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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 22 March 2006
When i first played Black the first word which escaped my mouth were wow and oooo look at the pretty explosions. The game is absolutely spectacular in those respects, the explosions are huge and the action and gunplay are brilliant. This is beyond doubt the best action shooter on PS2 at the moment. The graphics are brilliant, the action immersive and truly enjoyable as well as being extremely tense. All of the weapons have a superb solid feel to them and although it may not be realistic it is truly fun to simply stand up and empty a full box magazine for an m249 into a group of enemies. Once you complete the game and play it again on the same difficulty level you get unlimited ammo which adds immensely to the fun and carnage. However this is where i must mention the games most severe flaw; it is incredibly short. There are 8 missions including a shorter prequel type mission and each mission first time round will take between 45 minutes and an hour to complete. I completed the game for the first time in under 8 hours. PS2 games cost £30 upwards and for 8 hours of gameplay this is just not worth it. Even with it being so short i may have given it 4 stars but there are other gripe to be made. For example the voice acting is terrible and your character often seems to be shouting over the radio when he should be stealthy. The gameplay eventually gets slightly repetitive and although there are some interesting twist such as making your way through a minefield, even this is used twice. In addition the explosions - the games selling point - are over used and the enemies are incredibly hard to take out, most taking more than 15 rounds to put down. This forces you to look for stuff to blow up which means that you are rarely being tactical and constantly looking for stuff that blows up which just gets repetitive.
Overall this is an excellent game and has easily the best shooting of any game on PS2. With a little more length and variety it could have been a classic. As it is it is just good. I would suggest renting this not buying it as £30 is just too much money for 8 hours of game. Either that or wait for the price to drop.
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on 1 March 2006
On paper this looks like your standard FPS. Selection of weapons, a few big bangs here and there....Oh NO!!! This is much much more. As you may have gathered this is more than just a shooter. Lets start at the start, your first mission(I wont ruin anything for you dont worry), youre in a room and you need to get to the street below you. Theres a door, but when you walk up to it, theres no message saying 'Press X to open door', but there is a shotgun next to it...hmmmm, what do you do, blow the door off its hinges of course!!!!!!! Another example, your being shot at by a sniper high up on a crane, you have a sniper rifle yourself, but everytime you poke your head out he takes a shot at you..What do you do.See the welding kit next to him..Shoot it and blow up the crane!!! This is basically the game, no stealth, no puzzles, no problem solving except for whom to aim for next. The only problems i have with it is its length, only eight levels, but lets consider they each range from 30 minutes to 1hr 15 and their intensity makes them seem triple that. I could go on and on about all the features and briliance of this game, but i wont, i'll let you find these out. Buy it now, smack the volume up high and be blown away!!!
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on 13 May 2006
BLACK is quite an experience and although it may be short lived it has an immense effect on you while you're playing it. Criterion have taken the skills they got through developing their Burnout games and put all of that energy into designing one of the best first person shooters ever.

Forget storyline, character development can go to hell. This is a purely visceral experience, as you play through Black you're really sucked into the game's world, the sounds and sights so overwhelming it can make you dizzy sometimes. If anyone has ever wanted to just pick up a machinegun and go take your frustration out on a bunch of guys then this is for you, but don't expect all of Black to be like that. The game mixes full on action with stealth in a way that doesn't make it feel clunky or disjointed, and there's always time to spray someone full of bullets.

And that's what Black is really all about. The destructivenes. You find yourself ducking for cover behind some rubble then the rubble's gone because of the enemies shooting at you. Having trouble? Fire at that car over there. BOOM! Enemy down. The explosions are awesome and the deaths of the enemies are spectacular, like watching someone get dispatched by Schwarzennegger in an action movie, except you get to do it all. It really does feel like you're playing an action film, all of the weapons being stars of different movies, the AK, the Uzi, and they're incredibly realistic, right down to the kickback when you fire, the controller vibrating constantly as you drill someone full of lead.

