It’s been a very long time since I played a game that I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities of. Honestly, it’s an awful feeling. Especially as a reviewer. I try my very best to give every game a fair chance. But I also take pride in being totally honest in my reviews, and Broken Pieces is a game that I just did not enjoy. Let me take you through why.
What is Broken Pieces?
Broken Pieces is a psychological thriller, set in a coastal French village. You play as Elise, a woman in her 30s, who moved to Saint-Exil with her fiancé. However, an unexplained paranormal phenomenon has encapsulated the area. Elise is now alone, stuck in the village, and out of time. There are mysteries everywhere, begging to be solved. From scientists working out of the lighthouse to a ritualistic cult, and everything in between.
Unfortunately, this is where it all fell apart for me.
I’m going to start with the positives. Graphically speaking, Broken Pieces looks great. The scenery itself is beautiful. The town is lovely to wander through. Overall, the sound design is also great. The score fits well with the atmosphere and blends nicely. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the in-game tapes though. That’s just personal preference though, not a reflection on the songs.
But now, my problems start. I’ll go for the most basic one first- despite having full controller support, the game needed a couple of restarts before combat controls would work correctly. I tested with multiple controllers, as initially, I thought that was the problem. It was the game itself.
Some of the missions were ridiculously tedious, made even worse by the fact that you move at only one speed. And the map feels too big for that one speed. Especially with the camera angles. Even changing perspectives didn’t help me. Honestly, while the idea itself is cool, for me it did not feel well executed.
One of my biggest issues was trying to read anything in game. No matter how many settings I adjusted, the writing was insanely difficult to read. There’s a weird glow around the text when you pull up the journal that makes it near impossible. Friends, as it stands I need to wear glasses when using screens. Even with my glasses, I couldn’t make things out well at all. I had to constantly rotate the page to be able to see anything at all.
Story-wise, despite Freedom Games being a small team, it felt like too many people running with too many ideas at once. So much seemed to be happening that I just could not connect with what the story was meant to be. I just could not grasp what was meant to be happening. To be completely honest, I ended up completely bored. According to the Steam page, the game is around 9 – 12 hours long. I got 4 hours out of it, and feel there’s zero replayability. I felt like I was missing something, so I looked up other people’s gameplay. On average, people were taking around 4 hours also. That’s a lot shorter than advertised. I even found someone who 100% the entire game in a bit over 2 hours.
Horror Queen’s Pieces
I REALLY wanted to like this game. The premise sounds right up my alley. A mystery thriller, in a gorgeous little village? Sounds like one of my favourite books! But Broken Pieces really disappointed me. I feel genuinely awful giving a bad review, but for me, this game was just not good. I’m sure there are many people out there who would enjoy it, but I can’t think of any I’d recommend to. There was so much promise. Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for the developers, and their next game will be better.