Blacklight: Tango Down has arrived on the downloadable scene as the first attempt to offer a solid online shooter on consoles since Battlefield 1943 came out last year.
Published by Ignition Entertainment and developed by Zombie Games, Blacklight: Tango Down is described by its creators as a mixture of Call of Duty and Blade Runner. That sure sounds interesting, but how does it actually play once the megabytes are downloaded and the start button is hit.
Hit the jump for our full review.
When I interviewed Zombie Games at E3 2010, I was a little bothered by the amount of times that I heard the words “like Modern Warfare 2”.
Blacklight: Tango Down is entirely focused on the multiplayer experience and offers your usual assortment of modes and features that can be found in most shooters these days. Along with the versus multiplayer modes such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Retrieval and so on, there is also a Black Ops mode that can be played alone of with up to four other players co-operatively.
To be quite frank, besides a bit of a futuristic twist to the genre, Blacklight: Tango Down is, in pretty much every way, a straightforward clone of Modern Warfare 2. There is a decent customization system that has been included in the game, but not enough to set it apart from most other shooters.
The only thing that truthfully sets Blacklight apart from Modern Warfare 2, is the fact that it just doesn’t control or play as well. The level design is a little iffy, and despite efforts to curb spawn camping (with turrets) it becomes all too easy to have the other team gang up outside the door and keep your team pinned down. The other issue that I have is that the actual aiming in the game feels a little off, and I can only pin it down to a lack of gradual acceleration as you look around, meaning that it feels like your head is darting around all the time.
As an online multiplayer experience, the game relies heavily on its netcode. If you live outside of the areas that have fast connections to the host servers then you can expect the game to have significant lag, so it depends heavily on that. The other issue is that the game uses the type on online code that requires your trigger input to go all the way to the host and back before your gun actually fires a bullet, which means that you will need to aim ahead at all times to hit your opponents.
From a technical standpoint, Blacklight is a good looking game, especially for a downloadable game, and besides some annoyingly repetitive menu music and some really cheezy voice-overs in Black Ops, the sound is on par with most titles.
While I really cannot get past the fact that the game is such a blatant clone of the Call of Duty series, the game itself really isn’t so bad. It’s a real shame and even a touch frustrating to say that Blacklight: Tango Down misses the mark, if only slightly.
It could have been a really fresh shooter experience at a great price of only 1200 MS points ($15 PSN), but in the end it really does only feel like a minor distraction for Call of Duty fans. That said, I can’t see many people hanging around for too long before heading back to their other shooters again.
For fans of: Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare, Call of Duty
Scoring (not an average)
Instantly familiar to anyone who plays Call of Duty, except not quite as good.
A good looking downloadable title with some nifty visual effects.
Very up and down, good here, bad there.
A decent amount of things to do, but I don’t see it lasting very long before everyone disappears.
The problem with cloning a popular high quality franchise, is that unless you match what they have done, your sore points really do stick out, even if your game is a quarter of the price.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]
Last Updated: July 30, 2010