Sure, there are a few problems with Black. One is that there's no online or multiplayer, but so what? Some of the best games are for one person only, and this is one of them. The cutscenes need to be watched or you have no clue about what's goin on but you can skip them if you really want to the next time round. Some people around here seemed to have not figured out that generally if you press a couple of buttons the thing will skip. The only major problem is the length of the game, but this is the first shooter Criterion have done and if these are the only problems it has you can expect them to be fixed in the next game which will be way more impressive when it debuts on PlayStation 3 in the next year or so.
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on 21 March 2006
I expected Black to make me feel 12 again and for a few minutes it really did. I shot down the front of a building and threw grenades everywhere... I beat my chest and admired my handiwork. From then on in however it was all a little dull.
The first problem with black is that it's got no soul. As Criterion's previous effort was 'Burnout', you expect good gameplay but you don't expect all the emotional involvement of a game where it's more fun to crash cars than race them. Black has a pitifully dull story told in flashback (urgh) in a gravely voice (urgh) about a black ops group for whom, who... erm... it's very difficult to care. The worst thing is you can't skip the cutscenes so you're normally asleep by the start of the level.
Characters are non-existent and the only lines you'll hear in game are your usual 'get him' or 'take cover' junk. So any excitement that comes from blowing stuff up is quickly offset by a colosal sense of apathy.
As for stuff actually blowing up, there's a few problems there too. 'If it looks like you can blow it up then you can!' ok then, why can't I blow up that rickety wooden look out tower? And why can some of the enemies take more shotgun blasts than things made out of concrete? It's things like this that just make black seem cheap. I've never played a game where I've shouted 'BUT PAINT CANS DON'T BLOW UP!!!' Yup, after a while it just gets a bit repetitive, just shoot till something sets on fire... attaboy.
AI was obviously replaced with explosions, as I mentioned before, why use smart AI if you can just give soldiers armour made from the impenetrable beard of Zeus. And a hockey mask sometimes too.
Level design is often a little odd, like everywhere has been made specifically for a buff black ops guy to make explosions in, it just makes everything seem more contrived. There's also a lot of levels that are self consciously similar to parts of Half Life 2 (there's a Bridge that seems like it's ripped straight out of the buggy section) all this serves to do though is remind the player that they are not playing Half Life 2 and they wish they were.
The actual level objectives are just laughable, secondary objectives are even worse... remind me, why am I throwing grenades at a safe? Oh right military secrets. Cool.
But some things are nice, guns are big and noisy even if there's no point having half of them since they're mostly the same. Still the best part of every level is getting a new gun and seeing what it sounds like. The graphics are plain but they do the job quite well and it's probably a bit of a sacrifice to fit in all of the particle effects and whatnot.
In closing there's about 6 hours of gameplay in Black, 2 of which are really great, the rest is just average. To be quite honest, Killzone was better and it had multiplayer... it's probably cheaper too now... the choice is yours
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on 20 February 2006
When i got my hand on the demo of Black it took my breath away, Shooting at a grunt causing them to fall of a ledge in the most realistic rag doll affect i have ever seen. And the AK 47 on fully automatic caued concrete dust to fly into the air so all you could see was the enemys barrel flash. The difficulty level is good for any in season fps fan and the grunt's A.I. is amazing they try to flank you and use loads of military Tactics. One of the best things on that game is the attention to detail on the guns : the sounds, the looks and how they reload them is even better than Killzone which was amazing. This is a must have for any Killzone fan and any fps fans so if you own a PS2 buy it if you don't buy one then buy it
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on 3 March 2006
*Outstanding graphics - atmospheric, detailed and superb particles and explosions.
*Really satisfying weapons - The M3 and Uzi make you squeal with joy!
*Awesome sound - Explosions, bullet hits and gunfire all sound great. The environment noises add a lot too.
*Pretty good AI - They take cover quite a lot and try to sneak up behind you sometimes. They tend to stand next to explosive things, which although is really dumb, it makes it more fun!
*Very well designed levels - especially the sniper alley and bridge levels. Lots of alternative routes.
*Good replay value - Hard level provides a very good challenge and once finished, you get infinite ammo, so youre encouraged to do the 'destruction' objectives - Ie, shoot everything up!
