Blacktail is a first-person action-adventure game published by Focus Entertainment and developed by The PARASIGHT. Blacktail is a retelling of the myth of Baba Yaga. You play as Yaga, a 16-year-old girl accused of witchcraft and expelled from a medieval Slavic settlement. Unravel your own mystery as you track down living memories of your past that have returned as foul, walking spirits. What makes Blacktail so intriguing is the blend of Slavic folklore themes and modern motifs to create a unique mixture of storytelling and gameplay.
Let’s start with the obvious. Blacktail is a beautiful game. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the game and one that really helps immerse you in this world. The forests are lush and full of detail and life and while the environment is top-notch, so are the character designs too. There’s just something about it that gives it this whimsical and mysterious feel. It really adds to the overall ambiance and theme of the game.
I won’t go too much into the story other than what was described above. Some of you may have already heard of some form of the Baba Yaga story. In fact, we’ve looked at a couple of games here and there with Baba Yaga as a running theme. It does seem like there are various forms of this story and for Blacktail, you’ll have the option of guiding the main character to become either good or evil. The story usually progresses with some really well-made cutscenes and narrations while you play.
The gameplay in Blacktail consists of some first-person shooting elements, mainly with your bow and magical spells, as well as crafting and exploration. There’s also some environmental puzzle-solving too. The combat is actually pretty good aside from the fact that arrows run out and you need to remember to craft them each time. You’ll also want to make sure you are constantly picking up materials needed to craft often-used items such as arrows and flowers needed for game saves. Overall, the combination of all the different elements works well together here so you should have a relatively good time playing Blacktail.
All isn’t perfect with Blacktail though as there are some slight issues with it. For starters, there are some performance issues even though I’m running an AMD 5600G with an RTX 3070. At ultra settings, you do get some off slowdowns and frame drops even if there’s nothing going on aside from you just walking around. I had to lower some settings to get it run more smoothly. The game shouldn’t even be that graphic intensive, but it is for some reason. It’s a shame because the frequent slowdowns ding what would have been an otherwise beautiful game.
Aside from that, the rest of the game is pretty good. The main reason for playing though is the story and the gameplay aspects. The story is actually quite good and while the gameplay isn’t perfect, it’s still pretty good. I do like the fact that there are two modes of gameplay here – story mode and adventure. If you just want to play the game for fun and enjoy the story, you play story mode. If you want a more traditional experience with challenges and combat, you play adventure mode.
So should you pick up Blacktail? I’d have to say yes. The story like I said above is very good and all the elements work well together to craft a beautifully told tale. The art is very good, the voiceovers are top-notch, and the music is really good as well. There really wasn’t anything in the game to dislike and the small little issues can be overlooked. I like the fact that casual gamers can play on story mode if they just want to experience the story without any of the stress and everyone else can play on normal adventure mode. More games should be like this because not everyone wants to play or has time to play a game normally and some just want to be able to experience the story. So thumbs up to the devs for this. So yes, I definitely recommend Blacktail for the experience.
Disclaimer: Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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