BLACKTAIL is a first person action adventure game with very surreal environments and hints of psychological horror. The game play is based on shooting a bow combined with magical powers and somehow it all works well together.
For starters the game looks absolutely gorgeous. There are very vibrant and detailed landscapes filled with color. Each area looks and feels pretty unique. Contrasting this are a cast of very surreal characters that feel like they are straight out of fairy tales. You talk to characters such as giant mushrooms and a larvae delivery man.
Most of these characters will give you quests to do. Sometimes they are related to the main quest, such as the giant mushrooms. One mushroom, named Slippery Jack, asks you to slay the dragon tormenting the land while the other named Borvy Borko claims the dragon does not exist and that the addictive honey is the true source of corruption in the land. It’s up to you to decide which fungus is telling the truth.
The game actually has a split here and it leads to two different boss encounters. In one, you fight a Grand mushroom knight to steal gun powder in order to destroy the honey. In the other encounter, you fight a Cursed mushroom to steal the gun power in order to destroy the dragon’s den. It was pretty neat to see a game where there were actual branching paths.
The Larvae delivery man seems to be more of a side quest where he asks you for some assistance, usually a fetch quest of sorts where you need to give him a certain item. These and other actions are tied to a loose morality system of light and dark.
The game felt pretty good to play. You explore the world in first person, talk to these surreal fairy tale characters, take on quests, and then fight your enemies using a bow and magic spells. In between exploring and fighting, you collect crafting materials used to craft your arrows as well as other consumable items. Items are also used to upgrade a simple skill tree that gives benefits such as more damage or being able to carry more crafting materials.
The action is pretty smooth, although the demo on the highest graphical settings did cause my computer to slow down a bit. The skill tree also gives an incentive to explore the map and collect as many upgrade materials as possible as well.
Overall, the demo for BLACKTAIL took me by surprise. I went in not knowing what to expect and found a very gorgeous game with tight game play and an interesting world to explore.