*Superb destructible environments - The amount of stuff you can destroy is incredible! Shoot out walls, pipes, barrels, cars etc. The difference is great when you do a 'before & after' comparison of the environment of a gunfight.
*Quite short - only about 8 levels
*Plot is a bit pointless - Just seems tacked on & you dont really care about the outcome.
*Cant jump - Backtracking is prevented by strategically placed tiny ledges that you cant pass. You get used to this after a while though.
*No multiplayer - Again, this doesnt really bother you so much because the single player mission is so good.
I really enjoyed black, and although it seemed a little short, I still feel compelled to play it again and again, on harder difficulty levels. Its loads of fun to play, and can be tricky to achieve all of the secondary objectives. Its got nearly everything that Killzone did so well, but without the samey gameplay and bad AI. Its the best, most intense and fun shooter ive played since Halo2 - i highly reccomend it.
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on 15 February 2006
Managed to get my hands on a demo for this game and it is superb. The sound, the guns and the gameplay is pretty amazing compared to alll the other available first person shooters on the PS2.
However the only reason I gave it 4 stars was the slightly hard difficulty level. But I guess we'll have to wait and see if things are sorted out for the final version. Otherwise, a very good trial run!!!
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on 14 October 2011
this is about the best ps2 game iv ever played..the graphics are superb..and the action is top notch..and it can be played over and over again..believe me..this is one awsome game..if you like shoot em up games..then this is the daddy of them it..!!! you will be glad you did.
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on 26 February 2006
Black truly is a game which will end the PS2's time on the planet in a grand spectacle. I pre-ordered the game a month in advance and it came on a friday and i completed it on saturday. Its THAT good you wont be able to stop playing it. As medal of honor was the game that ended the PS1's time black will end the PS2's time. Visually black is as stunning as Killzone and twice as addictive as goldeneye for the n64, to be honest it is better than goldeneye. The graphics look as if they belong on the next generation of consoles however EA have been able to achieve the great detail on the weapons by using many visual "cheats". For example when reloading your weapon, everything goes fuzzy apart from the gun you are reloading. Your enemies will not all be on the screen at once. When you have dispatched a few, more appear from out of nowere! This though in itself is not really a let down. Who cares if black does not have networked play? This allows the player to become totally immersed in the gameplay. If you are one of those players who hates using stealth tactics and prefers an all out gun fight then you will be elated with black. Everything you shoot at will dissappear before your eyes. The enemy AI is quite good aswell, and if you have 5.1 channel surround sound then the game becomes a whole lot better. The shootouts have been taken from hollywood films. Many a time will you need to shoot at objects such as cars, trucks, petrol containers etc to take out a group of enemies. However be careful were you take cover because this tactic works both ways. Black could do with being longer as i craved for more gun toting mayhem by the time i finished the game but without giving the stroyline away, it looks as if black is going to have a sequel. I completed the game in 6 and a half hours in normal mode which i did think was dissapointing but not dissaponting enough to totally shelve the game. In a nutshell, black is truly and excellent fps and totally addictive. The disc WILL remain in your ps2 for weeks and you WILL go back to play the harder and black ops modes to unlock all the features of the game. Buy it now!
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on 20 February 2006
Well. First Person Shooters are a strange breed. many of them differ quite vastly as far as the "feel" of the gameplay goes.
Sometimes a great one comes along... But it doesnt feel quite right straight away. Games like Killzone with it's purposeful slower pace and realistic war-like environments. It put many people off on the first go and they didnt go back. It was their loss. Because once you adapted to Killzone it was a hugely satisfying and rich world of a game to explore. The story was great too. As were the characters (if slightly generic).
Now... I too have only played the Demo of 'Black' (Thanks Official PS2 UK Mag guys). And at first i thought... wow this is crap!. But in the knowledge of how i felt about Killzone... i kept going back. And thank the lord i did. Black grows on you. What at first seems awkward soon feels natural and you will be killing those bad guys and loving every second of it. As the scenery gets obliterated all over the place.
Give Black your attention. Give it your time. Let it grow on you. And the rewards should be immense. Just like Killzone.
Stunning game :)
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