Eurogamer Review: Black Mirror II

It's a bit pretty, too.

Oh, by the way, yesterday Eurogamer posted my review of PC adventure Black Mirror II. It’s a very muddled game, a bemusing combination of remarkable depth and peculiarly lazy, unfortunately enormously spoilt by not having an ending. But this is a nuanced game, and hopefully a review that captures why it’s not to be dismissed. I say things like:

“Uncovering secrets within the town doesn’t reveal a million-year-old monster or suchlike, but instead merely the reality of people’s lives. It’s not stunning, it’s not ground-breaking drama. If anything it’s barely above soap opera. But it’s a heck of a lot more than we’re used to from European adventures.”

14 Comments

  1. Arsewisely says:

    Yeh, it’s a great review. Captures all that’s right and wrong with the game. It’s weirdly good in some respects but terrible in others. It’s disturbing and macabre in quite a bold way but I wish it’d just stayed in Biddeford with the eerily relaxed Twin Peaknes of it all.

    And the ending?! I actually checked through the game files to make sure there wasn’t some alternative I’d missed out on.

  2. Gotem says:

    Having played the first Black Mirror I definetively don’t want more of it.
    The only redeeming factor were the backgrounds, they were beautiful.

    It was supposed to be an horror game, but the most horrific thing was the voice acting, certain puzzle that could easily leave you with a saved game in an unwinnable situation (I had to go back to a previous savegame when I found out). And a pointless ending.

    • Hmm says:

      You’re being too harsh, I loved Black Mirror. Yes, one of the puzzles was broken and voice acting wasn’t necessarily the best. But I loved – somewhat predictable, I admit – story, the gloomy atmosphere, excellent music. Puzzles were fun, too.
      I don’t know who told you that it was supposed to be a horror game… Pure nonsense.

      So yeah, I’m actually very interested in buying the sequel.

  3. Rinox says:

    “European adventures” as opposed to what John? Just curious.

  4. Ozzie says:

    European adventures, you mean like The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Culpa Innata, Syberia and the Penumbra series? :P

    • lhzr says:

      yes, exactly like culpa innata.

    • phlebas says:

      Like Syberia, Secret Files, Undercover, Runaway…

      It’s like the distinction between JRPGs and Western ones. European adventures tend to be very linear, story-focussed and not so big on interactivity or player agency.

    • Ozzie says:

      And like Machinarium too, yes?
      With which I want to say: “European adventures” is a too broad term to sneeze at. I know which ones John means, but it can be misunderstood, I think.

  5. Premium User Badge

    John Walker says:

    I’m talking more about games that came out in, oh I don’t know, the last eight years?

    And the Penumbra series are not point and click adventures.

    • Rinox says:

      I just don’t remember many decent non-European adventures from that period either. Sam & Max and the Lucasarts remakes are awesome but are almost a seperate genre in their whackiness and, for me, not really comparable to the more serious adventures.

      But I’m pretty damn sure you’re more of an expert than me so I will preventively eat some crow. And a hat.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Well, no, there were far fewer US adventures in that time. But it has been ten years of a distinctive European style – heavily story-focused 2.5D adventures about a girl with a mobile phone who uncovers a secret society and must use the frying pan on the ball of string to make a trap to stop the demon opening the bookcase. While keeping a diary about it.

    • lhzr says:

      @john: the sort you mention are the “good” ones. you were kind and didn’t mention the mediocre or downright awful stuff, like simon 4, still life 2, next life, or the ankh series (gah!). and these are just some of the higher profile ones, there’s about a million others that aren’t worth mentioning at all.

  6. Adrian says:

    I can’t believe people are talking about “european games” just because they know 5 games from europe that seem similar in style. I could just as well talk about american rts games which seem to be going in one particular direction too but thats just wrong and you know it :)

    Anyways since I’m from germany i will just play the game in german which should resolve the translation problems :)

  7. Sunjammer says:

    Hmmmm kiiiiinda into the million year old monsters though