The world of gaming has always had room for the point and click genre. It was never something I really had gotten into when I was younger, but I have the time now to rectify that mistake. Since I never played the original Black Mirror, this review won’t be tainted by comparisons to the original series.
Players will be going to a trip to the Scottish countryside. David Gordon is on his way from India to discover why his father, Jonathan Gordon, passed away. As soon as you are summoned to deal with the final details of the Gordon estate, strange things happen. Images from the past start affecting David as they did his father. The Black Mirror has started to cause this Gordon to truly lose his mind.
I could ruin the game and let you know how Cecila passed away or who her child really is, but I won’t. The thing I will tell you is the story is captivating during the entire experience. What really works in Black Mirror is the use of Gothic themes to keep you in a dark place while you play. After the way Black Mirror ended, I’m hoping that a second game is made. I have a few questions that I need answered. Not all of the story was great though and the ending left me feeling empty and annoyed while certain moments in the game caused me to wonder if someone was paying attention during the creation of this game.
When I started Black Mirror, I didn’t expect music that hit me. It gave me this feeling that I was about to sit down in the theater to a really good movie. Throughout the game, the music hits those moments that either give you a chill or a boost of confidence. The score is so wonderful that I can’t stop thinking about it. The music doesn’t fail the player in this game. It instead gives you a reason to enjoy the loading screens that take place so often.
The voice acting is something else though. The acting itself isn’t that bad; it has some moments that work. For the most part though, the game has some serious issues with the cast of characters. While David genuinely works in the game, the other characters all flounder with the sole exception of the groundskeeper. Having that character pronounce certain words correctly in a Scottish accent are the only things reminding you that the player is in Scotland and not some castle in a fairy tale.
Black Mirror has moments in the game that work really well while the rest just makes you wonder “What the hell?”. I understand the game is set in the 1800’s Scotland, in this huge home. The lack of having the character with a constant light caused me to waste plenty of time until I found the highlighted circle that said “examine”. The game gives you a chance to look at portraits of the characters from the development of the game. I just wonder why those look so much better then the actual game. In this kind of game you may be reading or listening to those characters for a little longer then you wanted to. It may have been wise for the developers to spend a little more time getting the characters to look better. The backgrounds look good for the most part, except the abandoned village that you witness in the first few minutes of the game. Just a few paths and tunnels being available didn’t really help me enjoy the game after I had to wait on those load screens.
The gameplay was overly frustrating in this game. The worst part was the wait at the load screen. Now I bet you’re saying that shouldn’t be a big deal. It is when you get a load screen each time you walk into a different location. That includes every room in the house. So if you walk too close to a door that you just didn’t want to go into, then you wait. In this game, the character walks around exploring every corner of the home. It did become difficult to see what I was doing when the camera wouldn’t move to the location I was trying to examine. It wasn’t hard for my character to get stuck in a spot that I couldn’t see.
In this game you don’t really know if you can die. I mean for the first 5 hours, I thought the game didn’t have a way for you to die. Just stay away from the ghost memories that you see during the game. Also, don’t forget to save. The puzzles in the game are not that hard. The game would have been better if I had a few more to do. The gameplay is what you would expect: look at something that is highlighted and use or examine it. The game actually gives you a few seconds of platforming that I wasn’t expecting. During your time in the game you will have an AI partner that gets stuck in unwanted areas and also carry your only light source. I did mention this game has some issues. The final battle was the most disappointing moment of the game. The way the developer just had you press a couple buttons to survive felt cheap.
Anyway, I hope that a patch will come out at some point to help resolve some of the technical issues with this game.
I don’t play that many games like Black Mirror. I was really hoping for an experience that I could be overly positive about. Yet, from the first cut scene to the first time I waited on the load screen, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The game in this state is something that people should pass on. Though, if you really want an easy way to add to your gamer score, then jump into this game. I’d really like to see this game succeed and that the issues that can be corrected ARE corrected. I’ll keep an eye out for a sequel if it gets made.
The game was given to the reviewer as a code from the developer’s PR company.