Black

Cameron Nutter - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft)
Produced by: Criterion Games
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

     Reviewed By: Cameron (Evileye)
     VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Christian Rating: 2 of 5 (poor)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 4 of 5 (barely present)
Adult Content: 3 of 5 (mild)


Black.  Illustration copyrighted.

Spoilers Ahead

May or May not apply to PS2 version of the same game.

Story:
Black Ops operative Jack Keller is under investigation regarding events that took place four days prior. Keller was after a notorious terrorist group dubbed the “Seventh Wave”. Without giving too much away, the eight levels of BLACK follow Keller as he details his experiences to a rather deep-voiced interrogator. It’s a little heavy with the terroristic elements. Not much else goes on really…

Violence:
Minimal. Really, this is hardly even a “T” rated game for violence. When you shoot people, then die. No blood, no gore, they just fall over and die. Now, you can blow them up which does send them flying, and I had a guy get stuck on a fence one time. But the violence is very mild.

Black.  Illustration copyrighted.

Language:
Terrible. In just the first level, I heard more language that I have heard in some games entirely. In the very beginning, I heard “Shoot the F****** windows!” from my soldiers. The “F” word is used many times. S***, Ba******, B****, D*** and H*** are all used. Gods name is taken in vain many times. Easily the worst aspect of the game. There is no option to turn the language off, but you could do two things. One, turn the voices off, or two, turn up a custom soundtrack and listen to that.

Sexual Content:
None.

Spiritual Content:
None.

Black.  Illustration copyrighted.

Graphics:
Coming out right as soon as the 360 came out, most people, including me, almost mistook this game for a 360 game. It is the most amazing last generation game that you will ever see. The explosions, which are a huge HUGE part in the game, are insanely detailed. If you look off into the distance and see a building, be sure than you can shoot a rocket at it and blow it up. The environments are lush and beautiful, though they can get a bit repetitive. The graveyard level was especially nice, because the graves could be shot and destroyed when you were taking cover behind them. Some levels actually, to progress, you have to shoot down walls. The guns are so nice, you just want to sit and stare at them. The character models are something laugh at, compared to the rest of the game though. There is no CG in this game, as the cut scenes between each level are live action scenes.

Controls:
Same old First Person Shooter setup with the dual-analog. Nothing is changed hardly at all. The controls work just fine, and there is an option to change the sensitivity on both the X and Y axis’s.

Sound:
While the soundtrack is forgettable and boring, the sounds of the guns are something that makes you almost want to just shoot the gun just to hear it. Especially when you are shooting something that explodes (which is almost everything). The explosions are very well done, and sound like you were sitting right there when it explodes. And when you are playing this game with a 5.1 surround system, it just gets better and better. You can play custom soundtracks in game too, which is a nice feature. I liked to play along with some heavy metal which really helped the mood.

Black.  Illustration copyrighted.

Final Conclusion:
For a last generation game it is phenomenal. Even then, it will look better than some of the run-of-the-mill games you get on the next generation systems. The story really doesn’t go anywhere, but it is interesting to listen to. The fact that the games counts your every kill, every gun, and even how many bullets you have fired is really cool. Another problem with this game is that is it very hard. So if you can stand a lot of language, I think that you should give black a shot, even if you only play the first level to look at the graphics. It is backwards compatible on the 360, so what are you waiting for?

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Year of Release — 2006




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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