Thursday, July 13

Black The Fall Review

Some years ago, Square Enix opened it's "Square Enix Collective", an initiative of the Japanese company, that helps launch independent games that seek financing, and even allows some developers to use their licenses. Now, we get the last fruit of this label, Black The Fall, a game of puzzles and platforms that began it's development in 2014, and that finally reaches our consoles.


There is not much to say about the length of the story, it's reasonably short (it lasted about 2 hours) and it has secrets in case you decide to replay it, although there aren't many more reasons for it.


Black The Fall is a 2.5D puzzles and platforms game, based on the years in which Romania was under the shadow of communist regimes, and the consequences as oppression, the dehumanization of working environments or the persecution of intellectuals. Although it's obviously an idealization, it's based on events that actually happened.

Obviously, it's undeniable that two of the inspirations of this title are the Playdead games, even though it introduces it's own elements in it's gameplay. Despite its three-dimensional stages and it's 2.5D development, you can only move to the left or to the right, and the camera will adjust to show us the way. It's own component is a laser pointer that will serve to interact with certain elements, and that has reminded me to a certain extent of what i see in The Swapper, although it's application in the game is different.

The development of the adventure is quite simple. I progress until I reach an area with a puzzle, I solve it and I can progress. It's a fairly focused game in trial and error, where practically everything ends up killing you. Unlike Inside, where puzzles often didn't kill you, and deaths in the fastest sequences were potentially avoidable with good reflexes, here you are going to learn the hard way.

Obviously, it's a design decision, but i don't end up liking that instead of "seeing how this is solved" many times i face the puzzles saying "to see how they don't kill me". Yes, there are puzzles that you can solve by studying the situation, but trial and error can become tedious in several cases

Despite what it may seem, it's not a bad game, and it has some very intelligent puzzles, where the sound is also part of them, and very interesting moments. In addition, about half of the adventure introduces a new playable element, a robotic dog, that forces you to think otherwise to solve the puzzles. The problem is that it's a game with many ups and downs, with a difficulty that can be triggered in some cases by being extremely rigid in it's solutions or by controls that don't respond as they should. Most of the time is fun and works well, but failed moments tarnish the whole.

Graphics & Design

Visually, Black The Fall is a game that also reminiscent of the titles already mentioned, especially to Inside, although it has moments that bring it closer to Deadlight. It's not a bad thing, as it still gets moments to remember and with great narrative force. There are some very well designed sequences, and the use of the 2.5D, which involves camera twists and so on, give it a more personal touch

Also in the visual has its ups and downs, such as animations a little rough for the character, or moments of some clumsiness when presenting the action. In the sonorous bet on the silence, with the necessary effects to set the scene. As we mentioned before, there are times when sound becomes an element of gameplay, something that i like a lot, although perhaps it has not been used enough, and could have given more variety to development.


The game offers a total of 14 achievements, with a low/medium achievement difficulty, in which the vast majority are secrets distributed in the game, and a few by the story, if you look good, the secrets are areas that aren't very hidden, thanks to this, you can have the 100% of the game very easily and if you want, in the first playtrough of the game


Black The Fall is a game that has left me very good moments, with very interesting puzzles and an audiovisual section quite attractive. It's true that the influences are very clear, and that perhaps gets into a field where other games have done too well, but that doesn't prevent it, is a title very enjoyable and with own ideas, who knows how to update their mechanics during development to avoid to be repetitive


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