It’s without a doubt that the FPS (First Person Shooter) genre is one of most popular for gamers. With such games as Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3 breaking international records during its first days on shelves, there’s no stopping the dominating genre.
Blacklight: Tango Down’s developers, Zombie, is hoping to provide a $60 value for $15. How does the game match up? Read on to find out.
Story Line (2 out of 5)
Here is where the game lacks immensely- the storyline. While there is a mention of a story, the only way to know of it is to read the “How to Play” menu.
From the description given, there’s a war going on between two factions in the near-future, “Blacklight” and “The Order”. Apparently, The Order has kidnapped a man named Klein- a Colonel for Blacklight- along with his team of Blacklight operatives. Blacklight is sent into the town of Balik.
Blacklight is a covert ops unit while The Order is made up of Ex-US Forces and local Militia.
Again, the only way to know this is by going to the “How to Play” menu, which is quite ridiculous. During my time playing, I saw no mention of a story while in matches- and to be honest, the story is easily forgotten, mostly due to its absence in-game.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
The amount of fun that Tango Down has to offer is quite impressive. With an addictive XP system, fully customizable weapons and hundreds of unlockable gear, this is one game that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Tango Down features the usual game modes you’d find in most shooters these days; Team Deathmatch; Deathmatch; Domination; Last Man Standing; Detonate and a few others that aren’t popular enough to worth mentioning.
An interesting feature in the game is the Hyper Reality Visor- which when used, enables you to see enemies through walls in a sort of Predator inspired way. Adding to this, is the Digi grenade, which once detonated creates a pixelation wall that disorients enemies- and yourself if you’re not careful.
The game has a nice variety of weapons, ranging from shotguns, assault rifles, sub-machine guns all the way to the beloved sniper rifle- all of which can be customized in hundreds of different ways-literally.
In terms of gameplay, Blacklight doesn’t really add anything new to the FPS genre, nonetheless- if you’re an avid FPS fan- you’ll find yourself addicted to the XP system quite quickly.
Graphics (3 out of 5)
For an Xbox Live Arcade title, the graphics are definitely impressive- despite several graphical issues I encountered.
The game has a lot of purposely-placed pixelation blurring, which does look spectacular- especially when it happens just prior to spawning in-game.
My only real complaint with the graphics is with the sizing of the text, it’s almost impossible to read- in the menus and in-game. For example, when I levelled up there were little sections of text coming from the left-hand corner of screen, and impossible to read, due to the size and colour of said text- I found out that the text was informing me of what I had unlocked.
The weapons aren’t greatly detailed. During my first time playing, I had assumed that the textures on my weapon hadn’t fully loaded yet, it later turned out that it wasn’t the case. However, with the customizable camouflage at least you can make it look pretty.
Other than that, the graphics are quite decent, buildings are nicely detailed and the maps are superbly shaped, with little ambush points added to the mix, expect some very tactical battles.
Sound (3 out of 5)
One main criticism I have with the sound is the announcer. She sounds like a half-awake woman who was given lines to read. It’s just horrible.
Looking past that, that gun sounds are definitely impressive, as is the radio chatter. Upon throwing a grenade near an enemy, you’ll hear him scream “look out, grenade!"- immediately knowing that there’s an enemy nearby.
Grenade explosions can sometimes make you jump- well for me at least- when you’re caught off guard, and the Digi grenades have a uniquely intriguing sound that’s still stuck in my head.
The Verdict (4 out of 5)
Blacklight may have its issues, but that doesn’t stop this game from being a stellar shooter. While it adds nothing new to the genre, it’s most certainly a dream come true for the many FPS fans out there, especially for the majority who are avid Call of Duty fans.
For $15, you’ll get an incredibly fun shooter that’ll keep you going for the months to come.