on 26 March 2006
Recently predicted one of the most explosive games to come out onto the PS2 I have to say I was dissapointed. Dispite the amazing graphics and particle effects I couldn't help but feel that it is just an urban version of Medal of Honour. Most items are barly destructable and items that are will produce an feable explosion. However, it is these effects that send characters hurtling through the air to their doom, the sheer feeling of 'mass murder' and a sence of urgency that makes this game so awesome.
The player takes the role of a opertative who,equipped an arseanal of only two weapons, (which I found, although realistic, annoying and simply rubbish for an all out explosive game), takes on an army of unstoppable soldiers working for an organisation Seventh Wave. Through 8 lengthy, compelling and visually inspiring operations, the player must stop this unstopable force by any means neccessary and this makes the game worth playing.
The missions range from stealthy to must-kill-all-to-surive types and with four difficulty levels, the user will never get bored of trying to defeat the game in order to recieve bonus features.
Overall all I'd say the game is a definate buy.
awesome destuction and the killing of enemies
4 levels of difficulty to exaust even the best of gamers
ispiring graphics and music
most realistic game ever
good range of weapons
Enemies 'eat'way too many bullet before they die making some areas damn impossible
can only carry two weapons of an amazing selection of weapons
reloading take ages and so firefights are often lost due to lack of ammo
gameplay is slightly repetative after a while
only 8 missions
gameplay too short I completed normal mode in 6-7 hours, however, there are for more modes.
on 24 March 2006
As this game is from the creators of the Burnout series you expect it to be fun and to look great. It is both those things. It does indeed look fantastic and it is a tremendous amount of fun. But before you rush out and buy Black I must make you aware of a few flaws. You have to play the levels from beginning to end in one go, and they are big levels. Add to that the fact that the game is quite difficult, especially in the later levels, and you are looking at anything up to or over an hour just to pass one level. So the ability to save mid level would have been nice. The game is very short. Eight levels in total (although like I said they are very big). As the game progresses you will encounter many enemies with body armour that will take quite a bit of shooting to kill. Even normal enemies take a huge amount of bullets to the boddy. The only way for a quick kill is to the head. In the later levels, where you're under lots of pressure, many enemies will need a grenade to kill them, because you can't afford to just stand there and pump endless amounts of ammo into them while more enemies shoot you from all angles. It can become frustrating. In the last level you will be exhausted as you near the end which when finally reached rewards you with a long punnishing battle in a closed off section. This is just too much to do in one sitting for most people.
You must be wondering why I gave Black four stars after what i've just said. Simply put, it's because the game is so well put together. It looks infinately better than Killzone. The game mechanics are just flawless. My critisms are things that can be easily remedied for the sequel. What's important is that at it's heart Black is a fantastic game that is a blast to play. You will want to play it again once you've completed it. Even though completeing a level can take long and you can't save in the middle of it the game's fun factor will keep you going.
on 9 July 2006
The Good: Really sharp audiovisual presentation; makes a great first impression; lots of glass to break.
The Bad: Not much reason to play through it more than once; gameplay feels stuck in a rut; disappointing story; often-idiotic artificial intelligence.
Black is an explosion-filled first-person shooter from Criterion Games, the company responsible for bringing explosions to driving games with the Burnout series. Like the Burnout games, Black packs in a lot of firepower. It seems like something's blowing up every minute or two, and this helps the game make an absolutely killer first impression. The action, however, doesn't hold up for long. Black quickly falls into a rut that not even amazing-looking blast effects can save it from.
Black's story puts you in the shoes of a soldier named Keller. You begin the game with a cutscene that shows Keller in chains, being grilled by a slimy government type. Every single full-motion video cutscene in the game returns to this interrogation, which sets up each of the eight missions as flashbacks covering the previous four days. Over time, you learn that your objective was to take out some sort of arms-dealing terrorist outfit known as the Seventh Wave, and its leader, an off-the-farm ex-operative known as Lennox. But beyond lots of shadowy, Black Ops-style talk, there's not much to the story. That includes the final confrontation (or lack thereof) and ending, which is almost painfully disappointing in its brevity. One could say, given the game's attempts at re-creating the short-on-story, long-on-muzzle-flash activities you'd find in a typical action movie, that the way the game focuses on the gunplay fits, but even action classics like Commando have at least some closure.
Instead, the focus is on the gameplay, and Black makes a stunning first impression. The graphics are terrific, and yes, lots of stuff blows up. You always feel like you've got plenty to shoot at, and a steady flow of ammunition popping out of every soldier you nail means you don't have to worry too much about running out of shots. Grenades aren't especially satisfying until you realize that you can shoot them to make them blow up faster. Considering that the artificial intelligence bolts away from grenades whenever they're tossed, this is essential to making them useful, especially when you're up against shielded enemies. You can zoom in with any weapon, which is handy for getting headshots, but in many cases, it's easier to just run up and empty an entire magazine into a soldier. The game doesn't require much finesse, instead opting for brute-force tactics most of the time, with some occasional--and optional--stealth moments thrown in. This is where your ability to reliably score headshots comes in handy. It would be easier to overlook the game's weak narrative if the action remained satisfying from start to finish, but the gunplay in Black doesn't offer much variety.
Also, for a game that's supposed to put a focus on the guns themselves (the title screen consists of slow, focused animations of the guns firing and reloading), they sure don't feel very different from one another. The key differences between the weapons are range and recoil. Since the game sets up a lot of cases where you're hanging back and trying to shoot someone in the head, recoil isn't much of a factor, because you're squeezing off one shot at a time. And the range factor, combined with a two-weapon carry limit, means you're probably never going to willingly pick up a Mac 10 or an Uzi, because they simply can't reach those long-distance targets like the G36C, MP5, AK-47, or M16 can. This also makes the shotgun fairly useless, since you'll rarely get close enough to a target to make use of its high-powered close-range spread. You'll also find a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher, but these weapons pop up in only a few different spots and seem like they're there only to get you past the specific spot. The RPG practically acts as a key to open locked doors in one spot--you'll find it and have just enough ammo to blow open a series of blockades to further your progress.
The eight levels in Black don't take long to complete. Experienced first-person shooter players will be able to blow through the game in six or seven hours the first time. The harder difficulty settings are, as you might expect, more difficult, though the primary difference is that you can't carry any health kits with you on these settings, so you won't be able to heal on command if things get rough. While you'll unlock black ops mode for beating the game on hard, as well as silver versions of the weapons, which have unlimited ammunition for use in any setting you beat the game on, there aren't any additional modes or multiplayer, and there isn't any serious replay value here.
Black stands out as a solid graphical showpiece for both the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game has great lighting, with realistic sunsets and glares. Of course, the explosions are the star of the show. The gun models look pretty good and have authentic-looking animations for reloading, which is a nice touch. The environments, mostly an array of catwalk-filled disused factories, look sharp. The game runs at a smooth frame rate on the Xbox. Though the PS2 version doesn't bog down very often, it happens enough to be noticeable. Also, while it's great that plenty of things can blow up, there are too many cases where you can see seams around and in objects that can blow up, which really ruins the effect. Even with all that said, though, this is still one of the best-looking shooters on the Xbox and PS2.
Overall, Black's strong first impression is bogged down by its repetitive and often-standard gameplay, weak enemy AI, and short length.
7.4 out of 10.00