Review by general531
"A good shooter, but it could have been better and longer."
Black was hyped to do for first-person shooters just like what Burnout did for the racer. Burnout revolutionized the racing genre by adding difficulty and strategy as well as being edgy and extreme. Black, while delivering the intensity of Criterion's best-selling shooter, did not display the difficulty and innovation that other legendary shooters, such as Halo and Goldeneye 007, were known for. I am not saying that Black is a bad game. In fact, far from it. If you are a fan of shooters, you should buy it. The graphics, controls, and audio are excellent as well as the weapons you will encounter. However, the ability to shoot everything in sight, except for your squad-mates in which you can't harm, along with a short story and the lack of any multiplayer does not make this shooter more innovative than Goldeneye 007.
The graphics are the strong point of the game. The textures, animation, and visual effects are executed well. Some of the weapons even have a nice reflection. The physics are also pretty to witness. The game has a brightness option in which you can use to brighten up dark environments. The only flaw in the graphics is the targeting hud. Although it can tell whether you are aiming at an enemy, an ally, or an explosive, I wish it was larger.
The default control is set up nicely. Moving, aiming, and firing are a snap to master. You can also set up your own control scheme if you wish. Jump and dodge actions are missing though. The response is first-rate and aiming is accurate.
Black was meant to be revolutionary like the Burnout series was. This is not so. This game has a limited amount of missions. Less than 10 in fact. There are no escort missions and no stealth requirements. The game's motif is either kill or be killed. Although you can pick up weapons dropped by the enemy, you can only carry two. The difficulty levels differ only in the length of the levels and the amount of health packs, in which you can only obtain three maximum. The A.I. of the enemies are lacking, but are durable, except for a shot to the head. There is no multiplayer of any kind, but there are unlockables to extend the replay value.
The soundtrack is fitting for Black. The symphonic scores that are often heard in action films and war movies are a nice fit to the extreme action. The sound effects are realistic, but you might want to keep the volume down because the sound of the explosions and gunfire are loud on the default setting. The voice acting is not bad but it could have been better.
Black is not a bad game. It's potential and hype were not realized. The graphics are excellent, the control is near-perfect, and the audio is great overall. The length of Black and its mission objectives keep the game from reaching its hype. If the developers put in strategic goals and a longer storyline, Black could have been as innovative as Goldeneye 007 or Halo. It is a recommendation for shooter fans, but for those that like long running storylines or more strategic gameplay will not get much out of Black.
Score: 7 out of 10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/14/07
Game Release: Black (US, 02/28/06)
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