Monday, 2 July 2012

Black (Xbox)

Black is an explosion-filled first-person shooter from Criterion Games, the company responsible for bringing explosions to driving games with the Burnout series. Like the Burnout games, Black packs in a lot of firepower. It seems like something's blowing up every minute or two, and this helps the game make an absolutely killer first impression. The action, however, doesn't hold up for long. Black quickly falls into a rut that not even amazing-looking blast effects can save it from.

Black's story puts you in the shoes of a soldier named Keller. You begin the game with a cutscene that shows Keller in chains, being grilled by a slimy government type. Every single full-motion video cutscene in the game returns to this interrogation, which sets up each of the eight missions as flashbacks covering the previous four days. Over time, you learn that your objective was to take out some sort of arms-dealing terrorist outfit known as the Seventh Wave, and its leader, an off-the-farm ex-operative known as Lennox. But beyond lots of shadowy, Black Ops-style talk, there's not much to the story. That includes the final confrontation (or lack thereof) and ending, which is almost painfully disappointing in its brevity. One could say, given the game's attempts at re-creating the short-on-story, long-on-muzzle-flash activities you'd find in a typical action movie, that the way the game focuses on the gunplay fits, but even action classics like Commando have at least some closure.


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