Gamer Mania 2

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Black (XBOX/PS2)

Ahh, Criterion is such a good developer. With 4 great Burnout titles under their belt, it was about time for them to try something new. They call this new thing Black, and I think I might just review it.

You are a member of the covert operations team, Black, and your mission is to blow up the whole world. That's about the whole story. I know Criterion said that already, but it does take something out of the game. There are cutscenes between missions, but they don't make much sense. They are live-action, and that's pretty cool, but they don't add to the game at all. I'd be happier if they used the time they used to make the cutscenes on making the game longer.

Maybe I should get to the actual gameplay now. It controls as most shooters do, and it works pretty well. The game's focuses on the guns, and there sure are a lot of them. It adds a lot of variety to the game and changes up the gameplay, since they all handle differently. This is where the game gets a little lost in my mind. The idea was good: blow up everything. On the first mission, you're in an urban setting and get to blow up some buildings. On the next ones, there's almost nothing to destroy. It made me just want to get through them and hope that the next one was destructive. That's not to say that the other missions are bad, but they just leave something out compared to the explosive other ones. It wins a few points by having multiple paths through the missions, which also add replay. What else....uhh....the AI is smart! It doesn't really matter though because you can destroy their cover and then they're sitting sheep.

The graphics, well, they pwn. Pwn bad. It's from Criterion, so it makes sense, but this rivals some of the launch titles on the 360. Not just on XBOX, but on PS2 too. The guns shine, the light effects are awesome, and every bullet you fire can be seen lying on the ground. Shiny explosions too. Gotta love those. The sound makes you believe that World War 2's going on in your living room. The menus are simple, seeing as ther eare only 2 options on it. However, they've got to be some of the coolest you'll ever see, with guns going off in front of a black background in slow-mo.

Last I should get to the part where Black loses the most points, the replay value. No multiplayer at all. That probably turned off about a million people. I see how it'd be hard to have multiplayer with the destructible environments, but I would've though Criterion could pull it off. Also, the game plays for about 6 hours. Sure, there are multiple ways to go through, but it still sucks.

What I thought: Overall, this was a pretty cool experience. It just was over way too soon. I expected a little more from Criterion, but I still liked Black for what it was. What's there is great, but as I've said about 5 times, there just isn't enough there. I think it deserves about 3.5 out of 5.

Buy It/Rent It/Screw It: This one's hard. I really want to say you should buy it, but the short single player and lack of multiplayer really makes it a rent. You could probably play through it twice in the time you have it rented. So, it ends up a rent. Definitely check it out though or you'll be struck by a flying Criterion staff member. And a car. From Burnout. Duh.


  • Are you guys alive? I haven't seen you online lately.

    By Blogger asdf, at 2:59 PM  

  • I'm having more issues with faulty net on my PC. I can use this one once in a while, but it's really old and sluggish. I should be back online in a few days. As for Zam, he's pretty busy this week.

    By Blogger Ton, at 6:09 PM  

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