Syberia: The World Before – The Final Preview

Syberia: The World Before is the fourth installment in the Syberia adventure game series, now two decades old. It was born in the mind of the late Benoit Sokal, and in Syberia: The World Before, Microids is keeping the narrative adventure game burning bright. With an intriguing world, captivating puzzles, and gripping storytelling, I’m genuinely curious to see how the rest of the story unfolds and to see how these characters’ relationships intertwine after playing through the first three chapters.

The beginning of Syberia puts you in the shoes of Dana Rose, a young woman trying to build a career as a pianist while returning to her home of Wagen, a city torn apart by tensions leading up to World War II. Unfortunately, out of the two hours I got to experience, I only played Dana for a short period of time, and while I didn’t learn much from her story, it did help create some worldbuilding for someone. Like me, I’m new to the series.

I found the puzzles to be fairly simple in the beginning, with tasks consisting of finding a simple object to progress through the story, such as a pen or a key. But later, there were others that turned out to be a little more difficult than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. However, on other occasions, I found myself in a quandary of not knowing that there was another piece of the puzzle that was available to me or that it was easier to solve with a mouse and keyboard than with a controller, which is how I played most.

BenoĆ®t Sokal created a setting similar to what we know about the real world, but the industrial industry is more developed where you will see automatons perform human actions such as driving vehicles and playing music. The current organization established in this world is known as the Brown Shadow, and as far as I know, it can be compared to the Nazi Party of Germany during World War II. I wouldn’t say they pose a threat to the characters in general, but they are definitely antagonistic and seem to be the focus of Syberia’s narrative.

For the first three chapters, I played not only Dana Rose but also Kate Walker, the main character in the rest of the Syberia series. Her story began as a prisoner in a salt mine, where she quickly learned of her mother’s death. Thanks to her friend Katyusha, they stumbled upon an abandoned train in which they found a painting of our other playable character, Dana, and coincidentally they look the same. This sets Kate on a mission to discover the origin of this painting, who painted it, and who the mysterious girl really is. This is a big part of the history of Syberia that interested me so much. We already know it’s Dana, and we’re playing as her, so after seeing these two storylines clash, I’m really excited to see where the story goes.

As you explore the world, you will interact with many different objects and locations, including a train car filled to the brim with expensive antiques, shop counters, gadgets, gizmos, and even an industrial piano.

Seeing how these two storylines clash, I really want to see where the story goes.

Syberia: The World Before doesn’t seem to be trying to do anything groundbreaking for the interactive storytelling genre, but if you’re a longtime fan of the series or someone looking for something to fill that classic adventure game-sized hole in your heart, then Syberia – that’s something to be proud of. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of Dana and Kate’s adventures play out when the game releases on March 18th.

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