Interactive movies… you might say that if you have played one of them, you have played them all. From the humble beginnings with pixelated miniature slide shows up to the fullscreen full motion video titles, all of them have one thing in common: A shallow plot combined with bad acting, interspersed by obscure and out of nowhere puzzles. The game we are going to discuss today, Black Dahlia, tried its best to leave this reputation behind by turning things up to eleven, with really high production values and an even somewhat creative story.
In this cyberpunk adventure's intro, we witness Joshua Reevs receiving a new task. Several technical achievements, like the hover board or the aircar, have become commonplace in every day life of 2099 in the twilight of omnipresent neon billboards located in run-down corners of shady districts. Those are inhabited by gangsters, thieves and day labourers, and order is only barely maintained through the constant droning of the giant screens, but also such respectable law enforcement officers as Joshua, whose military instincts have been sharpened fighting on the front lines. None other than the governor of Union City, capital of America's New Order, Hugh Martens, is the customer acting quite mysteriously. The almost omnipotent mega-corp Genesis, exerting its power on the government through straw men, has been threatened and attacked by an underground terrorist group. One of the gouvernor's agents, disguised as a journalist, has not returned from a meeting with the terrorists. So Mr. Reevs, aka the player, finds himself on top of the apartment building where said agent Simon Ruby used to live.
One of the most exciting things about unravelling a mystery is piecing your clues together and trying to make sense of it all. Just think of the fun you can have while coming up with your own interpretation of what is going on or your very own version of the truth. You do not have to be right, on the contrary coming up with a theory which turns out to be wrong can be even more entertaining because it only makes the mystery deeper. And the deeper it gets the more curious and therefore involved you get.