Hands On Quick Hits With Blacksad: Under The Skin Game
by Gary Catig
Blacksad is a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, European comic series from Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido. Recently, the creators spoke at New York Comic Con about the noir genre and Dark Horse announced they would collect the complete series due out next year.
Fans can also step into the hard-boiled anthropomorphic world in the upcoming video game, Blacksad: Under the Skin. It contains an original story that takes place in between Blacksad: Arctic Nation and Red Soul. A boxing owner is found dead and his star pupil has gone missing right before the most important fight of his career. Private detective, John Blacksad is hired to investigate the pugilist’s disappearance and find him before his match.
At NYCC, I was able to demo the new game published by Microids. The story is pretty immersive and there are so many interesting characters that you meet both old favorites and new. You really get the feeling of investigating a case since you can meticulously search every scene hoping to find helpful clues.
Gameplay is similar to Telltale Games where the player is given dialog options at different points and the decisions you make affect what happens down the line. Action sequences require specific button combinations and timing and can be a little tricky to get used to.
The game starts off a little slow since there’s a lot of bringing the player up to speed storywise but it’s intriguing enough to keep the player invested and eager to learn more. Also, actual control of John can be a little clunky and I wished he had a run option to speed up his movement.
Overall, I think Blacksad: Under the Skin is worth a deeper dive. Despite some mechanics issues, the story driven narrative and freedom of choice are some of its biggest draws. In addition, the game serves as a new way fans can enjoy the series but is still approachable to those who are new.
Look for Blacksad: Under the Skin this November 5, 2019 when its released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.