Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon is an adventure game released to the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 in 2003, while in Japan, the PlayStation 2 version (which was released only in Europe and Japan) was released in September 2004. A Nintendo GameCube version was planned, but was cancelled. It is the third installment in the Broken Sword series, released six years after the previous installment, The Smoking Mirror. The Sleeping Dragon moved the series to 3D graphics, and is the only game in the series not to use a point and click interface. The player assumes the role of George Stobbart, a young American patent lawyer, who flies to the Congo to meet a scientist who claims to have found a source of unlimited energy.
The idea was first discussed in 2000. To make the game feel like a film, Revolution brought in a cinematic consultant, Bob Keen, who made sure the game conveyed emotions and atmosphere appropriate for each scene. The game was originally planned to have similar cartoon-quality visuals as its prequels, but the developers decided to aim at a style similar to Japanese animated films. Unlike the first two Broken Sword games, which used the Virtual Theatre engine, The Sleeping Dragon was built with the RenderWare engine. The game's music was composed by Ben McCullough, and Rolf Saxon returned to voice George Stobbart.
The game has received highly positive reviews. Critics praised the game's story, writing, humour, cinematic feel, and graphics. The game's music was also lauded. Criticism focused primarily on the control interface and repetitive puzzles. According to Charles Cecil, the game sold a few hundred thousand copies.
The gameplay in Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon is a departure from previous instalments in the series, using a direct control interface. The player guides George Stobbart's movements with a keyboard or gamepad, while Nicole Collard is also a playable character in certain portions of the game. George must collect objects that can be used with other collectible objects, parts of the scenery, or other people in the game world in order to solve puzzles and progress in the game. George can engage in dialogue with other characters through conversation trees to gain hints of what needs to be done to solve the puzzles or to progress the plot. The player has action choices in the bottom right of the screen - there are four circles with anywhere from one to four actions available at any time; the player selects the desired action with the corresponding key. As in the first two Broken Sword games, in The Sleeping Dragon player character death is possible.