When I first heard about the upcoming game, Black Mirror, I assumed it was based on the popular show of the same name. However, it’s not that at all, instead it’s inspired by the Black Mirror trilogy of point and click adventure games released back in 2003. And it’s actually pretty good. It’s part horror, part mystery, and is laden heavily with gothic atmosphere that will easily suck you in.
You play as David Gordon, who returns to his ancestral home in Scotland after the death of his father. There’s something amiss about the place, and the events surrounding the family home, and it’s on you to uncover these secrets. Inspirations from Poe and Lovecraft are immediately noticeable, especially in the writing, tone and the setting. There’s slow exposition, all of which reveals a compelling plot and tons of backstory.
As progress through the game, nightmarish visions haunt you, giving way to some fantastic visual set-pieces and gothic horror themes. Exploring these is as much fun as they are terrifying. The gameplay is mostly point and click, and fans of Dreamfall Chapters or Life Is Strange will feel immediately at home. You’ll also be talking to a big cast of interesting people, all of whom are very well voice acted. I enjoyed going around talking to as many people as I could, and their performances held my interest in a big way.
The game is very linear, mostly due to it’s quest driven structure. You will not be stumbling into quests and uncovering mysteries organically, instead going from one discovery to the next in a way that the game sees fit. While this makes for a better narrative structure, I would have liked a little bit more player freedom and flexibility.
There are some gameplay annoyances that really comes in the way of everything else that the game does well – the controls feel stiff, and some of the facial animations could have been done way better. Your character can occasionally get stuck in the environment, which can only be fixed by restarting the game. Fortunately, most of the major issues can be fixed via patches, and I really hope they do that.
Black Mirror is definitely an enjoyable point click adventure that tells a compelling tale. The narrative, voice acting and overarching mystery elevate the game over many of the issues plaguing it.