Title: The Black Mirror
Strap: Through a glass darkly.
How important is the emotional connection with an avatar? A lot appears to depend upon whether you adopt a character that the game dictates, or are able to impose your own personality upon the canvas the game provides. Both work, though both have their perils. Too far in either direction, and you have alienation. And Black Mirror proves this beautifully.
In a traditional point and click affair, you arrive at your relationsí English mansion after the death of the familyís patriarch. For no explained reason, you have a certainty in mind that something is suspicious about his demise. So itís an immediate journey of interviewing family members and ground staff, poking around in the various rooms of the house, and everything else you feel you ought to do in such a game. It is by this route that one normally begins to learn about his/her own character, and develop a connection to the storyline. However, Black Mirrorís Samuel Gordon is so intensely unlikeable that itís pretty much impossible to empathise with his plight at all.
Despite being pleasantly painted, and competently constructed, this Czech adventure has absolutely no pulling power. In fact it positively pushes. Most of the usual adventure gripes arenít present Ė the puzzles are reasonable, the pixel hunt isnít too laborious, you can travel about quickly Ė but yet it manages to possess no charm at all. The player character so rude, elitist and obnoxiously behaved that you want to slap him, not help him become embroiled in the spook-infested conspiracy behind his relativeís death.
However, where Black Mirror truly falls to pieces is the voice acting. It is
hideous. Beyond hideous. So bad that Iíve had no choice but to record some for
you and stick it on the disc. Sadly only serving to further prevent any ability
to relate to the story, itís the deal clincher that prevents BM from being
worth much more than a desperate glance.
Verdict: Competently produced adventure, but with no attraction or
Developer: Unknown Identity
Web Address: www.gmxmedia.net/blackmirror/