Blacklight: Tango Down Review


With Medal of Honor out of the gate and Call of Duty: Black Ops coming this week, fans of the first-person shooter should have no problem finding a game to suit their tastes. Unfortunately, these two big budget titles have inspired a wave of "me too" games, and that is where Blacklight: Tango Down comes in. This download-only FPS tries way too hard to be a contender in the ever more crowded shooter market, and it fails on nearly every level. I can't recommend this game to anyone, but let's go through it anyway.

First, there is absolutely no story or plot to be found in this game. None. Second, there is no traditional single-player campaign in the game whatsoever. This is an online-only shooter. Third, the asking price across the two big consoles and the PC is right around $15, making it more expensive than plenty of other, better downloadable games. That's three strikes and though the ghost of George Steinbrenner may not haunt me, I do know what that means.

Blacklight: Tango Down offers two main ways to play: The done-to-death multiplayer modes we've all grown to love (or hate), and a mode called, I kid you not, Black Ops. You know all about those tired multiplayer choices already, so I'm going to focus on Black Ops. In this mode, you and your teammates face off against innumerable enemy soldiers until you die. And you will die; these soldiers make the goons from Infamous look like they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Their aim is dead-on perfect 100 percent of the time, and they never stop respawning. I assume there are goals for the meager four maps you can play around in, but few will ever get that far. This mode is equal parts frustrating and boring. Not a good mix.

Perhaps the worst part of Blacklight: Tango Down is the missed opportunity of the sci-fi helmet your character is outfitted with. We've all seen the armed services commercials in which soldiers use all kinds of cool gadgets, and when you first start this game, you kind of assume you're getting the same thing in this helmet. You'd be wrong. All it does is make you more susceptible to death. Enemies can scramble your helmet's programming, and they do. A lot. When this happens, the entire screen turns blue for a few seconds, leaving you wide open to incoming bullets. If this helmet provided info, shielding or any benefit at all, it could have saved this game. This thing would never survive a cost benefit analysis; it provides nothing beyond giving your enemies more time to kill you.

And I know this is a downloadable game, but it is exceptionally ugly. Everything in the game is some shade of gray or brown, and the environments all begin to run together once you've spent a little time with them. The soldiers themselves look OK, but not good enough to forgive the blah maps, graphics and designs.

Blacklight: Tango Down is the kind of game that will garner a few fierce fans and be forgotten by the gaming community as a whole. It borrows most of its concepts from better games, Call of Duty, Battlefield, MAG, Killzone, etc., and somehow makes them annoying and frustrating. It's online-only, its expensive and single-player enthusiasts won't find anything to enjoy in this title. Call of Duty: Black Ops is out soon. Save your cash for that game and pass this one over. You aren't going to miss a thing.

Final Rating: 49%.