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Black

Electronic Arts
PS2 version reviewed
Score 4.5 out of 5

Black is a game that brings out some passion in me. It is just downright fun to blow guys away and shoot the hell out of everything. That's what it is all about. And it feels great.

You play as a black operative who is in prison after he went on a mission. It was one of those "you get caught and we'll deny everything" kind of missions. The plot line slowly unfolds through a series of conversations that take place between battles. It's the old telling of the story after it took place. That's about all that matters as far as storyline is concerned. And one more thing, if it moves kill it. Actually, if it's on the screen kill it. Things don't have to be moving to be targets.

This game is a real shoot 'em up FPS. Complete with crazy weapons that you can use to blow enemy heads off and my favorite accurate grenades that blow guys to bits. It's non-stop firing. If you can't get an enemy then destroy his cover and then take him out. For example, if an enemy is hiding behind a car, shoot out the tires of the car, the car drops down, then take the guy out with a head shot. I'm smiling as I write this because it cracks me up that I like to shoot stuff as much as I do. This is frenetic combat, with glass raining down and barrels exploding all over the place. I always wonder what terrorists need with so many exploding barrels in their hideouts...

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It's important to know what the top left shoulder button zooms and the bottom left shoulder button has you kneel down or stand up. The up direction on the d-pad toggles between single shot, burst mode, and full automatic firing. Not only is the game named Black but it also looks black, so it's best played with the lights down low. I find it best to pick guys off from far away with head shots, but sometimes it's fun to charge right in with the shotgun.

I have two gripes about Black. The first is that there is no multi-player. If ever an FPS needed a multi-player it was Black. I don't understand what the rationale was for not having a multi-player mode in such a great FPS. The second is that checkpoints are few and far between. This means that you have to play the same level over and over again until you get it right. I'd be happier with more checkpoints at least, or maybe even a save point here or there. It's for those two reasons that I can't give Black a perfect score.

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