Lack of creativity produces dark future for ‘Black’

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By Johnathan Kroncke

New first-person shooter “Black” is available for most consoles. (EA Games)

By Johnathan Kroncke

Oh boy, another first-person shooter. There is a concept you don’t see every day.

EA has put another first-person combat game out on a market already packed to the gills with games just like it. While it is entertaining, it is far from original.

“Black” for PlayStation 2 is a shiny copy of every other combat game from “Halo” to “Medal of Honor.” Yes, the details surrounding the action are different but the game play is still the same.

Gamers play as members of the elite, top secret military squad known as “Black.” They answer to no one and only exist to do the dirtiest of the government’s dirty deeds. They are highly trained soldiers who will do anything to succeed in their mission.

Every level has an overall mission that must be completed as well as one or more side missions that may or may not be necessarily completed, depending on the level.

Essentially, the levels all break down to running into an area and shooting the enemy alongside your two partners who apparently are immortal. No matter how much fire you encounter, your men stand strong.

The quickest and most efficient way to get through an area is not by sneaking around or searching for the best sniper position. Instead, the best course of action is to steamroll your way in, guns blazing, and hope that you have enough first-aid kits and med packs to keep you going.

Almost everything in a level is readily destructible. Cars can be shot in order to kill off enemies using them for protection, windows can be knocked out to make room for a gun barrel poking through. The world of “Black” is your playground, as it should be.

Interestingly, the game does differ in a positive way from its fellow clones. The cut scenes in between levels are a mix of computer animation and live action.

After becoming so conditioned to watching computer generated characters, it is very entertaining to see real people act out the scenes for a change.

However, despite this one difference, “Black” shares too many similarities with the other first-person shooters out there.

They all tend to be the same with the purpose being to wander through foreign terrain and kill the opposing military forces before they kill you.

Originality in the plots are a rarity because there is very little story that is necessary in order to tie events in these games together.

A game developer only needs an excuse for a combat situation, like a war, and the rest of the game can be pretty much anything because it does not matter.

What is focused on in “Black,” and indeed its fellow clones, is the action itself.

Developers spend the majority of their time and money on what the dead bodies will look like, what weapons will be included and what kind of war-torn buildings will line littered streets.

These things are important, but what is equally important is a compelling and unique story to go along with the dazzling visuals.

There must be something else to offer gamers besides more of the same.

Sadly, “Black” is only a mildly entertaining game based on an idea that has been done to death. It is somewhat fun to play but has nothing new to offer.

If you are looking for a war-like combat game with great visuals and an outstanding storyline, look no further than the “Metal Gear” series.

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