Picking up right where Syberia left off, Syberia II continues the story of Kate Walker, a young attorney on a quest to find the mythical land of Syberia, a place where mammoths still roam the earth. Syberia II has exactly the same gameplay, graphics, and voice talent as the first game, but it's more accurate to think of Syberia II as the next chapter in Kate's story, rather than a proper sequel. As such, Syberia II has nearly all of the same strengths and weaknesses as the first installment, but lacks some of the freshness and sense of discovery that made the original so charming.
Walker, after locating Hans Voralberg in northern Europe, decides to accompany him on his quest to locate Syberia instead of returning home to New York. The eccentric genius welcomes Kate's help, and the two, accompanied by Hans' trusty automaton (a type of robot) Oscar, venture even further north and east to find a primitive race of people known as the Youkol, who may hold the key to traveling to Syberia.
Using a simple point and click interface, players control Kate as she visits exotic locations on her expedition. As in other games of this type, such as The Longest Journey, your main task is to figure out what to do or where to click in order to move the story along. Syberia II doesn't break any new ground in this genre. While it's impossible to die, it can be frustratingly difficult to try and locate the right widget necessary to bring Kate closer to her goal.
Graphically, the game looks just as good as the first, with beautifully rendered, skillfully designed backdrops. The environments feel more alive than in the first, as you can see people going about their daily tasks in the background. The game only lets you interact with objects or people essential to moving the story along, however, so the additional people function primarily as window dressing.
Syberia II has just as strong a story as the first game, though it is less emotionally charged and more plot driven. While the game does provide more closure at the end of its story than the first adventure, it still feels woefully abrupt when the journey ends and the credits roll. The player would have been better served by combining both games into one, compressing certain areas and story elements, and wrapping everything up a bit better. For fans of the first game, Syberia II is a must-play, if only to find out what happens to Kate and Hans on their way to Syberia. Newcomers to Syberia would be better off playing through the first game before tackling the second.
Graphics: Exactly the same as the first game, though the designers have added more life to the various areas in the form of people going about their business in the background.
Sound: The voice actors in this one seem stronger than in the first game. And, since the first game had some decent voice actors, this is a very good thing.
Enjoyment: Fans disappointed with the ending of the first installment will need to play this one through for closure. It won't be much fun for people who haven't played the original.
Replay Value: A linear story structure that's literally on rails functionally eliminates any re-playability.
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Syberia, Secret Files: Tunguska, Longest Journey, The, Secrets of the Ark: A Broken Sword Game, Still Life, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, Black Mirror, The
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