’t get stuck or die so there’s no need to worry about repeatedly saving. While this may make it feel like the stakes aren’t high, it places the focus on the actual game itself. More importantly, it means you don’t have to repeat the same sections and the flow of the plot isn’t spoiled as a result. As a point-and-click, gameplay is as you would expect. Clicking around the map will make Kate Walker head in that direction, double click to run. She can interact with the people and the world around her and investigating different objects will unlock new areas, new clues and solve objectives.
The game is relatively slow in its pacing and while in places that can be off-putting, for the most part it’s so that the player can fully enjoy the story and the world that has been crafted.
New York lawyer Kate Walker has found Hans Voralberg and, forgetting her life back home, has joined him on his quest to find the mythical land of Syberia. Syberia of course being the last home of prehistoric mammoths. What transpires is an adventure throughout the snowy wastelands of the east as they set out to make this quest come true. Along the way, Hans gets sick and the train that he and Kate Walker travel on is stolen. Kate then needs to go save him and ensure that Hans makes his childhood dream come true.
The puzzles in Syberia 2 are the second biggest draw after the plot. The Syberia franchise is story-driven, but the main gameplay element are puzzles. Syberia 2 is no exception. Most of the puzzles are very logical – for example in one part you must craft a candle, and this follows a logical order. Sadly, some areas aren’t quite so well defined. For example, early on you need the help of a young girl to get a gate key… but she won’t appear with the balloon she needs until you’ve gone through all the dialogue options with every character in that section. This backtracking can be quite exhausting in an already slower paced game.
Much like Syberia, the modern version of Syberia 2 has a few compatibility issues with modern PCs. This is unfortunate as you would hope that this would have been solved. This isn’t the end of the world as its playable if you resize your desktop resolution first.
Syberia 2 isn’t a game to play if you haven’t already experienced the first instalment. It’s the middle section of a novel effectively, if you don’t read the first act, it won’t make a lot of sense. This is despite the handy recap video the game offers.
Overall, Syberia 2 is a wholly enjoyable experience, even if it is a little slow in places. The puzzles are a good mix of logical challenges and completely complicated challenges. The balance is perfect as they never get so difficult you want to quit playing. One instance though required triggering all dialogue options with all the characters in that area before the next puzzle would start. This did feel like unnecessary backtracking which is a common theme in Syberia 2. It is for this reason that while a solid entry to the series, it isn’t necessarily better than the first.