Let me get this out of the way: I wouldn't define BlackSoul: Extended Edition as a good game. It's got too many problems with it for me to say that. And honestly, the only people who are going to enjoy it are those that liked B-Tier horror games in the late 90s and early 2000s, games like Deep Fear or Blue Stinger or Kuon. However, despite all of its problems, I did end up enjoying the game, and it does get better as it goes along.
BlackSoul: Extended Edition is an old-school styled survival-horror game, where you utilize limited supplies, puzzles, and clunky tank controls to make your way through several locations. The story is that you're a brother going to a nearby forest to rescue your sister... You play as both through the course of the game. However, honestly speaking, the story hardly has any presence, and the ending is disappointing. But I did enjoy the notes that you occasionally pick up in the game. They were interesting enough, and honestly most of the game's story is told through them.
Audio-wise, it's mostly good. The music deserves particular mention, as it's all quite good and very horror-sounding, and adds a lot to the game experience. Audio isn't bad, and some of the ambiance is legitimately creepy, but some sounds, like the sounds the zombies make, get way too familiar and aren't particularly fantastic. And the voicing is god awful, but thankfully there's only like four spoken lines of dialogue in the whole game.
Graphics actually aren't too shabby for a small budget indie effort. Some good lighting effects, interesting designed rooms, and good art direction. A few places managed to visually strike with me. However, some areas look far better than others, the animations in the game are wonky, and some textures (especially outside) are notably very low quality.
The gameplay is rather simple. Your character moves like a tank, find key items, solve puzzles, and make progress to the next location. Enemies blockade your way, and should either be taken out or avoided. You have limited ammo and healing items, so making decisions about your inventory is crucial. One feature here to note is that if an enemy manages to grab and gnaw on you, you get poisoned, which slowly drains your health. You have to find and use antidotes to heal poison, but they're limited, so sometimes its better to stick with being poisoned as you may very well quickly run into and get poisoned again by another enemy.
On that note, there's only three types of enemies in this game; Slow-stumbling zombies, speed-walking Zombies, and sprinting zombies. So basically, there's only zombies in this game. The speed of the zombie is random from zombie to zombie, but notably different zombie models take a different number of hits, which is always the same with that particular zombie model no matter what speed they move at. This limited enemy variety leaves definitely things to be desired, but also ultimately doesn't take too much from the game, as there's a larger focus on puzzles and exploration, which thankfully there is some good variety on.
The game is not short actually, it should take someone 10-16 hours to complete it the first time. The game has eight main locations, and it should be noted that they get better as the game progresses (the later areas I found a lot more enjoyable and interesting than the first few). The ultimate trial in the game comes from the second main location, The Graveyard. This location drags on, has a lot of backtracking, and honestly is probably the worst location in the game. But it's after this point the game also starts to get a lot better after the fact.
The puzzles are varied and fun, ranging from astronomical puzzles, riddle puzzles, slide tile puzzles, visual puzzles, memory puzzles, and more. The harder puzzles also have a 'solve it' option if you get stuck on them. However, a few puzzles were lifted directly out of old horror games and just altered around a bit, the most notable one being a clone of the Piano Puzzle from Silent Hill 1.
There's a few clone elements here actually. The game has a few scares and a few of them are effective, but a few were carbon-copied from Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
And this is all ignoring the game's biggest problem; it's performance. The developers chose a very old engine to make the game, and it has a lot of problems. You have to manually resize the window. The game crashes every so often. While I had no issues running it, some people have to overcome hurdles just to make it work. A lot of this is on the engine the developers chose, which pre-dates even the Source Engine, but why the developers chose this engine and rolled with it when it has so many problems especially on modern machines is beyond me.
And generally speaking I wouldn't call this a good game, or a game for everyone to experience. Honestly, if you do not have severe love for the genre, you should probably pass. There are far better horror games, and this game's problems can wear thin if you're not patient. The game gets better as it goes along, but it's nowhere near the quality of, say, Resident Evil or Silent Hill.
But as a genre enthusiast I actually did enjoy my time with it. I'm a gamer that has played a lot of horror games from all different eras of the genre. The good atmosphere and scares in places, music, puzzles, and interesting environments later in was enough for me. I wouldn't recommend it if you don't really love the genre or lack patience, but there are some interesting ideas and moments here for fans of the genre, and while it lacks elements it really shouldn't (this game would of honestly been so much better with a better story and enemy selection), it did keep enough going for me to want to keep going.
Difficult, flawed, and only really for genre enthusiasts with patience and acceptance for flaws, the game isn't a hidden gem, but rather a mixed bag of good and bad which managed to keep me interested during its 10-16 hour campaign. It's really not for everyone, and it's not what I would call a good game, but it was interesting to see a raw low-budget modern indie take on the genre with clearly bigger ambitions and heart from people who loved the genre, but missed a few notes of what makes it what it is, but tackle other areas fairly well.