Black Conference Call Report


posted 2/17/2006 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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Aliens.  Terminator 2.  The Matrix.  Die Hard.  The longer you listen to the developers of Black speak, the more you start to understand the influence of these successful action movies.  Black, the new first-person shooter from Criterion Games, aspires to be everything that those top-grossing films were, especially when it comes to full-on, balls-to-the-wall action.  A lot of games promise that kind of Hollywood experience, but after spending some time talking to the people responsible for this game, one gets the feeling that they might just pull it off.

To promote this much-anticipated current generation game Jeremy Chubb, the producer of Black, made himself available for a phone interview with Gaming Nexus.  As the game nears its launch some of the last minute aspects of the game are being ironed out, and Criterion was more than happy to fill us in on how it's been going and what they were trying to do with this game.  Needless to say, Criterion has set the bar high and expects big things from Black.

Black is a single-player action game with a strong emphasis on guns and explosions.  This isn't about you taking out guards from 30 yards away, this is run-and-gun action the like you only see in big budget action movies.  You command a wide variety of huge guns that are ready to not only take down your enemies, but also do some serious damage to the backgrounds.

When Criterion talks about destroying the environment they aren't kidding, this game is overflowing with huge explosions, destructible walls, and debris flying every which way.  With cars, walls, and everything else blowing up all around you, this is one experience that really makes you feel like you are actually there in the middle of the action.

When you play the game it's easy to see that a lot of time and effort has gone into making each weapon feel unique.  Black is not the first game to emphasize its arsenal, we would be remiss to ignore all the other action games doing their part to introduce more powerful firearms.  But it's not the weapons that make Black so amazing; it's how powerful each one feels.  Each gun has a different feel, a sense of style all its own.  Over the course of the game it's easy to grow attached to particular weapons, making it sad when you have to give it up for another.  Black gives you that sense of power you feel when you're shooting a gun, something that has been missing from many of today's first-person shooters.

But just because Black looks and feels like a fast playing shooter doesn't mean you have to experience it that way.  Nearly every weapon has a silencer, giving you an opportunity to sneak around before getting into huge firefights.  You can also perform the traditional melee attack, which will take your enemy down in only one or two hits.  But don't be fooled, this game is definitely geared towards getting in huge fights and having a lot of stuff explode around you, it's a visceral experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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