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Black Mirror Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Neither scary nor original, Black Mirror is a painfully predictable point and click adventure game with nothing new to say. Even if you can get over the rampant technical problems and ugly graphics, you're still left with a by-the-books story, a cast filled with cliched characters and a castle with barely anything to interact with. This is not the way to reboot the Black Mirror franchise. Rating: 57%
Black Mirror
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when I saw that the brand new point and click adventure game Black Mirror had nothing to do with the popular British anthology television show of the same name. But then I realized that this is a reboot of a graphic adventure series that debuted all the way back in 2003 and spawned a couple of well-received sequels, so I started to get excited again. As a reboot, this does a good job of pushing the reset button and reintroducing us to the cursed Gordon family. But as a point and click adventure game, Black Mirror comes up short.

Set decades before the previous three installments, Black Mirror is a slow burn horror game that takes its cues from the stories of Edgar Allen Poe. We're introduced to David Gordon, who returns to Scotland after years abroad in order to take ownership of a creepy old castle that has been in the family for centuries. He's eager to learn more about his late father, who apparently had some sort of violent mental breakdown and left the estate in disarray. It's up to David to explore the spooky castle, get to know the people that live there, and investigate the mysteries of the Gordon clan.


I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that this is a ghost story. Our hero quickly realizes that he's able to see people and things that others can't, sort of like the kid from The Sixth Sense. And like all ghost stories, we discover that these spirits are trying to tell us something. This sets up a fun little quest to unearth the family secrets and solve this ghost problem.

What we have here is a painfully straightforward graphic adventure game where you wander around the mansion picking up items, get into conversations and solve nonsensical puzzles. A lot of this revolves around finding clues and grilling the staff for information. This eventually spills out into the garden and surrounding area, giving David even more tools for his investigation.

Black Mirror is one of those games where the setup is a lot more compelling than the payoff. The problem is that the story is surprisingly predictable, to the point where I guessed who would die based solely on their first few lines of dialog. It's also not especially scary. The ghost story turns out to be sad and morbid, but never terrifying for the player. The few twists the game delivers only worked against the intriguing setup, leading to a lackluster final act.

Black Mirror (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Unfortunately, the storytelling is the least of Black Mirror's problems. From a technical standpoint, this game has issues. A lot of issues. It's common to see parts of the castle walls and floors flicker in and out of existence at random times. Worse yet, I ended up having to restart the second chapter over again because the game kept crashing on me. It got to the point where I couldn't even reload certain saves without it crashing. Couple this with some terrible frame rate problems and load times that are at least four times longer than they should be and you have a game in serious need of patching.

And then there are the controls, which I found to be even more frustrating than the constant crashes. This is a point and click adventure game with almost no pointing and clicking. You control David through either the keyboard or game pad, neither of which is as precise as you would expect. It's far too easy to get stuck in the background or not be able to interact with something because you aren't facing the exact right direction. It would have been so much easier to just make this a point and click adventure, but instead they made the gameplay as sluggish and unresponsive as possible. It always felt like I was fighting the game more than playing it.

The ugly visuals and bland location certainly doesn't help. I found wandering around the dark castle to be a real snooze, and the surrounding area isn't that much better. There are a few times when the game plays with reality in exciting ways, but don't blink or you'll miss them. Simply put, Black Mirror looks dated.

Black Mirror (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

This is especially surprising given the developer's track record. KING Art is the team behind The Book of Unwritten Tales 1 and 2, both of which are set in a fully-realized fairytale world that is bursting with personality. They also developed The Raven, a series I wasn't that into, but did a much better job of establishing mood and atmosphere. Black Mirror is a big step backwards for the team, especially when it comes to the puzzles and items you interact with.

Neither scary nor original, Black Mirror is a painfully predictable point and click adventure game with nothing new to say. Even if you can get over the rampant technical problems and ugly graphics, you're still left with a by-the-books story, a cast filled with cliched characters and a castle with barely anything to interact with. This is not the way to reboot the Black Mirror franchise.
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