It’s been a little over a week since I finished my playthrough of Paper Seven’s Blackwood Crossing and I am still not okay. I apologize to my editors now, because a standard review of this game won’t do it justice. If I laid out all the technical aspects of Blackwood Crossing and scored based on our typical review guidelines, it would score lower than I want it to. So, to my editors and readers, please indulge me on this and let me walk you through my experience with Blackwood Crossing.
Blackwood Crossing is the tale of Scarlet and Finn, a brother and sister who are riding on a train. You play as Scarlet through a first person perspective as you navigate your way through this train. As orphans Scarlet and Finn have always had a strong bond and it becomes apparent upon your interactions with Finn that something is wrong. Scarlet is older and entering adolescence and Finn is unsure how to handle this.
You encounter a mysterious figure and you quickly realize that this is no ordinary train ride. Something is wrong with Finn and he seems, different, angry, and distant. It’s up to you to find out the source of Finn’s anguish and continue on this train ride until you have reached your destination.
Blackwood Crossing has a deep and emotional narrative that is found through interactions in the train and solving puzzles. The character development is incredibly well done and touches on deep emotional issues. There are moments that showcase the actions and remorse of abusive behaviors. There are moments that show the impact of loss on a family. There are such deep emotional moments in this game that, when it was over, I sat on my couch literally sobbing. I was not prepared to handle the deep impact this was about to have on me. I cried so hard that my wife came in from the other room and asked if I was doing okay. Want a game with story? This is it.
This game is fairly short, clocking in at around 3 hours. Maybe shorter for some players, maybe longer, but it really feels like an experience. Controls are decent, but there are some times where the cursor won’t line up properly. All of that can be overlooked in place of the story. I honestly believe that. Also, the graphics are unique and have a cartoon-esque feel that only helps add to the story and nature to this game.
This is the part where I’m supposed to break down the game and give it a score based on the entire aspect of the game. I am not going to do that. I can’t. The graphics and controls could use a little work sure, but the voice acting is fantastic and the story is incredibly well written.
If you’re going to sit down to play Blackwood Crossing make sure you do the following:
- Make sure you set aside 2-3 hours to playthrough non-stop
- Have tissues ready
- Free yourself from any other distractions
- Use headphones if you have them
These steps will make sure that you get to experience Blackwood Crossing properly and give it the full attention that it needs. Instead of giving this review a numerical value, I’m just going to say this; buy it. You’ll thank me later.
Blackwood Crossing is available now digitally on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam.