Syberia is a pure classic and a cult of its era, with a large fan base that keeps it alive in our memories. It’s for good reason that despite all the years that passed by, this original 2002 Point & Click is still so loved and appreciated by players.
Kate Walker is the representative of a major American law firm, responsible for a contract that involves the sale of a family-owned spring-automaton toy factory. This is not a simple factory though, as it once was the most recognized factory in the world. Set in the small beautiful fictional town called Valadilène, the family that ran the Vorarlberg factory for centuries did it with passion and love, but everything dies, even the most precious toy.
Anna Vorarlberg, is the last heir of the family, and the sole owner of the factory. Kate has the simple mission to conclude the contract and return to New York to her simple and comfortable life that awaits her there. Life has other plans for Kate though, and things turn completely around with unexpected events that will have her diving deep into the Vorarlberg family, as well as embarking on a breathtaking journey.
Syberia’s storyline is simply marvelous, with both events and narrative being some of its strong points. The main character who is introduced as a young business woman aspiring to succeed in her life, quickly finds herself in a journey of self learning. Kate will start unconsciously realizing her materialistic life is no longer fulfilling, allowing her to care less and less about her mundane life and instead, welcoming the adventure with open arms.
It’s almost impossible to mention anything story-related without bringing spoilers to the surface, but rest assured Syberia has no fillers, or any step-backs. Its story progression connects all your actions and will most surely keep you captivated akin to a really good book. Characters become easily memorable with unique dialogues and their personality traits will make you remember them with a smile on your face.
When it comes to gameplay, Syberia is a traditional Point & Click, with some small minor puzzles, maintaining its direction mostly in gathering and using objects, as well as talking to NPC’s. There are four main areas in the game serving on what one could call chapters, and backtracking is not an option. The same can be said about puzzles and the game’s overall progression, as everything you need is close by. If you don’t like overly complicated Point & Clickers, Syberia will please you. It is simple, but logical, and all it requires is your attention and memory for some key names and numbers.
The art design for its time is remarkably romantic, inspired by the long train journeys you probably read in many novels, starting in an iconic European city, all the way to the east, with the strong presence of the old regime. Each area has a strong vibe of its history, and we can only wish there was more lore to them so our imagination could wonder further. Nonetheless, we are presented with magnificent inspiring locations, all with a strong dose of a vibrant protagonist in the story.
Designed by Benoît Sokal, you can see his talented art touches from the building’s architecture, all the way to the mechanical contraptions. The slight traces of steampunk influences are subtle, without overly abusing it, managing to create its own genuine art style.
Unfortunately, many old games don’t run exceptionally well on PC nowadays, but thanks to dgVoodoo2, it’s possible to emulate a 3D accelerator integrated GPU, which will significantly improve the visuals, as well as the resolution for Syberia. The original resolution is 640p, but once modded, playing on 16:9 the textures aren’t as stretched as you’d think, and characters look really good.
The pre-rendered backgrounds will undoubtedly look overly pixelated on 1080p and 4K, however, for a couch session the game it will look much better since you’re considerably more distanced from the screen. It’s up to you to see what resolution you may go for, but dgVoodoo2 can and will improve texture filtering, Anti-Aliasing, and much more. Check THIS GUIDE which will help you configure the best settings for your system.
With charming voiced dialogues and a smooth neo-classic soundtrack, Syberia has everything going for it when it comes to sound works. The OST is somehow short, but it fits perfectly well within the campaign with a background melodic composure.
A solid story, interesting characters and events, plus simple and easy to pick up gameplay mechanics define Syberia as an outstanding adventure. A fan favorite and for good reason. Siberia seems like it will be forever good regardless of how much time passes, always continuing to be an epic journey.