Black Mirror teleports players to a world filled of mystery, murder and madness. Acting as a remake/reimagining of The Black Mirror—a 2003 PC title—you will see a new story with similar themes and characters from the original in this 2017 version. Take control of a young man who has recently been told he is to inherit a mansion due to the passing of his father in what seemed like a murder. Find out what happened to his father and survive the madness that seemed to follow him and is now aiming for you. If you love old school-like adventure games where you must search every nook and cranny for clues to progress the story, then you’re going to adore Black Mirror.
What to Expect
In Black Mirror, players should be prepared for an adventure heavy title that challenges you with tough puzzles and a world filled with horror and intrigue. Enter into a story that makes you question who to trust and if you can trust even yourself. Similar to games like Syberia and Nancy Drew, players will have to pick up items, interact with various NPCs and make decisions which alter various story elements. Black Mirror uses a horror and gothic theme to immerse players as they explore various locations. Can you solve the mysteries of Black Mirror? Find out as you enter David Gordon’s world and experience what happens when reality and sanity becomes undone.
David Gordon was living a life in India when he receives word that his father perished and left him his ancestral home. Traveling immediately to learn of what transpired in his father’s death, David is welcomed into a mansion that echoes with lies and hidden truths. Meanwhile, David still suffers from a supposed curse that possibly led to his father’s death and finds his nightmares and reality are beginning to meld together. Can David break his family's curse and somehow regain his mentality all while finding out what really happened to his father? The future is unknown for David but that won’t stop him from diving headlong into the world his father knew and searching for what is the truth.
Back in 2003, an adventure game trilogy began known as The Black Mirror. Now 14 years later, Black Mirror returns as a remake/remastering of the original series and we were pretty curious to play it here at Honey’s Anime. Does this old school adventure game live up to the modern-day gaming world? Has developer THQ Nordic made a great new adventure title to enjoy. We’ll find out in our review of Black Mirror.
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:
Black Mirror is one of those games that feels like it was released a few years too late. While the story, atmosphere, characters and puzzles are great, Black Mirror suffers from odd graphical issues, tons of glitches and some very clunky controls. If you plan on picking up Black Mirror, you won’t find what we consider a bad game but it equally isn’t an a great one either. If Black Mirror had released back on the PS3, we’d say this would be one of the best adventure games around but seeing as how it was released in 2017, we are disappointed with the large amount of issues that seem to plague it. If you loved the original The Black Mirror title and don’t mind putting up with some odd design choices then you’re going to fully appreciate and like Black Mirror. However, if you’re looking for a more modern adventure title you might wish to pass up on Black Mirror for now.
Interesting story with clever writing
Hard but doable puzzles
Decent voice acting
Gothic-Horror atmosphere is great
Graphically very weak
Tons of glitches
Puzzles can be frustrating
Honey's Final Verdict:
Our time with Black Mirror was a mixed bag. On one hand, we really loved how THQ Nordic took a classic game and reimagined it with some clever new puzzles and a more modern feel. Though that doesn’t stop us from noticing the various issues that keep Black Mirror from being a great game. Black Mirror is one of those games that will appeal to you only if you love older adventure titles and aren’t too critical of controls, glitches and graphics. Are you thinking of picking up Black Mirror or did our review make you second guess your decision? Comment down below to let us hear your thoughts and if you loved this review, well you’re in luck. Our hive here at Honey’s Anime is full of other game reviews and articles just waiting for you to read and enjoy!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!