09 March 2010

Black - Multi

There's talk that the creator of Black is working on another shooter. Why it's not Black II I have no idea.
With games such as Borderlands and Bioshock leading the charge towards more intelligent shooters, it's nice to dust off a title such as Black and revel in how ridiculously fun and stupid it is.
I played Black like a fiend on my original Xbox about five years ago. I vividly remember my wife (then girlfriend) talking to me about a serious problem one of her family members was facing while I was plodding through the middle of the game. Her voice was like a bird chirping next to a leaf blower. The game was so loud, so enamored with guns and bullets that it was all I could do to turn away. I'm sure I eventually gave her the attention she deserved (she must have made me turn the game off over dinner or something) but while I was playing the game I just couldn't be bothered. It came out near the end of the road for the big black box and was just the sort of swan song the system needed. I know it was a PS2 game as well, but Black seemed right at home on the Xbox. It was big and powerful and looked like it meant business.
The story was laughable, especially the live-action cinematics with cigarettes dangling and tough guys talking about hot spots in the mystery-laden world of military operations. I still have no idea what the story was about, but I remember the guns were given the same treatment cars receive in racing games and the gameplay, while woefully lacking a multiplayer component, was tight.
I've tried to play it a few times since. It has not aged well. The inability to skip past the terrible cinematics make it hard to stick with it, as do the ten dozen other fine shooters that have been released since.
But back at the end of the Xbox lifespan, when I was sick of killing the Covenant, Black made for a fantastic week of mindless gaming.
By Victor Paul Alvarez

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