Blackwell Unbound review

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Now on the next game of the series, Blackwell Unbound. Usually when a new series released a game and plans to make another one for the series, it’s expected it to be a sequel, but for some reason, Widjet Eye Games made the second game of the Blackwell series not a sequel, but instead a prequel. This is the story where we go back to when Lauren Blackwell was doing the medium duty with Joey Malone. This was before Rosangela was born and before Lauren went in a mental collapse. Unbound was originally supposed to be a flashback sequence in the sequel for Blacckwell Legacy, but it grew so large that it became a game in its own right. It’s a risky move considering that not that many people know of this game series and for it to be a prequel right after the first game is quite something that hasn’t been done this early before. Usually prequels (regardless if it’s a movie, book, or video game), needs a lot of popularity or more sequels to even have a prequel. But since we’re talking about a game in the independent scene, anything can happen.

The time period of where this game takes place is back in the 1970s. The object of Blackwell Unbound is similar to Blackwell Legacy where you have to locate these ghosts who thinks they’re alive, communicate with the people who know of that are dead person, and find out a way to help them by first convincing them that they are dead. Both Joey & Lauren investigate two ghosts – a murdered saxophone player and a murdered women haunting a construction site of her old apartment building. While investigating the two seemingly unrelated incidents, Lauren discovers that both ghosts have been murdered by the same woman that calls herself The Countess. I won’t spoil anything, but encountering this character is absolutely creepy and having the plot revolve around this character’s actions well compelling. Like the last game, you have plenty of characters to interact with, varied location to explore, and puzzle solving. Unbound doubles the experience of Legacy, by making Joey a playable character.

Our new main character Lauren was something out of expectation, because Roseangela was a nerdy lovable caring character. Lauren Blackwell, the aunt, on the other hand, was a stuck-up woman who has a big attitude and a flirtatious voice along with it. Talk about the total opposite character in the Blackwell family. Joey however is the same lovable, gag cracking character that we know from the last game. The relationship between Joey & Lauren is a hilarious one, where Joey gives her the hardest time that it drove Lauren nuts. But what’s new to the series is that you can switch characters with either Joey or Lauren at any time. And like other games that have the character switching single player feature, both Joey & Lauren have their own pros & cons. Since Lauren is physical where she can pick up objects and talk to any one, Joey on the other hand can go through lock doors, pick up spiritual objects, change temperatures, and go to locations that Lauren can not yet reach. However Joey can’t pick up physical objects or talk to living people who doesn’t believe in ghosts, so that made playing as Lauren to be more important.

The tone and atmosphere of this game is much more atmospheric. Just when you thought Grim Fandango offered the best jazz soundtrack, Widjet Eye games added jazz music for the soundtrack just simply made it so breath-taking. The design for the characters wasn’t quite as well made compared to the last game, but it still was suitable for a game driven by a jazzy soundtrack. However my only negitive with this game is that this game was easier than Blackwell Legacy which affect some replay value and the tone and story-telling wasn’t as compelling as to the last game. Regardless I only recommed this game to those who really loved Blackwell Legacy. If you do you would already find yourself right at home to know who Roseangela’s aunt was and it unfolds the mystery that happened before Roseangela was born and it’s important know what’s going to happen in the next game of the series.

The Top Lister’s rating on Blackwell Unbound  –  4 fingers out of 5

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