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Blacklight: Tango Down Review
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Very much to my suprise, Blacklight: Tango Down has been released on the PS3 recently. Released over the summer on the Xbox Live Arcade, Tango Down experienced mediocre success and proved yet again by following in Battlefield 1943 footsteps, that you can in fact offer a decent multiplayer FPS at an affordable price. Crossing over to the PSN now let’s see if the game holds up or falls flat.

Much like Battlefield: 1943, Blacklight has no single player campaign. Meaning the entire experience rests on online multiplayer and versus games. Some might argue this reduces the value of a game, with Blacklight it just means the online had more time put into it. A small ‘Spec Ops’ gametype does exist, where you can pit yourself against computer-controlled bots in short objective games. These can also be done in online co-op, but your best bet is in the traditional versus modes.

So how does Blacklight play? Of course you have the usual Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Territories, and Last Man Standing gametypes without anything too bizarre. But the gameplay itself feels like a slightly watered down Call of Duty. Don’t get me wrong, it plays like a solid title, but is faster paced and somewhat more simplistic. Some of the unique elements in Blacklight focus around the ‘netwar’ theme. This is a subtly mentioned plotpoint that involves the integration of war with technology. For instance, certain grenades jam your vision in a pixelated sort of view; or other times your screen will display the infamous ‘blue screen of death’. The unique ‘HRV’ vision literally points out to you where every enemy is on the map. But while in this mode you are completely open to gunfire and sneak attacks, so use it sparingly! Blacklight really doesn’t add too much to the classic formula, but by playing it safe produced a fun and addicting title.

The biggest selling point in Blacklight is the customization. While there are only around 10 basic guns to select, the amount of altering each weapon can undergo is magnificent. By the time you modify a standard SMG with a new scope, or extended barrel you can hardly recognize it. Then perhaps lengthen the stock and apply one of the many camouflages available. Finally, no gun would be complete without a personalized keychain of sorts; I prefer the pink brass-knuckles. As you might expect, new parts are unlocked by climbing up the online ranks. The constant rewards of new parts, armor and camo is enough to keep you playing for hours straight.

btd2 Blacklight: Tango Down Review

Running on the respected Unreal 3 Engine, Blacklight is a beautiful running game. The visuals are some of the best on the PSN, and lag was rarely encountered. Level design was another well-executed point, with many maps available (Far more than Battlefield: 1943, for the record). Guns and weapons are greatly detailed which compliment the awesome character models. During a fast-paced firefight, it can be easy to forget this is an PSN title.

Audio wasn’t quite as good as the graphical side, but didn’t disappoint either. The small soundtrack is appropriately placed and sound effects create a realistic vibe. Gunshots sound right, keeping the overall experience intact.

Sure, Blacklight has its flaws. Some of the spawning points are unbalanced, and spawn-camping can be an issue. I also fear that the online presence always has the possibility to fade away. Say hypothetically the online servers do become abandoned, well there isn’t much else to do besides play online. So take that into consideration. btd4 Blacklight: Tango Down Review

For $15, Blacklight: Tango Down is a worthwhile investment. You get a multiplayer experience nearly on par with current retail FPS titles. It isn’t perfect, but take in mind this is a brand new series (Sequel confirmed for summer 2011) and patches are always a way to correct mistakes. Blacklight is a strong new series which I hope to see more content from soon.

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Blacklight: Tango Down Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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