Monday, January 23, 2012

The Blackwell Deception

Now, I do my best not to be a fanboy, but every so often, something comes along that's so high-quality that I just can't help but get a little bit giddy over it. Wadjet Eye Games' games are like that. So of course I was excited to hear about The Blackwell Deception, the fourth game in the series. I mean, how could an adventure games enthusiast not be excited about it? I was, unfortunately, not able to buy it at the time of release, but it recently got a release on Steam and was on sale for the first week, so I picked it up right quick. Did it live up to my expectations?

In a word: Yes.

In more than one word: No, but only because it exceeded them.

Seriously, the folks at Wadjet Eye Games are consistently getting better with each game. It's a gradual process, granted, but it is there, and since they started out at such a high level of quality to begin with, it's really noticeable. I mean, I could basically say take my review of the Blackwell Trilogy, plus 1... but that would be cheating.
Basically, the pacing is better, the story is more compelling, the characters are more memorable, the dialog feels more natural, the stakes are higher, and the character development is noticeable. Even the technical aspects are better. The sound quality is nicer, though it's subtle, and the game runs at a higher resolution with better picture quality. Not that's a bit of a mixed bag, since I actually enjoyed the pixelated throwback feel of the earlier games, but it's really hard to argue against better-looking images.
On that note, it's should be said that WEG has also re-released the original trilogy on Steam as well, and they've been updated, with higher resolutions, new commentary, and a couple of other changes as well.

Bottom Line: Once again, if you like adventure games at all, you NEED to play these games. People have been saying for years and years that classic point-and-click adventure games were dead, despite the occasional game like The Longest Journey coming out. Recent years have shown that P-n-C Adventure Games are having a renaissance, and WEG is proving itself to be, perhaps, the brightest star in that particular constellation. (How's that for a mixed metaphor?)
Now I just need to get around to playing Gemini Rue.

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