The previous two games have been fantastic, with improvements being made to both gameplay and graphics, and with both of these improvements actually making the game better rather than worsening it, it’s a delight to play. So let’s see how Blackwell 3: Convergence has changed the game, if it has that is, maybe Gilbert will have decided to leave it as it is because it works.
Surprise surprise though, the first thing that is noticeable is the graphical changes. It’s higher quality and more shaded, it looks really pretty actually. It’s also a weird feeling because it kind of feels like the game is progressing in terms of maturity. Each episode grows up with it’s darker and higher resolution graphics. BUT WAIT! The episode starts of in a room, and there’s no characters visible but you can hear them!? Please don’t tell me that Gilbert decided to take the point-and-click style similar to Myst here!? I like being able to see the characters rather than…oh wait, I just made Joey walk through the doorway and I can see him now. Phew. I thought the gameplay style had been changed massively then!
Okay, now we’re back to the good old Blackwell. Rosa and Joey, the duo that started it all. After having to work as a team to send the first ghost on his way, you realise that things are pretty dark. Joey is essentially willing a ghost to commit suicide just to make him realize he’s already dead; even Joey questions how dark it is for him.
Afterwards we get an insight into how advanced the game has become in terms of gameplay mechanics. Rosa has forgotten to meet up with her neighbour, but it’s written on her calendar, minus the address. So introducing you to the new research system is the PC, where from the first episode, Legacy, we just clicked the PC and Rosa would
automatically research, we now have to actually sit at the PC which takes us to a desktop view, which we then have access to Rosa’a emails and, “Oogle” search engine. You now have to physically type in your search request. It’s a system that does eventually get long winded, but really shows how much the game has progressed over the past few episodes and the new systems it’s willing to introduce.
When you come across the second ghost, Frank the actor, he seems to be the most frustrating ghost the duo have been faced with as he’s stuck in a state of repeating the script he had to act before his death. Joey can only have a conversation with Frank, but anything leading to the solving of the case is impossible to get. Rosa on the other hand is seen, by Frank, as the actress whom shares the other half of the lines, and her only way of communicating is knowing the lines to the film that she hasn’t seen.
Once you get access to the script, it’s only Joey that can see the script, and he memorises the words that Rosa needs to know. Upon talking to Frank again, the dialogue finally progresses, however, with a twist that confuses me. Once Rosa has spoken the parts Joey told her, suddenly her and Frank begin exchanging non-scripted lines, bouncing off from each other, and Joey gets confused, stating that this isn’t in the script. What doesn’t make sense, is Frank was reluctant to talk at all unless the script was being followed, why would he suddenly break the script and create new lines?
The story starts to unfold more and more when the introduction of Joesph Mitchell and the Countess comes around. As it turns out, Dave Gilbert has been inspired by Joeseph Mitchell, who was inspired to write about Joe Gould. Mitchell suffered from a writers block after he published his, “The Secret of Joe Gould” and this is where we are introduced to Mitchell in the Blackwell universe during this moment in his life. But he becomes fascinated by how everyone he writes about eventually dies…and the reasoning is because of a woman from the past…and Joey knows it.
The countess features in the last episode as a physical human, but throughout this episode, she’s a ghost, and plays a very big role after Frank accepts his death and moves on. There’s deep conversations, ghostly talk, fight scenes, and a lot of teleporting.
This is a really strong episode, and it really does captivate you and makes you think back to the past two episodes. There’s a hell of a lot of continuity going on, which is executed incredibly well, and the graphical advancements just keep getting higher. I’m looking forward to the next episode and seeing some more progression with the characters deteriorating personalities.