Review: Blacksad: Under the Skin
Microids, Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive released Blacksad: Under the Skin on November 5. As a Sinterklaas gift, we were still allowed to review it.
The game is based on the Blacksad comic books by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido. The game is a completely new story.
It's the 1950s in New York City: Joe Dunn, the owner of a boxing club, is found dead. Meanwhile, rising star Bobby Yale, who heads to the ring for the most important fight of his career, has mysteriously disappeared. Joe Dunn's daughter Sonia Dunn takes over the gym and has to deal with his financial problems.
She hires private detective John Blacksad to investigate Yale's disappearance. Soon John will find out that Bobby's disappearance and Joe's "suicide" aren't as black and white as it seems. The highly anticipated boxing match of the year draws near and the club's finances could not survive a no show from Bobby Yale. During his investigation, John Blacksad will find himself swimming with sharks in a universe where corruption is everywhere.
The game is full of anthropomorphic characters. For example, John Blacksad is a cat and you come across a whole zoo of characters. Players familiar with the comics will encounter four familiar characters from the comic and 31 more exclusive characters created especially for the game. You will also get dialogue and moral choices in the game that influence the progress of the game and the story. You can play Blacksad in 6 ways.
One of the most important things in an adventure is of course the controls. I've already played the game at Gamescom and everything felt great then. The game wasn't finished yet, but it felt that way. The only point of criticism I had is that John Blacksad is very slow and a bit clumsy. This could have been a little faster.
I tried to play Blacksad last week but it was almost impossible. Almost an outright nightmare. Your character stays where and whenever he wants to hang and doesn't walk or do anything anymore. Then I can rotate the stick around my axis and with a lot of luck I can shoot loose. More often the sound in the videos is out of sync or parts are cut off. And if these problems go away for a while, there is still the chance that the game will freeze. I don't know how many times I've had to restart the game and play again. And the loading times are also too long and too often in my opinion. I stopped playing every day, frustrated.
Solve the mystery
The game is not really difficult. Very similar to a Telltale game. You're going to solve your research, but you don't actually research anything yourself. you search with Blacksad for clues and talk to people. You will be assigned approximately the rest. What I like best about adventure games are the puzzles. You solve something or add items together and you have to use them again somewhere. You won't find any of that in this game.
John Blacksad, because he is a cat, has something called Cat Senses. Here you use your heightened feline senses such as smell, smell and sight. This is a fun way to look for clues, but here, too, everything is right in front of you. There is also a deduction screen. Here you will put together different clues and observations that you have found. The game tells you when there is a match to be made. It's no more than selecting until you get the right one. If you have a match, you get a conclusion and you can continue in the game or more deductions become available.
What can I say about this now. If the game starts working, you can spend a few enjoyable hours there. It's a nice setting. Nice classic crime story with a film noir atmosphere. The characters appeal to me and there is also some humor to discover. Nevertheless. As the game is now, it is virtually unplayable and just frustrating. If all the problems of this game would be solved and it would just work as it should. Then I would give the game a 7. But unfortunately I can't do that now with the version I played.
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