Monday, March 13, 2006

Black: the first two levels

This would be the first three levels, but it's not, because of the lack of ability to save midway through a level. Not all of us can always guarantee a full hour to play on something, EA. More on that later.

Anyway. Very good game other then the saving annoyance. Oh, and the unskippable cut scenes nonsense. And the fact that it lets you set up all the controls as you want them, then prompts you to create a profile, doing which wipes the controls you spent ten minutes perfecting. Still, at least it lets you customise the controls to be exactly how you like them.

This last point adds on at least 2 points to a score out of ten.

It's very stylish - very orange and, er, black. The guns are suitable meaty and weighty, and while your movement is a little too constrained for comfort, it's not too slow for you to think the game's in the process of crashing. It adds tension too - running from gravestone to gravestone to avoid the sniper is rather breathtaking when you can't just dive from one to the next. The AI is a little suspect - characters run out to the same point over and over again, even if they get hit by a bullet every time they move. But when they're running towards you, it's fairly realistic.

I've now played the third level one and five sixths times. The first time I played it, I got to the big open area near the end where hundred of enemies rush out at you. And then I had to go out. "Never mind," thought I, "I've just passed a checkpoint, so I'll quit out and when I come back I'll play from there." Oh no. The game let me play from the beginning of the level, and nothing else. Retracing my steps took quite a bit of time - but at least I knew what to expect. I got to the end of the level and celebrated a bit too soon - I'd only completed 2 secondary objectives, and had forgotton to check before I finished the mission whether I'd actually pass or not. On normal difficulty, see, you have to pass at least three secondary objectives.

So, I'll be playing the third level again soon. At least it's a good game, so I don't mind playing the level again. Although if it fails me next time ...

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