Blackwood Crossing Review
I love ID games that tend to be a little bit different, I really do. We see so many games that are very similar in their style and in their gameplay, and I like something that really does stand out for me. Over the past week, I`ve had the chance to play through something that for me was a little bit different and that comes in the form of Blackwood Crossing developed by PaperSeven. Is it a game though that I was going to enjoy? Or would I be handed yet another disappointment to what I`ve already had this year? Well, it may be short, but I absolutely loved it.
Blackwood Crossing is developed by PaperSeven and published by Vision Games, and was released at the start of April for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. You play as the lead character of Scarlett, who is on a train journey with her brother, Finn. However, this isn’t your average train ride, and over the next hour and 15 minutes (Roughly how long it takes to complete the game) you`re going to be taken on a story and a thrilling one, solving puzzles along the way and finding out the truth with what happened to your parents, your grand-parents, your brother, and lastly, yourself. It tells a very strong story and it`s something a little bit different.
From the off, it was something that I knew I was going to enjoy. I quite like the story-driven games in general, and they are easily becoming one of my better genres. We`ve had a few this year that have been very much story and narrative driven, but Blackwood Crossing is the first to be a little bit different, and I think that`s merely because it offers more than just being a story-driven game. You`re going to be tasked with puzzles that aren’t going to be the easiest, and you`re going to come across characters that are going to tell the story of Scarlett and Finn`s past. Mixing a story-driven game with a puzzler and you`re going to be in for something quite special. Don’t get me wrong, I love story-driven games and I`m quite satisfied when a game only focuses on offering something that is so driven by the narrative, but when something comes along which could well fall into more than just the story-driven genre, it`s something that does quite excite me.
In terms of being a puzzler, there are puzzles that aren’t going to be too difficult, and some that are going to require you to think and listen, as there will be times where you`re going to need to listen to the characters and effectively match them in terms of what they are saying. They will speak about another character and you will need to then find the other character and talking about and listen to them. Some areas will be locked until you complete the puzzle, so they can take some time to work out, but you can listen more than once and work out who matches with who. There aren’t too many different puzzles that you will have to undertake but the puzzles they do have in the game are puzzles that will require some thinking.
Throughout the game, it focuses a lot on interaction, and these do come in a range of ways. You`ll be able to collect items throughout the game such as bunnies and looking at movie posters (Which of course, do lead to achievements being earnt) but you`ll also interact in parts of the game that you`ll need to complete some tasks in order to complete that area and move onto the next. Not necessarily a puzzle, but interacting with things and moving them to a specific location to progress.
It`s always quite nice to see when a game like Blackwood Crossing is released, and even then, I think this is the first game I`ve seen in a while to mix a very story-driven game with puzzles and makes for a more interacting experience. I`ve played games this year that have been following a similar trait in terms of focusing being story-driven, but have only offered conversation or choice selection rather than much else. Blackwood Crossing offers a good range of a great and strong story, aswell as offering a good puzzler for everyone, so if you`re like me, and love a bit of both, then you certainly need to hop on-board with Scarlett and Finn.
A huge thank you to XCN for supplying us with a review copy of Blackwood Crossing.