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Project Blackout: Online Shooter Review

by: William Usher ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This free-to-play online shooter brings very little to the table that hasn't already been done better by other games.

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    Mediocre Enough To Cause A Blackout

    Want to make a collect call?   SG Interactive’s new free-to-play MOFPS, Project Blackout, enters into an arena already chock full of free-to-play first-person shooters. Some of the very best are still running to this very day and still offering up loads of great content, weapons, maps and modes that vary between PvP and PvE scenarios. So what exactly does Project Blackout bring to the table that we haven’t already seen before? Well, nothing actually. What it does do is collage together small pieces and bits of gameplay features and modes from other popular games into one underwhelming attempt to surpass mediocrity. Find out exactly where the game goes wrong with what it could have done right in this Project Blackout review.

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    Waiting for the trolley   Weapon cache   There’s nothing new in Project Blackout that can’t already be found in other and better first-person shooters. The game prides itself on two particular modes that were supposedly aimed at separating itself from a lot of other games out there. The only problem is that the modes aren’t all that original. In addition to standard modes like deathmatch and demolition, the supposedly new modes include Destroy and Survival. In the Destroy mode two teams of players are on specific maps that require the teams to destroy the opposing team’s generator or base. On paper it seems ok but in execution any player with a heavy LMG can get into a camping position and just shoot the generator from a distance, ending the match in a matter of seconds. In addition to this, Alliance of Valiant Arms’ Scorpion mode is a much better executed attempt at the same thing, and actually carries some deep intensity with it if both teams are equally skilled.

    The other mode that the game prides itself on is the four-player cooperative survival mode where wave after wave of enemy AI attempt to prevent players from scoring more points. There’s an option to modify the difficulty but it’s very rare that the CPU opponents will ever come out victorious. It also pales in comparison to the AI options present in other games and done better, such as Genesis A.D. or Mercenary Wars.

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    Scoping out the lobby   Given that the game recently launched there aren’t a whole lot of maps, weapons or customization options available, but what’s there should be suitable enough to hold gamers over until the next major update. Still, there are a few notable qualities about the game, such as having the option to play as a female character (something a lot of FPS games are actually missing). The weapon selection is also fair game…having neither more or less than what would be required to make for a moderately enjoyable experience. As stated in the previous sections, though, this game is very standard-fare and other than the Destroy/AI modes, it’s almost entirely equivalent to ijji Games’ Soldier Front.

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    Looking at a downed opponent   Whether a game’s concept works or not it all boils down to playability and replayability. Now the big question is whether or not Project Blackout plays well enough to be memorable. It’s sort of a mixed bag when you take into account that it is sometimes fun blasting through hordes of enemy AI in the co-op mode. Yet at the same time there’s a pretty big issue with actually getting kills in the other deathmatch modes; tanking is a persistent issue or the weapons are just a collaboration of fail-sauce due to the fact that it takes almost an entire clip to down an opponent.

    An RPG in hand  

    If that’s not bad enough the game suffers greatly from spawn camping due to the less than stellar map designs and some poor implementations for cover points. There is an upside, however, and it’s that certain objects within a stage can be completely destroyed, such as vehicles on the road, glass, doors, the works. You can create some seriously entertaining shooting spectacles when utilizing an LMG and leveling a building or whatnot by spraying it up. This does create a volatile enough environment to create some interesting shootouts. I just can’t say that any of it is enough to outdo some of the current champions in the free-to-play FPS arena.

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    Graphics And Sound

    A deadly weapon in use   Combo kills   The graphics in the game aren’t anything worth going gaga over, and all the weapon, character and lighting is desperately sub-par. However, the stage designs are somewhat inspired and some of the moving parts such as the trolley or shifting crates in a few of the stages give the game an added touch of visual originality not often seen in free-to-play titles. Still, slight environmental destruction and moving parts don’t actually equate to great visual integrity and removing those small elements puts Project Blackout on par with just about every other non-descript MOFPS such as Mission Against Terror or Crazy Shooter Online.

    The weapon sounds don’t do much to persuade gamers that there’s anymore immersion in a level than the initial run-and-gun look and feel that each map undeniably exhibits. It’s just all very…standard.

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    Aiming to shoot through the trolley   I find it hard to reward a game for mediocrity and I don’t see why players should sacrifice time out of their day to experience said mediocrity. For the most part, if you’re the kind of gamer who has a non-preference for shooters I suppose a game like Project Blackout or Sudden Attack would suit you well. However, for gamers who feel like they would like to invest their time into a game that would keep them coming back for more I would definitely recommend a few other games such as Combat Arms, Operation 7 or Mercenary Wars.

    For more first-person shooters worth playing online be sure to check out Bright Hub’s MMO Action Game Directory.