Weaving different story threads together in a series of games can be quite tricky, so let’s see how the true sequel The Blackwell Convergence fares after the original title from Wadjet Eye Games.
The Blackwell Convergence
(USA 2009, developer/publisher: Wadjet Eye Games, platform: PC)
Rosa Blackwell und Joey Malone are at it again with solving a mysterious murder of a movie actor, a scientist and delves deep into the art and film industry of New York.
Storytelling in the third instalment is something of a mixed bag this time. On the one hand, it has very interesting and suspenseful narrative strands which interconnect with the first two games (therefore making it difficult for newcomers to understand everything) like a philosophical link between people. The writing is generally strong and pokes fun at both filmmaking and art. On the other hand, dialogues are often drawn out and the general tone of this episode is less emotional. It even takes a sci-fi element and plays too often with philosophical questions. Another problem is ghost Joey himself this time who is even more obnoxious with his comments and therefore difficult to like in some scenes. It isn’t helped that one always has to wait for him to accompany Rosangela to the exit of a screen before one can progress.
The easy art of puzzle solving
Gameplay also loses some of its interesting aspects, because clues can no longer be combined. It’s often not exactly clear what to do next or where to go, and backtracking to places is overused as well. Especially annoying is a time-sensitive sequence at the end which could have been left out easily or given a wider time frame for less reactive players. However, one is still glued to the screen, discovering new connections, talking to people about different subjects and dismissing the less than perfect puzzle design.
Good old graphics and sounds
Technically, the game shows progression in more detailed backgrounds and character portraits, while the jazz music is delightful to listen to. Voice performances vary from great to good with only a few unintentionally funny exceptions. So all in all, it all looks better but sounds more or less the same.
Once more with feeling of familiarity
Third time’s the charm, although in this case, one is left with mixed feelings about both gameplay and storytelling in The Blackwell Convergence, while the game only shows a few improvements in the tech department. Investigative skills are still the trade of the day to progress with few hints, so getting stuck can happen a bit too often, while the overfamiliarity with the subject matter of ghosts leaving their old life behind begins to get a tad stale. Still, despite all these flaws and a rather overblown (open) ending, plot and character development are of high quality and capture the player’s attention.
Buy the PC game on
GOG (also includes the first two games and the sequel)
the Humble Bundle store
If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).