Judging by the amount of emails I’ve received over the past couple days asking “you’re playing Black? how is it?”, I’m assuming people actually check out my Currently Playing section.
So, how is Black you ask? It’s just as rad as you were hoping it would be! Criterion have taken their desire for extremely fast paced action with tons of shit blowing up that made the Burnout series so great and applied it to a first person shooter. I was fully expecting this game to be pure run-and-gun, but it’s not entirely. There’s actually a strategic element to it where you’re forced to use cover to get around well hidden enemies. It’s very tough at times as just about everything in the environment can be destroyed. So that concrete wall you’re hiding behind might not be there in 5 seconds.
I’ve played the first 4 missions so far and impressed by the variety in the environments and mission style. The first one groups you with a squad and takes place in a modern city. It was pretty intense fighting the entire time and only lasted about 11 minutes. Where the second mission you’re on your own in the middle of a wooded area and have to sneak you’re way through a few security check points. Granted, I didn’t get through one undetected and blew up just about everything in my path along the way. Missions 2, 3 and 4 lasted about 40-50 minutes each, putting me at almost 3 hours of play time so far. There’s no quick save (which is hella annoying) and the check points are few and far between. While on mission 4, I was about 15 minutes in when I got rushed by a handful of dudes and was taken down. I was shocked to find myself back at the beginning of the level. I didn’t mind redoing it ’cause it was wicked fun. I’m just hoping I don’t find myself back where I started several times in the same mission.
They’ve done some pretty cool things with Black to set it apart from the other first person shooters. When you reload, your vision is focused on the weapon and everything in background is blurred out. The crosshair is a tiny, white dot which changes to red when you’re on an enemy, green is for friendly, blue for objective (lots of documents, etc. to destroy along the way) and black for explosive. I get all giddy each time it turns black as there’s always a fantastic explosion to follow.
One thing I had heard in previews of Black that had me a little worried was the use of live action cut scenes. I hate seeing real people in video games. It totally takes you out of the game and for the most part the acting sucks and it looks like a made for tv movie airing on a local station. I’m stoked to say this is not the case with Black! The cut scenes are fantastic! You hardly ever see anyone’s full face and they’re stylized enough that they almost don’t look like real people. Very well done.
I’ll be doing a proper review of the game once I finish it – which shouldn’t be too long at the rate I’m going. I picked up a capture device so I can now grab video from consoles, so I’ll be including video footage for my Black review as well. w00t!
More to come…