Broken Pieces – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Survival, Horror
Developer: Elseware Experience, Benoit Dereau, Mael Vignaux
Publisher: Freedom Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Tested On: PC

Broken Pieces – Review

Site Score
Good: A true old-school survival horror game, Amazing Story, Many puzzles 
Bad: It is never explained whether she talks to herself or not 
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Creating a game in the same way as twenty years ago might sound easy but it is in fact harder than you’d expect. Let us take you back to the early days of survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. These games have always had a huge following, even if the format of certain titles has drastically changed over the years. We have covered various games that tried to capture that essence, like Outbreak and Daymare 1998 but it felt like something was missing. However, it looks that Broken Pieces is about to break that stigma and deliver a title that takes us back to the days when these franchises were at their best.  


The story starts rather vague, with our main character, Elise, walking through this strange, alien-like tunnel. After this sequence, she wakes up in an empty house and starts her day like any other day. Initially, you will only have questions, as you wander through an empty town. Fortunately, the main character talks a lot and slowly starts explaining the facts of the town but only by mentioning past events and her own role in these.  

What basically happened is that she bought a house together with her husband in this rural town in France, not knowing all the deep and dark secrets that lie beneath. After a sudden event wipes out all the inhabitants, including her husband, she is left all alone and she tries to keep up her mental state as she gets sucked into this story of what is happening to the town. She stumbles upon a secret room in her garage where a spy was working on three different cases but had to leave as the government was on to him. Now it is up to you to finish his research and find out what truly happened here. 

The story progresses slowly, but it feels like it is paced nicely as there is just too much lore to uncover and things to discover in this mysterious town.  


Visually the game has a few strong and a few weak points. In comparison with some other tribute games, this title looks really good, with many items that you can examine and these all have some details to them. Of course, don’t dive into this title expecting the highest quality. Why it feels like such a hit or miss to us is that while the developers took the time to animate the many interactions, such as Elise putting on and taking off her headphones when using a tape player, they did not take the time to animate her face. However, one might just think that all her dialogues are internal, but this is at the discretion of the player.  

What ultimately gives this game its charm is that it is perceived from a fixed camera perspective, but it also allows the player to investigate locations via first-person view. Creating something in this day and age isn’t easy, but it gets handled perfectly in Broken Pieces. The many locations you will visit are nicely crafted and all feel like they belong in the time setting. This setting is an old French town that never really saw modernization as this was mainly a poor fishing town with only a small amount of locals. This gets even more clear when we get to the gameplay.  

Another unique point is that, while most survival horror games take place at night, your story instead takes place during the day, which immediately sets a different atmosphere.  


The game really does its best to capture an authentic survival horror experience while not looking exactly like it. Elise is all alone in the environment and gets lonely rather fast, as she only has herself to talk to. Luckily Elise has her trusty cassette player on her and can listen to the various audio tapes left around various locations or even to the music her husband made for her. Listening to music while exploring is both calming and gets you really in that horror mood as it took inspiration from famous games in the genre. Listening to the various tapes will also unlock clues needed for further gameplay elements, so pay attention when you are listening and don’t act like it’s some podcast.  


Broken Pieces is a survival horror game that took inspiration from games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill to bring a truly interesting story. The game starts with a strange fever dream, which is seemingly inspired by Silent Hill 3. Once you wake up it is time to gather your belongings and the game will present you with a tutorial. In the backyard of your house, there is a little training course where you get to learn all the needed interactions you need to know. Most interactions feel natural but only the combat feels a bit clunky at first until you get used to the controls after a few fights.  

A mysterious event has made the inhabitants disappear and the only entities to roam the streets are mysterious gas-masked soldiers that attack you with alien-like arms. Fortunately, Elise packs a pistol and you don’t need to worry about ammo as you can blast your way through these muppets. Of course, her aim isn’t perfect and it needs some time to lock, or you can just take your luck and empty your magazine hoping to hit something. During your travels, you will find many items and some can be used to craft better ammunition at night. This ammo is rare but it packs a proper punch against these mysterious ghosts. You will randomly encounter them during the day but this doesn’t happen that often. Only when the sun goes down do these attacks become more frequent and it will make it hard for you to return home. It’s best to keep a close eye on your watch so you don’t break curfew. If you don’t like combat, then you can always put the game on an easy difficulty that lets you focus on the many puzzles that the game has to offer. 

When it comes to puzzles it can’t be ignored that modern games in the genre all have dialed back on the puzzle elements to emphasize the action elements of the gameplay. Fortunately, in Broken Pieces, this is the other way around and it comes with a large variety of puzzles. For starters, it has those search and fetch quests that the classic titles all had to give you a linear path to progression. At first, some puzzles are pretty straightforward, yet most of them will require some “thinking outside the box”. While most are not that hard, others can be brute-forced if you don’t mind some trial and error. Overall, the frequency of puzzles is nicely balanced.  

One of the most recurring puzzles is the quest for electricity. As this old town has had many power outages due to it not being connected to any grid, you’ll have to find and restore the power in the lighthouse to bring general electricity to the whole town. Yet this won’t solve all your troubles, as it seems that the many doors that are locked behind electrical panels require a power breaker in order to work. So sometimes you’ll have to install the power breaker and find a different way back to retrieve your item. These puzzles will have you thinking all the way through. 


Broken Pieces is your ticket to nostalgia if you like the classic survival horror formula. The gameplay is fun and comes with a boatload of puzzles to keep you entertained throughout the story. While initially everything begins rather vague, the story will eventually grasp you and keep you in its grip until you have finished the game. The graphics are of decent quality and it is only a bit sad that our character is not visibly speaking (or she is talking in her mind, which is possible). The tapes you can listen to and the way this is implemented in the game feels realistic, and it gives you the opportunity to put on music or other tapes when you want. Overall, if you’re a fan of the genre, this one’s a no-brainer to pick up.  

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Broken Pieces – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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