Blacksad: Under the Skin review: a very noir cat-detective

Blacksad: Under the Skin review: a very noir cat-detective

For those unfamiliar with him, the detective's face Blacksad: Under the Skin it is not new to the world of entertainment. It is in fact a comic series born in the early 2000s from the minds of Juan Diaz Canales e Juanjo Guarnido placeholder image which has met with great success in Europe. Today, thanks to Microids e Pendulum Studios, we can live the stories of John Blacksad in this fascinating, graphic-flavored adventure black.

Did the video game also meet comic quality standards? Let's find out in our review of BlackSad – Under the Skin.

Blacksad: Under the Skin recensione

John Blacksad is a private investigator living in New York in the 50s with all the strengths and weaknesses of the American society of those years. The world in which the story unfolds is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals that reflect the psychology and physicality of the character they represent. Our protagonist, for example, is a perceptive black cat able to observe and perceive the finest details thanks to his sight and his incredible sense of smell.

The Blacksad Story - Under the Skin is a spin-off from the original comics, therefore very enjoyable even without having ever read the volumes. The plot begins in John's studio where a fight with a large rhino "victim" of the protagonist's detective work begins in a very short time. Here begins the first Quick Time Event which characterizes part of the game and which begins to give us a smattering of Blacksad's psychology and way of acting. Soon a new case will arise for our detective that will affect the whole main plot. Sonia Dunn, a charming young lynx, will ask us to investigate the death of her father, an ex-boxer who committed suicide in his gym under mysterious circumstances.

As happens in the best noir stories, from this case a series of interlinked events will arise that enrich the plot with stories of smuggling, prostitution, illegal betting and all those elements that characterized an aspect of America in the 50s. All while developing the private history of the main characters making us discover their psychology and their past little by little.

Blacksad: Under the Skin review: a very noir cat-detective Blacksad: Under the Skin review: a very noir cat-detective Download QR-Code Blacksad: Under the Skin Developer: Pendulo Studios, YS Interactive Price: 39,99 €

A case in our paws

The story of Blacksad: Under the Skin features a series of scenes and dialogues between the protagonist and the other characters of the game who will help us or not to discover the truth. Each conversation is structured similarly to all the other graphic adventures we've played. We will have to choose what to ask suspects in a short time and answer questions as we please but always remembering that every choice we make can have repercussions both in the short and long term. Our actions will also shape the Blacksad psychology, that we could keep under control in the section "Your Blacksad" of the menu. This area shows us how tough, kind or talkative we have been during the game to give us an idea of ​​our approach.

There is no lack, as already mentioned, of the quick time event very simple that, although slightly moving the pace of the game, are not able to fully adapt to the timing of the plot, ending up losing effectiveness. On the other hand, the mechanics of identifying the clues and deducing them are more interesting. In the first Blacksad will be able to identify particular details thanks to his feline senses while in the second we will be able to put together all the clues discovered to make correct deductions.

Unfortunately, none of these curious variants can raise the pace of the narrative too slow even for an investigative plot of this kind. Some dialogues are excessively long as well as the sequences of exploration of the various areas. Despite the animal species, Blacksad is in fact unable to run or jump which makes it extremely frustrating to juggle various crime scenes.

The problems of the trade

To make this cumbersome situation worse, it also takes a movement system boring in which you have to turn the character in a certain position before you can move it. This is the classic "pivot" movement typical of videogames of the 90s that finds little space in today's videogame market. This makes it particularly difficult to move between the various locations in search of clues, an operation of no small importance for an investigator.

Lo graphic style of the game is pleasant and well done with a plot of colors and designs that winks at the comic media. Unfortunately i bugs, and glitch graphics and audio are many. It has happened to us several times to find a continuous and annoying stuttering totally unjustified. There are also numerous audio problems with missing tracks or poorly distributed characters' voices.

Which is a shame especially considering the beautiful colonna sonora Jazz that manages to fully identify with the atmosphere of the 50s.

Blacksad review: buy it or not?

We sincerely wanted to write something different but, overall, Blacksad: Under the Skin fails to give value to a plot that had a very high potential. The graphic problems, the woody movements and the slow and, at times, boring narration, cannot make us fully appreciate this title. It feels like Blacksad should have come out in a couple of months with the finish it deserved.

We sincerely hope that the game's problems and bugs will be fixed in the following months, perhaps with a new patch, because, without a doubt, Blacksad's stories deserve to be heard, but with a more effective tool.

Blacksad - Under the Skin

Pro Blacksad: Under the Skin review: a very noir cat-detective
  • Compelling and well crafted storyline
  • Fantastic settings of 50s New York
  • Particular soundtrack
Cons Blacksad: Under the Skin review: a very noir cat-detective
  • Too many bugs and glitches
  • Gameplay a bit old
  • Slow storytelling
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