Review by JustAScrub

Reviewed: 03/24/06

THIS GAME IS AWESOME...... for about a good half an hour

BLACK probably had the potential to be the best console fps out there if it had stayed in production for about another half a year. BUT, as anyone who has even glanced at this game knows, there is no multiplayer. And no, I didn't knock of so many points just for that fact either. But no matter how I try to reason and no matter how much time I dwell and think on it, I cannot even begin to fathom why in the hell--in this day and age of multiplayer gaming from counter-strike to halo 2 to world of warcraft--why criterion even thought for a second that this game didn't need multiplayer. Not even a split screen to enjoy with your brother. How ridiculous. But like I said, this is not the only reason i knocked it off, although it did get around a point off for this alone. But BLACK falls short on many other things as well. Criterion said they wanted to make the best single player fps out there, and they failed miserably.

Graphics: 10/10
As anyone will tell you, this is BLACK's strong point. However, you cannot make a game on graphics alone. I truly believe that graphics and sound were the only qualities of the game that Criterion even focused on. Sure graphics are great, but you have to have amazing gameplay along with the graphics to make a good game. Call of Duty 2 has just as great of graphics but that's not why it has thousands of people playing it online everyday. But nobody can seriously say that BLACK's grahpics don't deliver. Everything from the detail of the weapon models to the quality of explosions (I don't think watching something blow up would look any more realistic if it happened accross the street) to the muzzle flash of the weapons to the lighting, BLACK definitely tops out the ability of the current gen consoles to amaze us with visuals.

Sound: 9/10
The second strongpoint of the game, but honestly, who plays games just for the sound? If you want to something pleasing to the ears, listen to music. The sound in BLACK is admirable, especially if you're enjoying your dolby digital 5.1 surround sound, but it isn't perfect. Sometimes you can shoot the ground and it will sound exactly like if you were shooting a concrete wall. The guns all sound powerful, but they don't sound like real guns. The ak-47 should sound much more powerful than it does and the freakin Uzi sounds about as magnificent as your m249 para machine gun. And the music is good if you like listening to Bhetoven's 7th symphony.

But Mr. JustAScrub, you're only saying good things about this game. WHY is it a 5/10? Just keep reading young one.

Gameplay: 4/10
Now shouldn't this be top priority when making a game. Apprently not to Criterion. This is Criterion's logic: you can make a game with where you focus completely on making everything look as realistic as possible and it will be a good game. Sorry that's not the way it works, otherwise people wouldn't love mario, and everyone does. Criterion's gameplay is so repetitive it will make you sick. Play the first level of this game and then shut off your ps2 because the rest of the game will be the same. Explosions on top of explosions may be an orgasm to the eyes but it's nothing to build a game around. Almost every enemy you take out can be killed by some form of an explosion. Hell the guns aren't the stars of the game, the environment is. Not only that, but if you are going to make a single-player only game you would think you would make it longer than 5 hours long. You won't see squaresoft making a Final Fantasy that lasts 6 hours long. And if realism was the main focus of the game...WHICH IT IS, then why can an enemy withstand 34890 m16 rounds but fall over dead after you punch him in the face twice? And apparently through this grueling training we're putting our military in these days we're making them forget how to jump, cuz you won't be doing any of that in this game. You're character can take 900 bullets in the chest and he can single handedly kill 100,000,000,000,000 super-soldiers without breaking a sweat but don't even think about making this guy play hop-scotch, cuz that would be asking him way too much. Moral of the story, if you're going to make a FPS and you're going to make it single player only, which is a stupid concept anyway for a FPS, then spend a little time on the gameplay instead of making sure that the ak-47 has a dent on the left side.

Replayability: 2/10
I can only think of one reason why you should play this game more than once and that is for the silver weapons (unlimited ammo.) However, this makes the guns look unrealistic, and God forbid that, especially since that's apprently all that Criterion care's about What kind of world do we live in where the mac-10's muzzle length is 1/400's of an inch too long!? And silver weapons will stay fun for about 5 minutes and then that will be that.

Story: N/A
I didn't rate it because RPGs are meant to have compelling stories, not fps'. You can make an online only fps thats exciting to play everytime you play it and have no single player/story/campaign what-so-ever and it still be a really enjoyable game.

Overall: 5/10
Bottom line, BLACK is not all that fun. Isn't that what you're playing video games for in the first place? I think if you play the demo of BLACk you will have experienced all the game has to offer. There's no deversity, you do the same thing in every level, blow some stuff up. And if you wanna see that, go buy some fireworks, cuz thats pretty much all this game is, a lengthy firework show. There's a few ooh's and a couple ahh's, but if you're goal is to make the best single-player fps on the market, you should start putting a tiny bit of effort into something other than how real that tree looks.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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