Review by Ofisil
Blackthorne or Blackhawk for Europe is a Action\Platform developed by Blizzard. This is one of the lesser-known titles of Blizzard although quite a good game. Fans of games like the classic Prince Of Persia will love it and although it is significantly easier it is equally fun.
Very disappointed from the plot of the game. It's not actually bad but it just doesn't help the game, it is just there, t doesn't affect your whole experience. You are a young prince who has been sent via a magical spell in our world in order to avoid being killed by a large horde of monsters commanded by Sarlac. After becoming an adult man, the spell bonds disappear and Blackthorne returns to his world. Most of this stuff are in the manual and not in the actual game. In the game you fight, run, jump and collect items and after 2-3 levels you meet someone who says, Go to insert place here- to ask help from insert name here- and you just go on playing. It's a pity because even though Blizzard never had original storylines the presentation was always flawless something that doesn't apply to this game.
What I love in all Blizzard games is the fact that although not always top-notch in terms of graphics quality everything has very good design. Similar to the design of Warcraft, this game is colorful and with a nice medieval\fantasy look although not so cartoonish like the Warcraft series. The main guy looks a bit out of place with his Sylvester Stallone look, with blue jeans and the shotgun he has. He has excellent animation though like all similar games, (Prince Of Persia and the like). All other characters have simpler animations but look way better like for example the various Orcs you fight. The best thing though are the various areas you have to travel through. Although it lacks variety since there are only 4 level types are all designed very good with a lot small details that enhance the overall look. For example the glimmering waterfalls that pour through holes in the dark caves, the background in the next level that creates a nice dark atmosphere, corpses, vines everywhere, etc. Generally Blackthorne looks great and has a good dark atmosphere.
A bit of disappointed in this section no nothing's wrong with the sound in Blackthorne, in fact if it was a game from another company I would give it a higher score, but since this is from Blizzard I must say that I expected something better. Music in Blizzard games was never catchy but it creates the right atmosphere. This game has atmosphere too but the music is a bit forgettable. Finally although the sound effects are good too some ambient sounds would improve the overall experience.
Replay Value: 6/10
Similar to the old Prince Of Persia games, Blackthorne is basically a 2D Platformer. Controlling your hero is very easy, something that means that if you fall down on a pit it won't be the fault of the game's non-responsive controls but your bad timing. I say timing of course because this game isn't a Mario game, it is a bit more realistic when it comes to movement, so you have to be careful when jumping above deep pits. 50% of the game is Platforming and item collecting, items like bombs that will destroy energy barriers, keys that create bridges and many more. The other 50% though is the fighting part that is equally easy to get the hang of. When confronting an enemy, usually an Orc with a shotgun, what you do is hide in the shadows and carefully time when you will shoot and that because the Orc will hide too and emerge from the shadows, shoot some bullets and hide again. The trick is to shoot between 2 enemy shots or EXACTLY before the enemy hides again. There are various kinds of enemies, like Orcs of various colors with differences in shooting speed, golems, other humans and giant creatures with long whips. The level design is very good, with very good challenges on every stage that are somewhat hard at times but after 2-3 tries you'll do fine. On thing that raises the hardness is the fact that you loose and you start from the start of the level, something that makes you move very carefully and not run like a crazy fat plumber high on Magic Star! The biggest problem with this game though is its length. Although not the shortest game out there it was smaller than I had expected and since the puzzles aren't exactly hard to solve there is no point in playing it again, at least for a long time.
-50% a good Platformer, 50% a good Action game
-Could have a bit better plot
-Short and a bit easy for a game of its style
Another World AKA Out Of This World (SNES)
Heart Of Darkness (PC)
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (Playstation)
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (Playstation)
Prince Of Persia (PC)
I've enjoyed Blackthorne quite a lot. It is a very good think-before you act game, that has also enough action so you won't get bored. It has some flaws with the worst one being its length and replay value so buy it only if you find a cheap copy.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/29/09
Game Release: Blackthorne (US, 12/31/94)
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