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: This game kinda reverts to the puzzle design that I'm not so much a fan of that I've talked about in past reviews. That's not to say that they didn't make sense, but I do question the viability of some of them (for example, the key puzzle; I'd have a bit of a hard time believing that a key can fit so easily under the door). This time around, there's dialogue puzzles; a puzzle variety I'm not so much a fan of as oftentimes it comes down to running the same conversation loop over and over until you get the right answer. I didn't really feel accomplished/clever after figuring out the puzzles; I just felt like I would be done rubbing items together for a little bit. That may just be me, but I still stand by what I say in that puzzles just aren't fun in point-and-click adventure games. 6/10.
Story: A bit of a disappointment coming from Convergence. I dunno; this story didn't have the same spark of intrigue that Convergence did. The first half of the game is same old, same old, but the second half does manage to catch a few embers. These few embers aren't enough to create a fire, though. 7/10.
Graphics: Yup, another art style change. As I said in the Convergence review, the same artist worked on Deception and Epiphany, so once I get around to that game, I finally won't be able to talk about that aspect. They've gone for a more realistic style this time, which honestly works best for the game in my opinion. Convergence's comic style was nice and all, but a realistic style does seem like it works better. 4/5.
Sound: There weren't really any standout tracks in this one. The soundtrack is still quite good, but it's more of a uniform good. More emphasis was put on ambient sounds this time around. Again, the VAs have good recordings and again they did a good job with it. Even if I did want to punch a few characters in the throat because of their voices and the way they talked. But hey, if they're making me have any emotion, that's a job well done. 4/5.
Overall scores are: 6/7/4/4; cumulative score of 7.0/10. If it weren't for the second half, I'd say that you don't need to play this game at all. However, the ending to the game is a not so subtle lead-in to what's probably gonna go down in the finale. I said in the last review that I probably wouldn't be able to wait the week on average I give myself between these games, but I think I will be able to do that between this and Epiphany.