Bandersnatch (New Black Mirror episode) now on Netflix!

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#1 Posted by pickassoreborn (764 posts) -

So it finally happened - we have an interactive Black Mirror! This is quite something - the episode is Bandersnatch (named after that failed Imagine ZX Spectrum game) set in the 80s where you affect the decisions of a troubled programmer who is creating software based on a book called Bandersnatch - a choose your own adventure novel. You make decisions for the poor programmer chap through your remote/controller and seems like there's a lot of content based on those decisions - five endings and over 5 hours of recorded footage.

Charlie Brooker is perfectly set for this based on his experience with 8 bit computers and the like - a lot of the fun is spotting easter eggs from the past as well as other Black Mirror episodes. Won't spoil too much more - you definitely owe it to yourself to check this out as I'd love to see more interactive stuff like this on Netflix. It might be a one off - who knows? It is something you currently can't do with cable TV, so already there's a USP right there.

Think I got the good ending?

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#2 Posted by YoThatLimp (2511 posts) -

I can't believe they've made an FMV Adventure Game - we and my wife made through it once this morning, and we'll probably try to go see the bits we didn't see this weekend.

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#3 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (2230 posts) -

That was a heck of a ride. Kept going until Netflix bumped me to another Black Mirror episode. If there are actually five endings with credits, then I guess I only saw two? Which would be pretty wild. I wish there were an easier way to get back to branches you may have missed, but I guess that's asking a lot from a streaming video service. The whole thing is maybe more meta-narrative than actual narrative, but it's a fun experience definitely worth checking out.

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#4 Edited by Seikenfreak (1541 posts) -

Think I just finished messing with it myself. My feelings are on both ends of the spectrum.

One end, the good end, is like.. This is kinda crazy that someone decided to make a choose your own adventure game, on a streaming service, tied to a big popular series. I love that it's trying something new and different. I'd like to think "Bandersnatch" will somehow affect how big, mainstream media companies (movies, TV shows, etc.) consider content types and how interactive media, even with binary choices, can provide a unique experience for an individual but also, from the dark and cynical perspective that is all too real and what Black Mirror tries to shine a light on, is how it can be used to collect data on individuals. Take two brands of cereal. Who chooses which? What other data points can we cross reference with this individual's tastes and characteristics etc? And it's a whole lot less sneaky, violating, and gross when it is made transparent and not secretly collected without the person knowing. I've also thought I'd be happy to take surveys on various opinions or products if it was casually provided in front of me to take at my leisure (and I am compensated in some small way) but doing it against my will pisses me off.

On the bad end, well I thought the story they built around this thing wasn't great. The whole video game angle felt a little too on the nose. It also made me think that something like this should not be attempted unless you are going to go all in. I kept making decisions which lead to dead ends. I figured they would, which is why I picked them. I wanted to see how far they were willing to go. How many branches did they really compensate for. If there is a "Correct" and "Incorrect" path, can I make a poor decision and then later steer back into "Good" decisions? Turns out, not really. Just kinda becomes a weird mess. Thinking about the Zero Escape games, or from what people say about Undertale, how it seems like everything is factored in and there are paths and choices and consequences. They need to let someone with a mind for video games and twisted narratives, like Kojima or something, plot out the whole tree of events, and only when it is ready, work with a TV/Movie producer to help translate that on to the screen. I can only imagine, and how it felt to me, was that this was penned by some traditional media writer who then had to try and work it into something that was interactive?

I don't know. Now I feel like I'm tripping over my own words. There is a lot to unpack and talk about with this. There were about two moments that I really liked and went in the wild, subversive direction that it should account for. The rest of it kept stonewalling me and being like "No.. you picked the wrong thing.. Try again.."

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#5 Posted by dgtlty (1244 posts) -

The fight sequence in the therapist's office was hilarious

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#6 Edited by mellotronrules (2625 posts) -

just watched with a friend- we'd traded back-and-forth on decisions.

overall i'd say it's brilliant concept married to a ho-hum story. i found bits of choice, repetition, deja vu, and unpredictability really fun- but as a 'black mirror' story it was a little incoherent. and i really didn't care about the characters. but the loop of returning to a previous decision with slight variation was neat- along with all the 4th wall-breaking elements.

but it was fun!

@dgtlty said:

The fight sequence in the therapist's office was hilarious

yes, 100% ridiculous (in a good way)!

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#7 Edited by beartaco (252 posts) -

Late contender for GoTY.

There's obviously stuff hidden in this game. They ask for a five digit code and there are references to other Black Mirror episodes.

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#8 Posted by BoOzak (2648 posts) -

I watched/played it with a few friends and had a good time. It wasnt a great Black Mirror episode/movie but it was a decent FMV game. (unless your idea of good FMV is bad FMV)

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#9 Posted by StrikeALight (1270 posts) -

I agree with the overall consensus (at least from what I've seen) that it was a thoroughly entertaining experience, but not a particularly great episode.

Apparently, they filmed 5 hours of scenes, so it would be interesting to know how much was utilised in the final cut.

Can't wait for season 5, though.

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#10 Posted by Dichemstys (3931 posts) -
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Wow can't believe they made an episode about that tough-ass enemy from Resident Evil: Code Veronica.

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#11 Posted by blackadder88 (119 posts) -

I'm going to start reading Mortal Kombat a novel by jeff rouin found it at at Value Village for $0.10