I Saw Black Clouds – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, FMV, Horror
Developer: Ghost Dog Films
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

I Saw Black Clouds – Review

Site Score
6.2
Good: Topic, Certain story elements
Bad: Bad editing, Bugs, Doesn't live up to the quality of other published titles by same publisher
User Score
4.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Wales Interactive seems to be a publisher that actively seeks out developers who create FMV games. These interactive movies are often ideal for a movie night with friends or those who want to be (somewhat) in charge of the narrative of a movie. A year ago we took a closer look at The Complex, which proved to be a great addition to the FMV genre. The story proved to be very intriguing, the choices had serious effects on the story and the overall quality was great. This time, we are taking a look at I Saw Black Clouds, and while the overall story was still quite interesting, there were also a few clouds raining down on our parade.

I Saw Black Clouds starts off with the funeral of Kristina’s friend, Emily. It seems she has hanged herself, but both Kristina and Charlotte cannot fathom why she would do such a thing. As Kristina wants answers, she starts poking around, only to be encountered by the strange visions of a ghost-like entity following her around. As she dives deeper into the rabbit hole, she learns about a curse that has been plaguing the town for generations.

Story-wise, the game is quite interesting and does change its overall theme and narrative in a surprising way. This is something you might appreciate or hate. While we are not going to resort to spoilers, the horror aspect described above turns into something deeper and more meaningful, which is somewhat surprising.

The game follows the typical formula of other FMV titles, where you’ll get limited time to pick your answers for your next action(s). The latter can be turned off, in case you’re playing this together with more people, allowing you to debate on which option to pick. We did encounter scenarios where the game prompted us to pick an answer before the question was actually asked, which was a bit odd. That being said, you just have to keep watching the movie, flick the left stick to the left or right, confirm and you’re good to go for a few more scenes. The overall experience, at least the first time, takes about an hour and a half. At the end of your playthrough, you can also see how many choices were made, how many in total can be made, and how many endings there are for you to experience. It all just depends on if you want to play through the entire thing again, albeit with different choices. Scenes you have already seen can be skipped, and then you have to option to pick a different answer to see new parts of the story (or guide it differently).

While I Saw Black Clouds follows the typical formula of the genre, it does have a few shortcomings that can throw you out of the immersion or simply make it feel like you’re not in control at all. Sometimes you get options presented to you, and when your character executes them it feels like you chose a different option or it feels like it was none of the mentioned options at all. Sometimes you clearly pick to answer ‘Yes’ to a question to see your character respond with ‘I dunno’. Things like this can be off-putting if you truly want to steer the narrative in the direction you would like the story to go (within its boundaries of course). Other annoyances can be found in the somewhat bad ‘cuts’ that are being made when one scene goes to the next, or even the inconsistent lighting of the sets. Sometimes you are going through a very dark area, only for the camera angle to change and for you to see a light on in the background. A building is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, to see ten houses being next to it from another shot. It’s all these things combined that drag the experience down from what it could have been.

Conclusion

I Saw Black Clouds throws you a curveball that you might not immediately see coming when you purchase the game, which might or might not change the way you look at this project. While having a certain number of bugs and rough edges, the story is still a decent one to experience and the ‘game’ does bring a few decent elements to the table. The current asking price feels quite fair, but perhaps it might not be a bad idea to wait for a proper discount if you’re uncertain if this one will be your cup of tea.

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Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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I Saw Black Clouds - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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