Syberia II

Posted by Mary-Frances Dorward.
First posted on 07 February 2007. Last updated on 20 January 2011.
Have an opinion? Leave a comment!

Syberia II
A recap of the story in Syberia is available for playback from the main menu.
Syberia II
Romansburg is the town where Kate continues her new adventure in Syberia.
Syberia II
The bridge leads to a path to the monastery.
Syberia II
Youkol is Kate's new companion who follows her in her adventure.
Syberia II
The pre-rendered graphics in this sequel are breathtaking and surpass the original.

The game is available at Microïds Shop.

This game is part of the Syberia Collection in the Adventure Classics series released in 2009 by Iceberg Interactive.

Syberia Collection

The compilation includes 3 games previously released by Microïds separately in 2001-2004:



Syberia II

Syberia II is not, as the title implies, a true sequel to Syberia but rather a continuation of the story from the original. Game designer and creator of the series, Benoit Sokal, obviously knows that he is in possession of an epic such that a single game is simply not sufficient to narrate his story. Rather, a second game is necessary to carry on his opus to its end. In Syberia II, our heroine does not embark on a whole new adventure in a different part of the world but continues on her journey to a fabled island in Eastern Europe. Despite the name, there is no intended reference to Siberia in Russia from the real world.

In the original Syberia, Kate Walker, a young and brilliant lawyer from New York, has come to Europe to negotiate the purchase of a famous toy factory. The owner of the factory, Anna Voralberg, has just died. The heir to the factory, Anna's brother Hans, who is a genius inventor of automatons himself, has gone missing for many years, so that Kate must locate the eccentric heir to finalize the deal. Eventually, Kate finds Hans and obtains his signature on the contract. Having closed the deal, Kate gets ready to return victorious to her life in New York. However, as the game ends, Kate suddenly turns her back on the plane, runs to catch the train, and leaves Aralbad with Hans.

Syberia II continues the story where Syberia ends—on a train. The game opens with an introduction which briefly recaps the story from Syberia, after which Kate is seen arriving in the train at the town of Romansberg. Of course, the mechanical train needs winding of its engine in order to continue the journey. Thus, the scene is set! This is not a case of wind up and go, but several items are needed to be located first to fix the train. As their journey continues, Kate and Hans find themselves traveling further to the east, all the while discovering new people, creatures, and places on their journey to rediscover the land of the mammoths.

As a game, Syberia II shares much in common with Syberia in both design and play. It is a traditional third person point and click adventure that features 3D in-game characters and pre-rendered environments and cut scenes. The game is made up of a series of quests in which the puzzles within each quest must be completed in order before moving onto the next. Each location in the game (such as Romansbourg, The Youkol Village, The Great North Passage) presents its own set of quests, all of which share a common theme. For example, after arriving at the train station and learning that the train engine has winded down, the quest is to gather resources to enable the train mechanism to be wound up for the next stage of the journey. Compared to the original, the puzzles are more organic and better integrated in this game. The game is strictly linear in that once the players exit an area they know that they have completed all the tasks in that area and there is no need to backtrack to these locations later on. In each location, the players are well advised to take all conversations to their conclusions, since many key events are only triggered by the developing dialogs. The dialogs are generally well written, though continuity errors occasionally crop up whereby a character is aware early on of information that is only revealed later. For some of the dialogs, the use of profanity is questionable and seems to be out of place within the utopian setting of Syberia.

Control is by way of point and click using the mouse, and double clicking the mouse button enables Kate to run. The latter is a particularly useful asset for exploring long streets or paths and for quickly replaying portions of the game. Hotspots are clearly defined, such that pixel hunting is not a problem at all in this game.

The production value of Syberia II easily surpasses its predecessor. The graphics are beautifully rendered and are simply stunning. The snow looks cold, the running water looks icy, and the trees stand gaunt and silent. The whole atmosphere is mysterious and chills with the crunch of snow underfoot. The musical soundtrack compliments perfectly the actions as only good music can do. The voiceovers are superb and owe much to the return of the original voice casts from Syberia to reprise their roles. All the voice actors exhibit complete empathy with the characters they are playing. Kate is charming as before, Oscar the automaton is officious as always, and Hans is gentle but confused as ever.

No game is complete without an "aaahhh" factor. In Syberia II, this "asahhh" factor takes the form of a cuddly white bear called Youki, who becomes a companion to Kate early in the game. It accompanies her for much of her adventure, and like any pet, it is always interested in food. Youki plays a key role several times throughout the game and is even a source of power for primitive transport devices!

Syberia II installs and runs well without any major glitch. The game controls are crisp and precise. There are no sudden swinging camera angles when navigating around the environment to cause disorientation. There are also no clipping through walls or inanimate objects. Subtitles are available as an option. The option to save the game at will and with unlimited slots is a real advantage when there are extensive areas to explore. Reloading of saved games is trouble free and not too lengthy.

In conclusion, Syberia II is a classic adventure game and a competent follow-up title to the original Syberia. There is no violence or unpleasantness in this game, nor is there any high stress action sequence. The game carries an overall theme of respect for the cultures that Kate meets. The ending draws a satisfactory conclusion to the series, but also a slight feeling of regret that this is over so soon. Unfortunately, for adventure fans who may long for the next game in the series, the chances for a new sequel are slim to none. Sokal has since left Microids and Ubisoft has subsumed MC2-Microids in 2005. Regardless of the bleak future of this series, Syberia II stands as a triumphant example of the best adventure games of its generation.

• (1) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink