There’s a chance you’ve never heard of Blacksad before, a comic series about private detective John Blacksad, who lives in New York City in the 1950s and also happens to be a cat. It’s bonkers, and brilliant.
Despite creator Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnidos having picked up an Eisner award for their work on the series, Blacksad isn’t exactly a household name, but it’s my hope that will begin to change this September when he stars in his very own game.
Blacksad: Under the Skin is described as an “investigative narrative game” and will see the fearless feline John Blacksad working to uncover the twin mysteries of boxing club owner Joe Dunn’s murder, and rising fighter Bobby Yale’s disappearance. It’s classic film noir, basically.
Hired by Dunn’s daughter in an attempt to turn around her late father’s failing gym, Under the Skin will take Blacksad to “the darkest, most dismal depths of New York.” Probably Queens, then.
The game is being developed by a small studio called Pendulo, and will offer “an official and all-new story for Blacksad, set in the comic book series’ unique world, perfectly recreated for gamers.” There’ll be a blend of entirely new and returning characters from the comic, as well as a jazz soundtrack to “rival the very best of Holywood’s film noir.”
In terms of gameplay, we can expect a mix of puzzles, quick-time events, and branching dialogue options that can “directly influence the development of the character and the story’s ending.”
Regardless of whether or not you’ve kept up to date with the printed adventures of Blacksad, Under the Skin will be the perfect chance to play through a gritty noir adventure as a gruff cat. I don’t know that such opportunities knock often.
Blacksad: Under the Skin is coming to PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on September 26.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.