“Black” might have been forgotten by many people. PlayStation 2 games at that time always present something truly new. The impression for today is so felt. It’s one of our favorite consoles for the era of modern gamers after retro age. This game is one of them. It’s one of my favorite first-person shooters or arguably the game that made me like the genre itself. Criterion Games, besides this game, bring driving games into new whole levels. They mixed explosions and races to become the “Burnout” series. “Black” is the same thing or if Michael Bay makes a game. It’s an explosion and its impression at that time was even in the same class as the PlayStation 3 library. The graphic, the sound effect, the action, it’s so much fun when you become John Rambo who shoots weapons in all kinds of directions.
The story is not too important. As a child, we don’t know it. However, the story uses a full-motion video cutscene. It’s about Jack Kellar. It begin with him being interrogated by an FBI government class-like or something like that. This game will present eight missions with the story of the flashback. Later, the player learns that all the objective is to take out a terrorist organization called the Seventh Wave. Led by its leader, William Lennox, this Call of Duty-style narrative and gameplay doesn’t talk too much. It’s like you want to care about or anything. It’s just dull and monotonous because you don’t really care about that.
Besides not focusing too much on the story, “Black” focuses more on gameplay. The graphics is one of the best. For a PlayStation 2 game, it’s one of the greatest games that has terrifying graphics. You can shoot at anywhere. Whatever you shoot, there is a lot of plenty of explosions. Cars, a box of ammunition, and there are more. Even, it’s not too hard to find ammo. It’s so easy to find because every time you shoot an enemy, they drop weapons and ammo. Usually, they also drop first aid kit. Grenades are one of my favorite things in this game. You can shoot, throw grenade, and shoot again. It’s just so much fun every time you see and hear the explosions.
Headshot, besides grenade, is my favorite things. You can zoom using any weapon. The artificial intelligence is not as smart as you imagine. Unlike other AIs, it’s so easy to get a headshot. Various kinds of enemies, whether they use shields, you also have to use grenades to get past them. The player is too overpowered even to play easily on its own. You just keep moving and running forward. There are not many strategies that you can use. The stealth tactics are not even used especially for the second level. Some people will find this game so repetitive because it doesn’t present anything diverse. This game has a lot of soldiers as your opponents. For the NPC’s friend for several levels, it looks like you also seem to be fighting alone which doesn’t really affect your playing style. However, some levels can be considered interesting. To get past the fourth level, you have to shoot various mines. If you step on it, then it’s game over. There is a level you have to go through the shower scene, the lower level of the ruined asylum, the bridge, and the final labyrinth level.
I love the guns of the firing on the title screen. It’s just, I don’t know. What is clear, I like it. The weapons in this game are rather diverse too. The weapons also have a varied range and recoil. Mac 10 and Uzi get a long-distance to targets. Regardless you only carry two weapons, you can easily survive. There are weapons in the form of AK-47, M16, C36C, and MP5 over long distances. The shotgun is just a shotgun. You have to get close as close as possible so you can use this weapon with one kill. There are Sniper Rifle and Rocket Launcher. However, both weapons are sometimes found in various predetermined spots. The third level allows you to used Sniper Rifles for most because there are so many enemies from a great distance. Rocket Launcher is more practical to use when you want to blast a locked door or blockade at certain levels.
I admit, the artificial intelligence in this game is just weak and stupid. Playing this game in normal and easy mode, you are only fighting a soldier who is so weak in responding to the presence of the player. Even firing a window, they can’t hear. The guard also doesn’t care too much about dead bodies. And sometimes, they don’t hear the player’s footsteps. Unless you play it in hard or black ops mode, it’s quite hard and the AI is quite smart. But, let’s talk about the difficulties. There are four difficulties such as easy, normal, hard, and black ops. The easy mode is just easy. You only have to complete primary objectives so that one level is finished. Normal, hard, and black ops require the player to find various kinds of secondary objectives such as hidden objects, Intel, hidden weapons, and more. However, black ops are one of the most inhumanity modes that make me half dead to complete this game 100%. Other than that, you have to collect all secondary objectives without missing anything. If you miss one, you have to repeat it from the beginning of the level again.
I completed this game many times. The experienced that you got in this game is so mind-blowing. In fact, you can complete one day with four hours or more. However, if you want to open various kinds of unlockable contents, you have to complete all the modes. There is normal or hard where you will unlock silver weapons or infinity weapons for every weapon. Black ops mode unlock an M16-A2, an infinity 40mm underslung grenade launcher attachment. There is no any mode and features other than that. The game does not present many things. There is a health kit which is used in in-game so you can easily survive. For hard mode and black ops, the feature is omitted. You can only used a first aid kit in every mission that the player runs.
The graphics are so realistic especially in the surrounding ruined environment, sharp, and realistic. The graphic also has good lighting. The gun models are the same. It’s great plus the frame rate is smooth. Unless you play the Xbox version, the game is even sharper. It’s strange when you shoot lots of enemies but no blood at all. I played this game as a kid even this game was rated M. The sound is the same as watching a Hollywood blockbuster or action movie. You could just say, seems like watching all of Michael Bay’s movies. The sound effects are quite realistic, the voice acts in the form of radio, but sometimes it’s too noisy. Chris Tilton’s score is also fantastic. It’s fit with every scene intense and its own story.
All the missions are repetitive. However, “Black” presents everything primarily as one of the best first-person games ever, especially on the PlayStation 2 platform. This is “Burnout” but it’s an action. There are so many faults to count. The AI is weak and graphics which has an unreasonable effect. “Black” has a lot of potential throughout the game. It’s a combination of all explosion, action, and more. The sound is so fantastic. Yet, the game has its own shortcomings. But, it’s just one of my favorite PS2 games of all time. One game that I don’t want to forget and still play is whether or not how many times I have finished it.
3.5 out of 5 stars.