Thursday, March 02, 2006

Black (XBOX)

- gun porn. Shooting a gun has never felt so good. The shotgun has to be seen. Every weapon (even the pistol) feels like a serious weapon. Some of the most satisfying gunplay in any game.
- controls are haloish and are spot on.
- sfx really make the weapons sound beefy.
- amazing graphics for the original xbox, probably some of the best I've seen (including halo). 480p and widescreen support. Lots of explosions. Everything explodes. Explosions are amazing. I shot an rpg into a second story window with 2 bad guys expecting a little fireball and killing mabye one of them (they were spread pretty far apart). Instead it set two floors completely on fire, shattered all the glass, and flung the bodies out. If that doesn't put a smile on your face then I don't know what will.
- framerate is great, no slow down.
- checkpoint save system. so far no frustrations. Normal difficuly isn't too hard.
- Level design and variety of environments so far have been pretty good.
- interesting depth of field effect when you reload your gun. The background goes out of focus as if you are looking at your gun.
- Gameplay is pretty standard fps fair but the action and battles are just awesome. AI doesn't seem too bad. I was flanked a few times. You can use stealth in certain parts of the game, shoot out lights, etc but it's more fun to just blow everything up.
- the muzzle flashes are huge combined with the reload/focus thing did make me a bit motion sick after a few hours.
- finished it on normal. shows only 30% game competition (must be the other 2 difficulty settings).
- 7:50:34; 224 head shots; fav weapon: spas 12; enemy count 1,512; total bullets fired, 19,553
- can we say these are the best explosions in any game I've played. The smoke trails on the rpg's are amazing too.
- docks were pretty tough with a good mix between sniper hunting and all out m249 suppression against the attacking hordes.
- The sound is really great. You hear that rpg shriek you WILL START running and find cover. Same goes for the crack of a sniper rifle.
- Finding the RPG guys aren't too bad because of the smoke trails. The snipers are a bit tougher but you can take a few hits so it's no where near the frustration of say MOH AA. Save those rpg's/sniper rounds to counter rpg/snipe. Don't go wasting their valuable ammo.
- You can only carry a max of 2 weapons which kind of sucks. Many times I really wanted 3. Typically I would carry either a smg/assault rifle, and something with a bit more stopping power like a shotgun or magnum. Switch to single fire and you can pick off enemies at a distance.
- most things are destructible (at least the items that make sense). This adds a bit to the gun fights as you hide behind a crate that gets shredded by m249 fire.
- head shots are tough to pull off (a lot tougher than most games). I seemed to have better luck with a silenced mp5. If you don't get a head shot then it takes many hits to bring down a baddie especially those armored shotgun guys. Grenades are your friend.
- plentiful ammo. You will rarely run out. you can hold up to 500 rounds and clips are about double real world size (ak47 has a 60 round clip).
- overall I never got frustrated with the checkpoints. I probably only died around 3-4 times. Difficulty felt about right. There are a few points in the game with non stop enemy re spawns until you figure out what to do (usually blow up a bunker or something, use rpg or a couple of grenades). The last fight was a bit tough. I finished it and I'm not even entirely sure what happened. See next point:
- Smoke, good looking smoke, lots of smoke. Add to that the splinter cell lighting which looks great at first and the reload blur effect (which gets a bit old after a while), it really makes it hard sometimes to see what the hell is going on.
- the boy needs to work on his throwing arm. He tosses grenades like a girl. If you are expecting counter strike toss distances you will be disappointed.
- AI isn't too bad. Not near the fear or even far cry levels but they usually aren't totally stupid. Fire a shot and miss or hit a buddy and they will start running, taking cover, and advancing.
- no multiplayer. single player only.
- good variety of environments but I love the urban settings.
- reproduces many of you favorite movie gun battles like matrix, the rock, etc. Ahh the bridge level and your first taste of the m16 with m203 is just awesome. Every gun is just so much fun to shoot.
- hmmm no blood at all.
- 2 types of health packs, one heals you immediately, the other you can store in your inventory up to 3 max to use when you want. On hard you don't get any of the latter health packs.
- no jump but the level design is pretty good so you don't miss it much.
- The levels are huge both in scale and length (up to about 1 hour). Good streaming tech.
- not enough music. I don't remember my action movies being this "silent"
- pretty bad abrupt ending with not much explanation of anything and sets it up for a sequel.

If you like FPS you owe it to yourself to check this game out. The moment you pick up the controller you know you are playing something special.

Short but very very sweet. Go pick it up or at least rent it. It's a definite must finish type of game.

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