So, I do not know exactly why but whenever the words platformer and puzzle get combined into the same game, I have a tendency to display the utmost amount of mastery while playing. I say this completely in sarcasm as I have an innate ability to absolutely obliterate my love towards playing video games by playing platform puzzlers, Platfuzzlers? I am great at platformers, even pretty decent at puzzlers, but when you combine the two I have all the mental capacity of something that doesn’t have a lot of mental capacity. So why don’t I, as the most qualified platform puzzle player, describe just why Black Hole is a pretty good game!
Let me start off by saying that this is not a new game, the particular version I played was the complete edition on PS4. That being said I was going into this game completely blind and I got to say, I was pretty pleased with the game. As a platformer, this game performs very well as it has the fluid motion to keep the platforming fun and inviting. There have been many games in the past that just have not had the ability to really sell the platformer as well as this game does. It is nice to see that there are groups of people that are dedicated enough to try to keep a long lasting genre alive.
This game to me goes above and beyond visually, everything in the game is presented beautifully. From the environment, all the way down to the characters and objects have a defined stylistic approach to them. The developers took the time to actually connect the visuals together to make sure each level looks cohesive and crisp. Each world has its own obvious style that makes it more different than the last but it all fits in just fine with the game.
This game has an added extra bit of professionalism by having a fully voiced cast. Each character is very well acted by each individual actor. The music is very inviting and adds to the atmosphere of the game.
Now it’s not often that I discuss too much on this topic but with this particular game being fully voiced I figured I might as well cover it. Story wise the game has a certain amount of humour that the writers did not mind keeping in the game for the entirety of my play. The characters have their own personalities and interact with your character in various ways. Whether or not you like or hate them is completely up to you but the writers did do a great job giving them both love and hate qualities. The real saving grace is your companion Auriel. The comedy that she brings to the table is great when you are constantly dying at the hands of your own hubris. With writing and all the game definitely, has a strong standing story that entertains the entire time you play the game.
I have noticed in the time that I played this game that although I am not the greatest at this particular genre and despite its difficulty, there was a definite level of appreciation towards how the game progressed. The mechanics rely mainly on the altering of the gravity in each level, all the while collecting this little orbs that help to unlock new areas as well as repairing your ship in the hub world. It really falls on the player to understand how the different directions can affect the player when they play. Turn the gravity the wrong way and you get stuck in an area with the only option being death/resetting.
Now the game has two main modes that you can play; Classic and Adventure. Classic takes in the original style of the game, where the goal is to get all the orbs in each level without dying. If you die you start again back at zero, luckily the game allows you to clear the level as long as you collect the minimum amount that way players can come back later when they understand the game a little bit more. Adventure mode is nice for the less hardcore players that want more of a story experience without so much of the death and difficulty. In adventure, you have the ability to keep the orbs you find if you take them back to the checkpoint. This way the player can approach each orb as its own entity thus taking some of the stress away from dying.
At least for me, while I played this game I experienced a number of frame rate drops when the content got a little to clogged on the screen. It was at rare points but it happened enough to bring it up. I can’t personally vouch for the same issues on other systems but they were there for me on the PS4.
All in all this game does a really good job of porting the game over from PC to PS4 and while it has been out for some time it was really nice to get down and play it for the first time. While it might not be my cup of tea, and despite its difficulty, it was brought together very well.
Blackhole: Complete Edition is out now for PS4 and Xbox One!