Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PS4, Xbox One, PC, MAC
- Publisher: THQ Nordic
- Developer: THQ Nordic
- Release Date: 11/28/17
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://blackmirror-game.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
First, let us once more explain that you don’t need to know anything about the original The Black Mirror trilogy to understand this version. THQ Nordic took the names of characters and various themes found in the original series but have completely changed up the puzzles, story and even atmosphere with several new design choices. Thus, you can go right into Black Mirror without any fear of being lost. Equally, those who love the original The Black Mirror trilogy will find plenty of nods to the original but won’t feel as if they are just playing an updated version of the game but instead, can enjoy a completely new experience. Now with that out of the way, let us begin our review with explaining how Black Mirror works.
Black Mirror tasks players with exploring various locations to solve puzzles and interact with NPCs to solve what essentially is a murder mystery. Players will manipulate David and search areas like the mansion, forest, grounds and various other locals to get closer to the story. Like most adventure games, players will find that searching for every small clue and piece of evidence will help progress the plot and even change some of the story elements. How you talk with a character—such as lying to them or showing aggression—can change how David is perceived and lead to some rather interesting story events. We won’t spoil what happens when you might miss an item or character but that’s the beauty of Black Mirror. Each piece of narrative and overall story makes you want to keep going forward even though the game makes doing this a tad annoying at times.
If you’re asking what we mean by annoying, we’ll tell you now that Black Mirror feels dated in several areas of the game. The controls—for example—are clunky and feel floaty at times in Black Mirror. There are numerous situations where we would walk forward, load a new area and slightly move the controller the wrong way to be thrown back to the area we just left. Even walking around objects and characters feels odd as David seems to magnetize to various objects which impede his movement. Even manipulating puzzles—which is something you’ll do a lot in Black Mirror—feels odd as sometimes you will have to move the camera specifically to an area and hope the interact button shows up. This doesn’t overall mean Black Mirror is broken in terms of controls but it certainly doesn’t feel like a modern-day adventure game.
The same can be said of the graphics which, at times, are downright horrid. While, the world of Black Mirror—meaning the environments and such—look decent the character models and even certain locations look extremely dated. That’s a shame, too, as Black Mirror’s gothic-horror atmosphere plays well with the story but when you see outdated character models appear on screen or an odd graphical imperfection, it completely nullifies that feeling of dread and horror the game is going for. The voice acting, though, saves it slightly with some impressive actors who do a good job of keeping Black Mirror realistic and equally unsettling.
Lastly, let us say that Black Mirror truly shines in one department: the puzzles. This might seem like a contradiction but the puzzles in Black Mirror can be downright frustrating but equally satisfying once you solve one. Usually, a puzzle’s solution is right there in your face but thanks to clever ways of making even simple puzzles harder—seriously always look at all of your items carefully—Black Mirror gives you a nice feeling of accomplishment once you do solve a puzzle. It might take you ten to twenty minutes to solve a tough puzzle but that’s usually to be expected with adventure title games like Black Mirror. We do wish that Black Mirror would tell you when you can’t do something or solve a particular puzzle at the moment but that is our own opinion and might not reflect on those who love the older generation of adventure puzzle titles.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Interesting story with clever writing
- Hard but doable puzzles
- Decent voice acting
- Gothic-Horror atmosphere is great
- Graphically very weak
- Clunky controls
- Tons of glitches
- Puzzles can be frustrating