|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cranberry Productions||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Anaconda||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 7, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Interesting and compelling is the way the story develops from an almost light-hearted summer romance to a survival horror drama. Things really begin to get creepy when Darren visits Willow Creek, a town that capitalizes on its terrible past with the selling of incredibly tacky souvenirs of the gruesome murders which took place over a decade ago. The gothic, foreboding Black Mirror Castle and the converted insane asylum where terrifying atrocities were committed figure prominently into the story.
Along with these locations, you'll also visit the police station, crime lab, the murder museum, and many dark and dreary places around the town. Creating a chilling ambience, clouds of meandering mist are accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack. Ambient sound effects such as footsteps, water ripples, and creaking doors virtually leap from the speakers, creating a very tangible tension. As with any good game, book, or movie, the suspense is generated not by what you see but what your imagination things you might see.
Despite the realism the developers are aiming for, there are many instances where you'll have to suspend disbelief. There are some holes in the story, some silly puzzles, and an unlimited inventory you get to drag around with you. Death comes easy to your character, but fortunately there's an auto-save.
Commands are straightforward, as the varied gameplay is not all point-and-click. Navigation is rather linear, and you can use the postcards as maps. There is some backtracking involved in addition to trial and error but not enough to dampen your enthusiasm.
Black Mirror II is worthy of some serious reflection.
CCC Senior Writer