Black Mirror – Xbox One Review
“Black Mirror is one of those games that makes me question the whole QA process”
Telltale Games have a lot to answer for. Their ever-expanding series of point and click adventure games have led to an upsurge of interest in the genre. While that is never a bad thing it also leads to some dreadful reboots and Black Mirror is one such title. A much-loved series of games when they were originally released which haven’t held up very well.
Black Mirror begins with one of the most shocking openings I have ever witnessed in a video game. We witness the suicide of the games main character’s father in the most gut-wrenching fashion. With an opening this bold my hopes were high. After this horrific event our hero David Gordon claims his Father’s inheritance Black Mirror House.
Unfortunately, this is where the game takes a downward spiral. To interact with various objects, you have to tilt the camera around them and hit a context button. It’s a ball ache of a system. The camera is awkward and sluggish to control which inevitably leads to a lot of frustrating moments throughout the game.
The interaction between the games characters is just as bad. Every character appears wooden and completely uninterested in the events around them and this includes David. The voice acting across all the characters is dreadful and so lifeless it made me lose interest very quickly. There are moments when not are given two options when replying to a question from an NPC which was ripe for exploring and branching the story off. But nothing I said or did seemed to make any difference to the storyline and it just seemed to chug along as if nothing made any difference.
The worst offender though is the games loading times. It’s been a while since a game has made me want to bang my head against the wall as time after time I found myself staring at yet another loading screen. The simple act of walking from one room to another is enough to trigger a loading screen and when a game is all about exploring you will encounter them repeatedly. It completely takes you out of any atmosphere the game may have created and currently it’s ridiculous.
Character movement has its own issues with it making it look like the character is skating on ice. The movement is a weird combination of tediously slow or at worse just glitching for no apparent reason. Once again, the camera rears its ugly head. Trying to find clues in certain situations became a frustrating exercise and is enough to make you just give us. The camera mechanic is broken.
Black Mirror is one of those games that makes me question the whole QA process. It has the makings of a really creepy story which should in turn have led to some truly scary moments, but it falls at every turn. It feels like a game that’s still trapped in 2003 and doesn’t know how to make that leap to this generation. There are no excuses for a crap camera mechanic that inhibits the way you play the game and to add insult to injury the lengthy loading times when switching from one room to another are mind dumbing.
Developer: KING Art Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Website: Black Mirror
Twitter: @KingArtGames / @THQNordic
Black Mirror is available now for £25.59
Review code supplied by Dead Good Media