Black Mirror – PC Review

Genre: Adventure
Developer: KING Art
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Franchise: Black Mirror
Release Date: Nov 29, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger

Black Mirror is a third person, adventure game with horror elements from THQ Nordic and KING art. It is a reboot of the original trilogy which started back in 2003. I never played the original trilogy, so I have no bias going into this game. The story follows David Gordon, who returns to his father’s family estate after receiving news of his mysterious death. Upon arrival, he begins to learn more about his family’s dark past and the circumstances that led to his father’s death. While the base of the story is an idea that’s been used countless times in games of the genre, the game does little to improve upon it.

That being said, there were a lot of issues in the game which I will cover later, but first, let’s discuss what the game actually did right. The setting takes place in a remote part of Scotland in 1926. They do a really great job on the details of this time period, from the cars, clothing, and even architecture. I, especially, love the design of the estate house and its contents. It worked especially well at night time, giving off a very spooky old house vibe. With shadows and lighting by candlelight adding to the feeling that there is something just out of sight, which is essential for a game like this.

Another thing they did great with was the dialogue between characters. One of the earliest examples I can give without being too spoilery is a conversation with the family lawyer. I won’t give away the content of it but will use it to show the flow of dialogue. When you interact with him at first, he gives you a bit of intro. Then, after he is finished, a popup with conversation topics comes up, and, as you go through them, the conversation happens until you use them all and the conversation ends.

The horror elements of the game are very reminiscent of writing from Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. It focuses on the horrors of the mind, such as the feeling I mentioned earlier of something just being out of sight. When I was roaming the house the first night, I felt a pressure of something that just wasn’t right but you couldn’t figure it out. So yeah, the horror elements were really handled well. Also, the puzzles were fairly well done, especially the first real one you come across, which took me a while to figure out.

The glaring issues of the game are far more detrimental to the game than the good of the game can cover up. First up is the poor controls, because, even with playing with a controller, they felt clunky and slightly unresponsive at times. The camera angles also made it hard to see some things. There are the animations and cutscenes, which are, overall, clunky in movement. Also, the transitions between areas made me feel like the game was about to crash. Upon doing some research after I played the game for a bit, I discovered that a user had run into various bugs like stuck movement and such which, thankfully, I never came across.

Pros:

  • Great Story
  • Great Dialogue
  • Great Use of Horror Elements
  • Great Setting

Cons:

  • Clunky Cutscenes
  • Camera Issues
  • Movement Issues
  • General Bug Issues

BoxCatHero gives Black Mirror a Drastik Measure of 6.3 out of 10 (63)

Despite all the good the game has, it is not a great adventure game but a normal, if not sub-par one. The story and horror elements are worth finishing the game but only if you’re willing to slog through the glaring issues the game has. The $29.99 (USD) price tag on Steam is not worth it as well. I would say it is more like a $15-20 game. So, all in all, I can’t recommend this game to anyone.