Sometimes when you play a video game it just clicks with you. Sometimes, while playing,
you have to stop for a moment and exclaim, “Wow!” These moments can be experienced with many games, even if in some small way, but they are mostly fleeting. Games that consistently inspire that exhilarated feeling throughout their play are special works
The morning I decided to start playing the indie adventure Blackwell Deception I couldn’t stop until I finished the game. I kept running into chill-inducing moment after moment and had to see it to the end. I enjoyed the first three games in the Blackwell series and was curious to see where developer WadjetEye Games was going with its fourth installment. One of the best parts of playing the first three, since I played them back to back,
was that I got to see their growth over time. This fourth game continues that
maturation with thrilling storytelling mixed with smart game play.
Blackwell Deception’s storytelling is so strong that I largely forgot that I was even playing a game. Its puzzles are a mystery and their connections can be solved through investigation, logical deduction and footwork, but they never obstructed the game’s focus.
You play as writer turned medium Rosangela, and are accompanied by her sarcastic spirit guide, Joey. Rosa and Joey continue to find and help restless ghosts move on to the
afterlife and their story continues with the deeper and darker tone that the
third game initiated. The duo find that they are unable to ignore events larger
than their business of helping dead people.
It’s this business of helping murdered spirits that I enjoyed the most. Like many movies
or books, there’s that fun period before the main conflict occurs where the
characters are going about their lives with no huge consequences. The Blackwell
series uses this structure as an opportunity to teach players its game mechanics
by having players help a ghost who is not necessarily related to the main plot.
I like this short prologue as it revels in the pure, fun idea of being a medium
who helps dead people.
Every game in the Blackwell series has great graphics and animations but their
professional voice acting is what truly sets the mood. Blackwell Deception is no exception with every character perfectly cast, especially Rosa and Joey. That voice acting combined with well-drawn character portraits communicate exactly the story the game is trying to tell.
I love the emotional highs and lows I experienced with Blackwell
Deception. It was a weird combination of satisfaction helping these poor
murdered people and melancholy brought about by the realization that despite my
assistance there was no bringing them back to life.
Simply put, you need to play the Blackwell series of games as soon as possible. Each of
them is well made and this new, fourth installment is no exception.