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A void with no one I can care about

I have played a previous game from the same creator, Goodbye Rebecca and I decided to take a look at their newly released title.

Now I am saddened to say that I am not impressed by Black Winter. I played it for around 2 hours then laid it to rest. I can see that there were a lot of ideas and effort going into this, do not get me wrong. The game does not feel lazy or quickly and sloppily done. There was clearly some thought going into this but in the end I simply found myself in the middle of the Black Winter void without any character that I cared about at all.

To get the story out of the way first, it seems to be coming along interesting. I will say that the intro sort of got me a tad wondering where this was going but in the end I would at least call the story of the game decent. My only trouble in the storytelling department was the fact the characters seemed to more spew exposition than being actual characters. Some of it felt a tad forced.

The real trouble starts with the characters. Oh my holy Freja on a cupcake, the characters. Let me be completely frank, the reason why I get invested in games is because of characters and in a horror game like this it is important that I care about them and want no harm to befall them. This is not the case for Black Winter, in fact at the end I could not care less what happened to the characters involved.

Matt simply was too bland for me. I get it, he's the good hard working ever caring man but he never got developed more than that. He just felt like a very standard character without too much polish or development. I can see that there was attempts in deepening his characters with the speak about his father and such but it felt more like exposition than an actual character.

As for Lily, I'll be completely honest, I could not care less what happens to her. All her dialogue was more or less agony for me as she came to embody a lot of things I despise in characters. Now it is personal but I hate preachy characters that feels the need to shove their opinions down your throat and acts offended and aggravated if a person does not share their beliefs as passionately. Her almost militant way about her vegetarian diet, her constant nagging about Matt's job and her apparent jealousy just dragged her further down and by the end I felt I did not care at all if she would have some "explanation for her behaviour" as I myself believe that no matter what you've been through, it does not excuse you behaving like an ass. Honestly though, what sank it for me was the cut scene early in the game *SPOILERS* where they explain that Lily is apparently infertile in one shape or form and when her husband proposes other solutions she claims she does not want "any of those unnatural things", that was when I officially flipped my shit. Because I'm assuming that unnatural is everything that is not, pardon the expression "boy part goes into girl part" action, so insemination, surrogate mothers and adoption are "unnatural things". Personal point but after that Lily was more or less gone as a character for me.

So with this duo on my hands I also get introduced to this servant girl Emma. Now I'm sure her story develop along the lines but she felt rather like a carrot on a stick that was being waved in front of me in order to pull out pity. Though her story seem tragic in nature it felt like she did not have much more character beyond the pity me parts. And once again the wonders of Lily strikes as she confronts, not the abuser but the victim of an abusive situation, lecturing the VICTIM on how all of this is wrong instead of, I don't know, being an adult and not putting the blame and burden on a 14 year old girl clearly not knowing any better.

As for the maps, credit where credit is due, they look nice. They're rather spacious and nice which is good in a game where one have to run from enemies so actual praise where it should be. The only trouble I found was the lighting of the rooms. Often I struggled to see in some of the areas and it puts a real strain on the eyes.

As for the monsters and battle mechanics, no, it rubbed me the wrong way. For the first part, before the fighting, I felt like the game was flowing pretty nice but when the combat came into view I felt it slowed me down and was more clunky and in the way. I was no longer taking in the environment or thinking of puzzles, I was battling the controls and enemy placement. In my humble opinion, the game could have done good as a horror puzzle game without the fighting mechanism.

Over all I can not really recommend this game. it is not awful or completely broken but my own experience was really being stuck in a castle with people I could not care less about. And in a horror game about escaping a castle, that is the last thing I should feel about the characters.

I'm really sad to leave a review like this and my tips for the creator would be along the lines of
1) Characters should speak to one another, not to the players. They're not dolls there to spew exposition left and right.
2) Characters should have a personality beyond simple traits. And if they have traits, don't shove them down our throats.
3)Light. Simply light! Darkness does not automatically equal scary. There is nothing more frustrating than not seeing where you're going!

Even though this is harsh, I do not wish for you to be disheartened. From one creator to the other, it is hard to take in but try to take the critic to heart and do your best in either polishing this up or giving it 101 % on your next project!

Posts

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Just so you know, the developer of this game got banned for using a duplicate account to give himself a positive review after recieving a negative review.
It's a shame though, I had a few ideas to improve the game's cutscenes I really wanted to discuss with the developer.

I tried to contact him, no success, he dissapeared.
author=Ilan14
Just so you know, the developer of this game got banned for using a duplicate account to give himself a positive review after recieving a negative review.


Oh geez... I had no idea.
I mean I saw something happened but I didn't know they were gone ^^'
One thing we're very strict on is people trying to abuse the system. We're pretty easy-going a lot of the time but some things we don't put up with and abusing the system just to make yourself look better is one of those things.
author=Liberty
One thing we're very strict on is people trying to abuse the system. We're pretty easy-going a lot of the time but some things we don't put up with and abusing the system just to make yourself look better is one of those things.


Yeah. I've been going through the comments on the other reviews and now I see the whole picture. I'm just sad to see someone sink to that level when it comes to their game making.
How did they figure out that he made another account?
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
24413
positivelyela
How did they figure out that he made another account?


IP address, of course.
Among other things.
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