Tuesday, November 28

Black Mirror Review


Intrigue, a curse, an old mansion and family secrets are the idyllic setting for a graphic adventure set in a remote location in Scotland during 1926. No, despite sharing a name, THQ Nordic's Black Mirror has nothing to do with the series of science fiction currently produced by Netflix, but yes with the trilogy The Black Mirror of Future Games that debuted in 2003. The new delivery by KING Art is a reboot, not a faithful remake, which shares background and starting point.

Duration

Like many other graphic adventures, the duration is very variable. It can be overcome in less than five hours, but it depends on your experience with the genre. Although, it must be mentioned that there are affordable riddles, there will also be a somewhat less clear situation whose resolution may take several minutes. It's appreciated that the menu marks your next task or the challenge in which you find looking, will help to resume the game if you decide to take a long break between the games and have forgotten your current mission.

Gameplay


The story of Black Mirror begins in a very interesting way. The father of the protagonist has committed suicide in strange circumstances, and that causes that David Gordon returns of India to a remote family mansion to take possession of the inheritance. It's one of these palaces that smells old and show that their ancestors were powerful or wealthy. David had never been there and what he finds is a group of servants -may of keys, butler, maid, a lawyer, the strange gardener- each one more picturesque. And as expected, they seem to hide something, suspicious for the new owner.

The game is based on the graphic adventures and the gothic terror. Update the prerendered backgrounds of the originals by 3D graphics, and the fear is suggested in the style of Poe or Lovecraft, not so much because of scary scenes or free scares -some are, but not too annoying-. The argument, without being a marvel, exceeds enough to maintain the intrigue from beginning to end thanks to it's setting. What hides behind those visions, the suicide of your father or of these employees who know your family better than you?

Black Mirror has a lot of exploration and conversation, and most of the time you will spend it investigating the corners of the house, collecting notes, objects and clues that will be useful to solve puzzles. These tests are both direct, with mechanisms in which you select runes, press buttons or enter a numeric key, as well as interaction with the characters to extract valuable information.

It's true that you can pigeonhole in the genre point 'n click because technically it's what you will do: point out items and check what they are used for, but this aspect is quite reduced, if you compare it with the classics. It's influenced by the new cinematic adventures - Quantic Dream games, Life is Strange, etc. - to which it adds a small inventory management, but all in a very guided way. The proof is that you will not end up with an object cart in your pocket, nor are there complex combinations between them.

Many puzzles are easy, it will be enough to pick up any utensil in sight. Why do you need a cable? And a bottle of alcohol? You don't know it, but I'm sure it will help you in a very short time. The house is not that it is huge in size and soon you will know what it offers.

Although Black Mirror uses 3D graphics, you can't control the camera freely, follow your character through the rooms and corridors with displacements or fixed points. Sometimes, you would like to be able to rotate and see a living room or dining room better, but at a playable level it's not a great inconvenience. If there is a relevant book or door, the game will focus on it; nothing vital is hidden behind the decoration or a bad perspective.

Graphics & Design


The graphics aren't bad for a project of this type. I have seen many puzzle/horror games that usually bet on first person view to avoid the difficulty of animating characters. Black Mirror looks great when you use a lamp to illuminate the mansion, and although in broad daylight its seams are more noticeable, the sequences of dialogues and graphics in general - with slightly cartoon characters reminiscent of those of Telltale - are at a good level. I have suffered a bug-at some point, the background behind the windows began to blink-and the constant charges when changing rooms take a little out of the room.

There is not much music, and although it's understood that he prefers to recreate in the sounds, there are occasions in which a melody is missing. In these games it's possible to block yourself, go around and around the house without knowing very well what to do to progress, and it's at that time when you most need an accompaniment soundtrack that stands out.

Conclusion



Black Mirror is an interesting update of a saga, perhaps not too well known to the general public, which deserves your attention. It's true that there are characters that can be made a little clich├ęd and in which there are predictable turns, but it fulfills it's role well to maintain tension -especially if it has not played the originals and everything else in terms of the Gordon family. It's unknown.

The gameplay has evolved and the scales weigh more research aspects than the puzzles. Perhaps the descent in difficulty or the number of challenges disappoint the most purist, but in return eliminate defects or rough edges such as the search for tiny objects hidden on the stage or the often absurd solutions of other graphic adventures. Even with these changes, Black Mirror will delight fans of Gothic mystery and terror.

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