Syberia: The World Before from Microids and the late Benoît Sokal is the latest entry in the long-running adventure game series, now out on PS5. Learn more in our Syberia: The World Before review!
Syberia: The World Before from Microids and the late Benoît Sokal is the latest entry in the long-running adventure game series, now out on PlayStation 5. Belgian comic book artist and video game developer Benoît Sokal spent the last two decades of his life working on the Syberia series, which includes Syberia, sequels Syberia II and Syberia 3 and was preceded by Amerzone, which does not share the franchise’s name but does take place in the same setting as the Syberia games. He, unfortunately, passed away last year, with Syberia: The World Before being his first posthumous release.
If you’re new to the series, you can check the “Previously…” section on the main menu. This will allow you to get a summary of the general story beats from previous games so that you can get caught up with some of the key points in this long-running franchise. And if you want to learn more about the Syberia universe, you can check my Syberia review on Nintendo Switch, as well our Syberia 3 review on PlayStation 4.
As for the premise of Syberia: The World Before, it starts during the Spring of 1937, while a young woman walks through the streets of Vaghen, Osterthal’s capital, on her way to perform a very special musical piece. Her name is Dana Roze, and she’s one of the two characters you’ll get to play as during this adventure game. The other one will be series mainstay Kate Walker, who has been trapped in the salt mines of Taiga! You’ll be alternating between 1937 and 2004 as you try to unravel the mysteries of the fourth game in the series.
The story in Syberia: The World Before is accentuated by the music of Inon Zur, who previously worked on the music for Syberia II and Syberia 3, as well as on the music for dozens of games such as Icewind Dale II, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Crysis, Dragon Age II, Soulcalibur V, Fallout 76, to name some examples. He leads the Budapest Film Symphony in a solid musical performance.
For this adventure game, you’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you move the camera with the right one. You can run by pressing and holding down the R2 button. The X button will be for interacting. During dialogue choices, you’ll be able to use the X, Square, Triangle, and Circle buttons to select your answer. The buttons are also tied to contextual actions here and there. If you need to check your diary and inventory, all you need to do is press the Touchpad on the DualSense.
The D-Pad will allow you to switch between objects from your inventory by pressing left and right. You can also review your objectives by pressing down on the D-Pad. And if you’re ever stuck, you can always get a hint by pressing up. In order for gamers to not abuse this feature, the game will have a cooldown period for hints. You’ll sometimes have to move a cursor around the screen to select what you’ll interact with or what you need to take a closer look at. If interacting with something that can be moved, you’ll then have to press the R2 button as you move the left analog stick in the right direction.
Along with the main story objectives, you’ll also be given some secondary objectives to consider. These are not mandatory, but if you do work on completing them, you can find some additional content and information to experience, which will allow you to gain some extra insight into the world of Syberia. Do know that secondary objectives need to be completed as soon as possible because if you move a bit further in the story, you might end up blocked from getting a chance to complete them at all!
You’ll get to learn all of this during the first hour of the game, which will introduce you to the 1937 world of Dana Roze, who is seen by many as an outsider due to the World War II alternate reality setting and how the Brown Shadow are not very welcoming of anyone who is not pure – you can probably see where this is going. For Kate’s segment, you’ll be trying to escape from prison after learning that her mother passed away while she was away. You’ll soon understand how their paths are intertwined, but I’m not going to spoil things for you!
The game has a full trophy list with a Platinum waiting for you. The list includes 11 Bronze trophies, 15 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. There are several missable trophies in the game, and talking too much about it could end up affecting your experience with the game. I will mention that you should always work on completing all secondary objectives as soon as they pop into your journal and that you explore every nook and cranny in each area that you visit so that you don’t end up missing something important.
As a fan of the series, I had been waiting to check out this one on PlayStation 5. I’m here to report that the worth has been worth it, giving us a clever adventure game with two female protagonists that will go on a journey that should take you around 10-12 hours to complete, and it does justice to the vision of the late Benoît Sokal. Syberia: The World Before is out on PlayStation 5 with a $49.99 asking price.
This Syberia: The World Before review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Microids.