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Blacksad: Under The Skin sleuths out a September launch

Two gritty noir detective stories starring anthropomorphic animals in as many days? Stranger things have happened. Blacksad: Under The Skin, the adventure game adaptation of the famous Spanish comic series, is set to launch on September 26th. While developers Pendulo Studios (Runaway, The Next Big Thing) haven’t the greatest track record with their point-and-click adventures, they’ve sure managed to capture the look of the comic. Take a look a new trailer below, featuring some fittingly gravel-voiced narration, and a peek at some of the supporting cast.

Contrary to what your lying eyes may tell you, Blacksad’s cast aren’t animals. John Blacksad and the rest are just depicted as them, and this being a ’50s detective adventure, likely acting like them too. This stands in stark contrast to Backbone, which put out a demo yesterday and is set in an actual alternate world full of animal people, where lines in the sand are drawn between species. The ever-insightful Giada Zavarise wrote about Blacksad and other animal detective stories last year, back before Pendulo were ready to show the game in motion. It’s well worth a read. As is the comic, for that matter.

While certainly cinematic in its presentation, the trailer doesn’t tell us much about the game. Still, we can see that they’ve captured the look of the comic pretty well, even if the lip-syncing struggles to map to muzzles, snouts and beaks. The voice cast don’t sound half bad either, but I’ve some reservations about the script. While it’s cut up for trailer purposes, none of the lines really resonated with me, and a few sound like they’ve been slightly awkwardly translated from Spanish. Whether that’s the case (both the studio and the comic are from Spain) or not, it’s mildly worrying, especially considering Pendulo’s wobbly track record.

Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed. From what I’ve read of the comics, they’re good, smart and paradoxically very human detective tales. Still, worst case scenario and we end up with a stinker, and at least we’ll still have Backbone.

Blacksad: Under The Skin launches on September 26th, and is published by Microids. You can find it here on Steam.

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Dominic Tarason

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