I’m so with the times that I’m going to review a 6 year old game that was developed by criterion the publisher behind the quite brilliant burnout series. The history of this developer can be clearly seen in this game with its over top style and sheer amount of destruction.
The gameplay in black is not going to set the world of gaming on its head, it is a very typical generic first person shooter, you run, you gun, you hide behind things and you destroy a never ending amount of enemy one after another with little regard for the human blood you are creating. Every single first person cliché is on display here even down to the typical sniper levels that every first person shooter feels the need to have right in the middle of it games. So what separates black from the rest of the competition and like most games i play not much but its just enough to put a huge smile on my face. Like the burnout games the sheer amount of destruction that can be seen in this game is staggering, one grenade can bring down a whole building and decimate a large proportion of the map at the same time. This is amazing and it gives you such a satisfying felling, it makes me feel slightly god like when reeking down all mighty destruction on those i deem not worthy of me. The destruction unfortunately is not quite enough enough to distract from the very generic nature of this game and most certainly isn’t enough to distract you from the broken weapons (but more on that later).
The story was billed as Hollywood level story and this is true, it has b movie tripe written over it. Its the usual military operation goes wrong and as a result a conspiracy is discovered within the military, so original it hurts. Again this just leads to more hearty laughing inducing clichés. although the story leaves a lot to be desired and just becomes a throw away thing that you don’t real play attention to. I must admit that i do like the semi realistic cut scenes. I like the way they take place in the a interview style this brings a rather personal view to the whole proceeding and i love the way the interviewer is always obscured by dark it just seems to add to the threat but even these lack originality.
The graphics on this game are dated by todays standards but in terms of what’s available on the Xbox they are simply stunning. This was a game that was released towards the end of the original Xbox’s life and as a result it has some of the best graphics on the system. After seeing what this game had in terms of graphics i find myself wondering if the 360 actually gave us any great leap in graphics performance other than HD of course. This is one of the things were it looks like the like the developers took a lot of time unlike many other areas of this game.
Although the gameplay is nothing new and the main plot of this game is rather throw away i couldn’t help but enjoy this game. i loved the sheer destruction and the overall polish of this game. This is the burnout of shooters its shallow and fun. This will not be considered the greatest game of all time by any stretch of the imagination but you will enjoy playing it and revelling in the sheer destruction you can cause with a single grenade.
Despite the polish there are few niggles that i have with this game, The first of these is the shotgun. I’m used to powerful shotguns but in this game there just unbelievable, there range is massive even coming close to the range of some handguns in the game and they kill instantly this takes the fun away from using it somewhat. The grenades were also a source of much frustration for me, for the reason that can be best sumed up in the quote most six year old boys in say “you throw like a girl”. By this i mean the grenade will just bounce aimlessly 2 feet in feet of you. The the grenade situation will frustrate the life out of you and you will blow your self up more times than the bad guys but i found not using them is a far better solution to that problem.
but if the price is right and by that i mean if you find it in a bargain bin somewhere for like a 10 pounds pick it up for a bit of harmless fun.