Obligatory header to the review: I focus on four primary areas whenever I review a game: gameplay, story, graphics, and sound/audio/general things that go into your earholes. Gameplay and Story get a rating scale from 1 to 10, and the AV stuff gets a rating from 1 to 5. My philosophy on this is that there are some instances in which a game may not necessarily have that much in the way of gameplay (take Amnesia for example), but the story/atmosphere/whatever it may be is reason enough to pick it up. Also, take the cumulative score with a grain of salt; it's just a numerical feeling about the game as a whole. That's part of why I do these subscores. Also, keep in mind that I'm not going off of school grade based rankings. A 5/10 denotes what I feel to be an average game. Likewise, 7/10 is a game that I think is pretty cool, and something that gets a 2/10 is near-abomination level. Pinning scores to an even further obfuscated rating scale is kinda senseless, but for the sake of my backloggery, I'll repeat again that 1.0-2.7 is a one-star game, 3.0-4.7 is a two-star game, 5.0-6.7, 7.0-8.7, and 9.0-10 are three, four, and five stars, respectively.
Additional note: This review will be shorter and will be written in respect to the first and second in the series (Blackwell Legacy and Blackwell Unbound), since this is an episodic sort of series.
Gameplay: We're back to Rosangela for this game. Honestly, this is the kind of improvement I was wanting to see. There weren't any "puzzles" in the traditional sense of adventure games, which made me more than happy. Rather, gameplay took more of a backseat approach in this game. The puzzles that were there didn't require any sort of intense abstraction of logic and generally made a great deal of sense. Definitely a great improvement over the previous two in the series. 8/10.
Story: Oh man, things start getting real this game. With the last two games I felt like I could go for a week without playing the next in the series. This one... I dunno. Maybe a few days at most? Also, this is the game that finally got me to 100% go for Blackwell Epiphany, which is apparently the best. Nevertheless, this game really got the pacing of the story right, with plenty of tense, dramatic moments as well as some much needed comic relief. Things finally came together, and it's oh so good. 9/10.
Graphics: Yet another art style change. Looking at the wikipedia page, I suppose this isn't all that surprising, but it's still kind of jarring seeing the art change so much. Apparently the last two games use the same artist (although yet another different artist), so at least for the review for Epiphany I won't have to bring it up again. Nevertheless, I really liked the comic-y style this iteration in the series presents. All of the art is clean and it just looks good. I just wish they would've kept with a consistant artist throughout the series. 4/5
Sound: At least they kept someone for most of the series in this department. Also, the music is enjoyable as ever, with the soundtrack leading a sort of fusion of the last two game's OSTs' styles. Also, much to my joy, the voice recordings didn't have any glaring errors like popping. Voice acting is still good and still believable, which is the best thing you can say about voice acting (at least as far as I can tell). If you make the character sound believable, you've done your job and done it well. 5/5.
Overall scores are 8/9/4/5; cumulative score of 8.7/10. Very excited for Deception and Epiphany.