Review by asd1194
"A notch above mediocrity."
But just a notch. Not a step, or a grade, or a mark. Just a notch.
And that's the problem with this game, it just could have been soo much better.
Playing this game for the first time stirred up memories of playing Killzone for the first time. It was almost like deja-vu. Both games were supremely over-hyped, and so far Black, zone, has not lived up to any large fraction of the hype.
I setup Black on my 55inch Sony Grand WEGA (55XS955) and had it display in 480p. This game just does not look anything like it did in the screenshots or the gameplay videos that are on the internet. The textures are all dull and washed out, the entire image is grainy and crawling with aliasing. The enemy models suddenly pop into full detail when you're within 20 feet of them and then pop out of detail when you move away. The only things that are notable are the explosions. Very nice indeed.The game has some gosh darn awesome explosions, but the other visuals, as in buildings, enemies, compadres, and even the weapons, are really nothing to hoot about. It would probably look a bit better on a smaller screen, but God of War and the Jak series look beautiful on my 55inch Grand Wega so I dunno why this game just looks so dull. To put it into perspective, Black looks alot like Killzone visuals wise, but it plays much much smoother (most of the time), and has better particle effects and explosions.
The overall gameplay is pretty much your standard run and gun fare. Run, shoot, struggle with aiming, find health packs, run shoot. The controls take some time to get used to, mainly the aiming, because it is not as fluid or smooth as in games like Red Faction 2. And it sometimes takes quite a long time to get a bead on a single baddie.
I think the best way to have fun in this game is to just simply go nuts. I was playing all super stealthy and tricky by luring enemies into doorways or waiting at junctions to simply have enemies roll around the corner to pick them off easily. But you won't have any fun in this game if you do that. You just gotta lose your mind and go nuts with the trigger and you'll have fun because explosions will go off and debris will be falling of buildings. The only thing that hinders this style of play is how many godamn shots it takes to kill a enemy. It is totally annoying when you have to shoot a baddie 15+ times in the chest to kill him. ALSO, this is a MATURE title is it not? Where is the BLOOD, where is the GORE? Who needs the godamn F-bomb to be in a game anyways? Give us some brutal satisfaction when picking off a baddie. As it is right now, I'm only playing to see that next big explosion, shooting enemies is just a mere annoyance that slows my progress to that next gas tank.
There are alot of visual and gameplay glitches in this game. Feels kinda like a rush job at times. Especially with the abysmal framerate I get when you hit L1 to go into zoom mode with most weapons. When that happens if you are looking at a very busy (graphically) area, then the game will often slow down to 10fps. It's quite pathetic.
There is a complete lack of inspiration and creativity with this game. This is a shame because we all know Criterion can make some truly amazing games as they have with the Burnout series. Unfortunately Black does not live up to the standards set by their resume. All the Burnout games look better than Black, and all of them are infinitely more fun.
To be honest, this game is almost like what Killzone should have been. But both games are similar in the way they fall short of true greatness, but Black comes much closer. It is definitely not the best PS2 fps, that title still belongs to the Red Faction series. But it's good for what it is, an FPS in which you play for the explosions. Killing enemies actually takes a backseat in this one.
If you're looking for a quality time, dodge this bland FPS like a stray bullet or you'll be hit with a nasty feeling of disappointment.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/06
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