One of the nicest things about industry trade show gamescom in Germany is getting to meet with all the smaller, foreign developers and publishers you don't ordinarily get to see in good old Blighty. One such company, French adventure games specialist Microids, are usually one of our favourites to swing by, thanks to their impressive line-up of point-and-click adventures - with Syberia III leading the showing this year. Following the further adventures of ex-lawyer Kate Walker, Syberia III follows our intrepid adventurer as she joins the Youkol tribe in their age old tradition - accompanying the snow ostriches in their migration across the frozen wastelands.
Following on from the events at the end of Syberia II, Kate is discovered half dead in the snow by the friendly Youkol tribe, the native snow-people of Syberia, who carry her to the hospital in a nearby town. When she awakes, she finds herself in a dilapidated room alongside Kurk, a high-up in the aforementioned Youkol tribe - but she soon senses something strange is going on, when she discovers he's strapped to a chair and missing a large portion of his leg, and the door to their room is locked tight. A doorbell sits on the wall next to it, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be working either.
One of the things the Syberia games have always done is have puzzles related to machines and mechanisms, and it seems Syberia III is no exception. By examining the side panel of the doorbell, you find some instructions for taking it apart - but first, Kate needs a screwdriver, and as is the case with point-and-click games, that involves turning the room upside down, pocketing anything not nailed down. And while your captors weren't daft enough to leave one out in plain site, a knife on a tray of food looks like it might do the trick - a quick twirl of the analogue stick lets you use the knife blade to unscrew the panel, revealing the inner workings of the doorbell. From there, it's a simple matter of reconnecting a wire, closing up the box and pressing the bell once more, freeing Kate from her little room - but the crazy Dr. Zamiatine still won't let her leave…
Skipping forward a bit, our demo jumps forward in time, and we find ourselves in the workshop of the talented clockmaker, Mr. Steiner, who's been working on a prosthetic leg for poor old Kurk. In our demo, Kate popped in to see how he was getting on - and as is the case with these kind of games, she had excellent timing, as mid-conversation Mr. Steiner starts having a heart attack. Keeping a cool head, and not wanting to leave him alone for too long, she decides to search for his medication - try and leave the store or try to examine anything unrelated and Kate will chastise you for not taking the gravity of the situation seriously. And so, stuck in the store, Ms Walker sets about searching for the man's pills, starting in the only logical place - the cellar - which turns up little else bar a note which says he must take his medication three hours before dinner.
Back upstairs, we decide to riffle around in some drawers behind the shop counter, coming across a prescription which states that Steiner is supposed to take his pills every day, with a cup of tea, and have his dinner at 8:30pm. And, it appears, the reason he's having some pretty gnarly chest pains right now is that he's missed out on a dose, which, using the information we found in the cellar, we can deduce would have been at 5:30pm, three hours before his evening meal. Of course, it's not as straight forward as simply locating a pack of pills and force-feeding him a few - like every good Syberia character, Mr. Steiner has a complicated machine to do the dirty work for him instead.
Behind him sits a rather elaborate cuckoo clock, which seems to have a tea stain on it's base - and in the world of Syberia, that's actually a clue. It's not that Mr. Steiner has a phobia of coasters, but in fact, this clock is part of his daily pill-taking ritual. Essentially, when the clock strikes half five, the contraption automatically pours him a cup of tea and pops his pill in it; perfect for an absent-minded clockmaker such as himself. Except when it fouls up, anyway. With several Syberia games now under her belt, expert automaton tinkerer Kate Walker sets about opening the clock face and moving the hands into the right position, placing a teacup she came across earlier over the mark, and voila - the clock strikes half five, pours a drink, and Mr. Steiner is saved from a myocardial infarction for another day. And as a bonus thank you for saving his life, he offers to bring Kurk's mechanical leg over to the Youkol camp once it's finished too. Score!
As fans of the previous two Syberia games, Syberia III is the threequel we've been waiting over a decade to play, and it's certainly shaping up to be another epic puzzle-filled adventure. Syberia III will be coming to the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year, on the 1st December - the perfect time to cuddle up with the wintery, snow-filled tale. Why not check out the latest trailer below: