Regardless of how interesting the story can get, nothing can save it from the shear amount of technical issues this game is riddled with. On the surface, Black Mirror has the potential to be a clever remake of the 2003 original point and click adventure, however, minutes into this game reveal a technical mess that feels rushed and incomplete.
You assume the role of David Gordon, an estranged son to a wealthy Irish family that is sucked back into the insanity when his father suddenly kicks the bucket (spoiler alert: he’s murdered). After an intriguing opening you arrive at Black Mirror (the estate left to David). This is when the bugs come out, and no I don’t mean scary bugs that attack you in the game, I’m referring to the glitches, crashes, and piss poor controls that make a solid chunk of this game infuriating to play. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
The game revolves around exploration and puzzles to find out “who dunnit”. While some of the puzzles provide some serious thought, it’s the dizzying controls that yet again rear their ugly head and make things trickier than they should be. David must uncover the truth before he suffers a similar fate as his father, but finding the truth is so frustrating that I wish they gave you the option to off David at the start of the game and let you watch the credits roll.
On top of this, the graphics are more in line with high end PS3/Xbox 360 games than they are with the current generation consoles we have now. The voice acting is dreadful and it makes your countless hours of interactions with the dead-eyed characters make you want to ram your skull into the wall. The lifeless expressions and lag between what is being said and what is being “acted out” in front of you makes every encounter a dismal experience.
Aside from the monotone cast and their robotic animations, the controls make this gameplay experience an extremely frustrating one. You REALLY need to enjoy the story to power through this game. The camera is not your friend, and the “point and click” experience is by no means translated to a console controller. Collision on certain assets make navigating the tighter areas of the game impossible, I must have gotten stuck on a plant at least a dozen times. But don’t worry about having to restart the game to get out of the mess because odds are it’ll crash and boot you out on it’s own.
The payoffs from the story don’t come close to the hair pulling gameplay you have to go through to get there. Maybe that is the horror aspect of this game though? Giving you shitty controls and bland characters that come with hours of mind numbing dialogue. Unless some serious patches roll out soon for this game I have a hard time recommending it to anyone. It had promise and potential to reinvigorate the genre, but at this time it’s dead on arrival. Maybe it can be used as a means of punishment or torture? Because from a technical/gameplay perspective this game is terrifying.