Blacksite: Area 51 Reader Review
I remember playing the first game in this franchise Area 51 and thinking they've missed the mark with it. Blacksite: Area 51 is no exception, they've missed the mark with this one as well and by a long way.
Good graphics, I liked the subversive part of the story, the pistol is actually a good weapon.
Crashes, slowdowns, stupid AI, bad vehicle mechanics, not enough variation in weapons, not enough variation in bad guys, woeful execution of the whole game, texture glitches, too heavily scripted, scripting doesn't always work, 11GB What the hell is that used up by!, long install time.
Graphics wise Blacksite is good as i've come to expect from the Unreal engine but there aren't a great deal of graphical options to change. The lip sync animation is awful the speaking characters hardly move their mouths.
This games sound is very average but the explosions sound nice. You can normally tell a good game by it's voice acting and of course Blacksites voice acting is pretty much average, none of the characters stand out but they don't feel as lifeless as the first game.
The gameplay is quite straight forward. You'll get a new mission, you'll travel to it either by foot or by Humvee and get involved in firefights as you go. Blacksites levels are heavily scripted to the point where it has more scripting than a West End/Broadway show. Heavy scripting in the game leads to the scripts not running in the right order or not running at all and of course because of it's heavy scripting the game feels forced, you feel like you're being lead around like a puppy on a lead.
The vehicle parts of the game are quite boring and feel like they were added as an after thought. Rule number one of vehicle controls they need to be good (Halo controls were awesome), the people at Midway forgot about this or ignored it, i'm not quite sure which.
The much hyped squad control is nothing more than an optional extra in firefights as the AI is more or less useless when you really need them. The squad controls use only one key and because of this it makes the whole game feel like a console port (which is probably is and I lazy one at that). One of the stupidest things about the game is that you can't open doors yourself, you have to use the squad command to make them kick the door open or blow it open.....WTF! When it comes down to it, it just seems faster and easier to do most of the things yourself and let your squad just follow you around.
Stability of the game is a real issue, in the few hours I was playing the last part of the game before I did this review the game crashed on me three times with no warning. Other problems with the game are slowdowns, texture glitches, scripts not running correctly etc etc. I expect games to run awesomely on my QX6850, 4GB RAM, 768MB Geforce 8800GTX but this game takes the mick. The publisher/developer were more worried about getting this game out the door than fixing the numerous problems with it.
Overall I think this game is an under inspired, slapdash, lazy and woeful console port with more bugs than is acceptable. I mean for crying out loud it crashed on the credits screen!
5 / 10