Black is a 2006 first-person shooter video game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. It was released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in February 2006. The player assumes control of Jack Kellar, a black ops agent being interrogated about his previous missions involving a terrorist operation. Gameplay involves players confronting enemies by using firearms and grenades. The game is notable for its heavily stylized cinema-inspired action as well as its sound quality and focus on destructive effects during gameplay.
Black received generally positive reviews upon release. Critics praised the gameplay, sound design and presentation, but criticized the game's short length and lack of multiplayer. Despite Criterion's desire to develop a sequel, creative differences with Electronic Arts ultimately ended plans for one. As such a spiritual successor, Bodycount, was created by the same developers at Codemasters and released in 2011.
Black is set in Ingushetia and Chechnya, Russia. The protagonist is Sergeant First Class Jack Kellar (Marty Papazian), an inadequately disciplined member of a CIA black ops unit. The unknown interrogator (Paul Pape) questions Kellar about an arms smuggling terrorist organization and gang called the Seventh Wave who have been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks and homicides. Kellar is soon shown that, unless he co-operates, he and his actions will be declassified, meaning he will be convicted at court-martial, dishonorably discharged, and imprisoned for life. Though initially resistant, Kellar agrees to tell his story.
Kellar's next mission is to cross the border into Treneska and traverse the Vlodnik Canal to destroy a base and weapons cache. He then meets a female black ops soldier named MacCarver (Cree Summer), the commander of black ops Team Bravo, after fighting a wave of terrorists at a farmhouse. Kellar and MacCarver then move to destroy an arms factory in the city of Naszran. To complete the mission, they must navigate an old graveyard and town, both heavily defended. After doing so, they assault the town's iron foundry, destroying its productive capacity. They then meet a third member of the team, Solomon.
The interrogator then reveals to Kellar that authorities had, in fact, always known of Lennox's involvement in Seventh Wave. Kellar had acted predictably, doing what his profile said he would, while his pursuit of Lennox was both expected and welcome - but Lennox is not in fact dead. Kellar is told that a false "death" in a car accident has been arranged for him to provide cover so he could continue his pursuit of Lennox. The game ends with Kellar being told to get ready for his next assignment.
The gameplay is essentially a straightforward first-person shooter. Players can only carry two weapons at a time; therefore, strategy is needed when choosing weaponry, with weapons differing in characteristics. The player can also carry grenades, which can be thrown without switching weapons. Land mines and grenades can be detonated prematurely by shooting them.
The game is mission-based, with each mission separated by a cut scene video. On harder difficulties, there are more objectives that must be completed before the player can progress. These extra objectives involved collecting various intelligence documents, blueprints, or destroying parts of the environment. These are all indicated by the HUD cross-hair changing color when the player points at the relevant object.
Criterion intended to "do for shooting what Burnout did for racing - tear it apart", with dual emphasis on destructible environments and the handling and behavior of real-world firearms. Bullets that hit buildings, terrain and objects leave visible damage; moreover, the guns are rendered with great detail and accuracy, though some weapons' features are stylized or exaggerated. The emphasis on the appearance, function, and sounds of the weapons led the developer to label the game as "Gun-Porn". Another notable and original feature is the use of real-time blur while reloading, giving a depth of field and more perspective to the game. Similarly, when the player drops below two bars of health, the screen turns black and white, the sound of the character's heartbeat become the dominant noise and the game goes into slow motion, and the large and small motors in the control pads match the sound of systolic and diastolic part of the heartbeat.
The game was not developed with an overarching plot structure in mind and this was implemented as something of an afterthought towards the end of development. The initial idea for relating the plot in-game came from Black's director, Alex Ward, who wanted to have a radio-play-style voiceover spoken over a 'black' screen.
Emphasizing the game's action film heritage, sound effects for the weapons in the game were based on various sounds from films. For example, Bruce Willis' Heckler & Koch MP5 in Die Hard, Jack Bauer's pistol in 24, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Uzi in True Lies.
Realizing in the chaos of a heavy gun battle the heavy mix of sound and music would produce a cacophony of noise, the sound designers developed the "choir of guns" concept. Whereas, traditionally in a shooter game, each weapon model would be assigned a different sound, Black assigns each enemy their own "voice", similar to the way in which each member of a choir would have their own distinct voice. For example, there are three enemies firing, one would be assigned a low voice, another a medium voice, and the third a high voice. This allows all the weapons being fired in any particular scene to harmonize and deliver a distinct sound for the game. Black's sound was nominated for Best Audio at the 2006 BAFTA Video Games Awards, and won Best Art & Sound jointly with Burnout Revenge (another game by Criterion) at the 2006 Develop Industry Excellence Awards.
In Japan, Famitsu gave the PS2 version all four eights, for a total of 32 out of 40. The Times also gave the game four stars out of five and stated: "As the entire game is played at fever-pitch, you soon find yourself looking forward to the next mission briefing, if only for a chance to catch your breath. The only mystery to Black is why there is no multiplayer mode, since such intense battle settings would make for great competitive bouts". The Sydney Morning Herald similarly gave it four stars out of five: "Little strategy is required for each stage, with abundant health packs and aggressive opponents of little intelligence. But there are many strategies and the use of cover is vital". Detroit Free Press gave the Xbox version three stars out of four and said: "The action is intense and the effects are splendid, though the un-reality applies also to the worlds in which you battle". However, The A.V. Club gave the game a C+, stating that it was worth playing for "six hours. Pretty good hours, but still, The A.V. Club can't stress that number enough"; and added "that was awesome for Doom, a free download with 16 extra maps available after registration. But 40 bucks for Black's eight levels, with no multiplayer mode, and unlockable difficulty settings the only incentive to replay? The question is really whether renting this lovely oversized tech demo is worth a whole weekend".
In an interview, co-creator and designer Stuart Black revealed that plans for a sequel were underway, but are now scrapped due to differences with Electronic Arts. Stuart Black and many of the developers of Black worked on the now released Bodycount; a spiritual successor to the game which, developed by Codemasters, was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 during Q3 2011.
For any PlayStation Now games you had downloaded and played locally, the save data is stored on your local console storage device. If you have access to the game through PlayStation Plus or other means, you should be able to continue your game where you left off. For any games that you had been streaming, the save data was stored within the PlayStation Now cloud streaming storage. If the game is included in the Game Catalog or Classics Catalog within the PlayStation Plus membership benefits, you can continue to stream the game with a PlayStation Plus Premium membership using your previous cloud save file. You can also access the cloud save file and transfer it to your PlayStation Plus cloud storage and then download it to your local console.
Players could move around different buildings of Paris to plan their next robbery, by observing streets, houses, museums and people who live in them. French publisher Canal+Multimédia was initially supporting the team, but in March 2000 they closed their relationship with Dramaera because their project was not proceeding as expected. As we can read on Mobygames:
The company then signed a contract with index+ in June 2000 with an investment for the game and an additional financial promise to cover the costs to port the game to the PlayStation 2. The companies knew each other well, as Réunion des Musées Nationaux had tasked Dramæra to create the game Paris 1313: The Mystery of Notre-Dame Cathedral, published by index+.
Here are some games you can buy on Amazon: when we use affiliate links on Unseen64 we may receive a commission for the sale. For you is free, you don't pay anything more, but for us it helps a lot! Currently this is working for Amazon.com, Amazon.it and Amazon.co.uk :) 1e1e36bf2d