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.
History will need to be rewritten soon! In the early 16th century, the Spanish conquest / genocide of the Inca empire began. 500 years later (so… about now), it will finally come to a conclusion – in space! El Dorado, the mythical leader of the, well, not the Inca, but the Muisca (but who am I to quibble about historical accuracy in a game with Incas in space…), finally arrives and with the advice of Huayna Cápac's ghost, he confronts Spanish baddie Aguirre in a decisive battle.
In the old, golden days, video games where thematically almost exclusively catering for a single target audience: male adolescents. Logically, some fantasy themes were recurrent: saving the earth and all of humanity or even the whole universe. Those were the goals and challenges of tomorrow's family men. Gaming having grown up, yesterday's youths are now confronted with reality. Those old dreams have been tainted as childish and the games industry now also delivers realism into the formerly well kept play rooms of today. One way of doing this apparently involves simulating every single job, no matter how absurd, and also every single every day activity, no matter how trivial, in a game. Resulting in increasingly obscure products in which the original ideas can hardly be recognized anymomre. Though even in the good old days, us heroes had to take a couple of collateral damage hits and, for example, resign ourselves to the role of a simple taxi driver. The implication being boring drives from A to B, where the highlight of the day is exchanging some gossip with the passengers. Unless, of course, it was Space Taxi.