Blacklight: Tango Down Hands-On Impressions

Blacklight: Tango Down is a multiplayer DLC first person shooter extravaganza crafted by indie developer Zombie. Today I was invited to a hands-on press event for the game, in which I got to enjoy a couple rounds of the game itself, followed by a presentation and my own personal interview with developer Jared Gerritzen. By playing the game before the rest of the events proceedings I had already got to grips with what Blacklight: Tango Down was all about. Sitting through the presentation and then getting to interview Jared only filled in the blanks that were needed for me to give a full in depth analysis of what this excellent downloadable shooter provides for those interested.

For the same price many gamers had to pay for Modern Warfare 2’s Stimulus Package, Zombie is offering a completely solid first person shooter. Though Blacklight: Tango Down does not offer gamers a campaign mode, its multi-player and co-operative modes are more than worth 15 bucks. There are 12 multi-player maps with 7 different gameplay modes to explore. These gameplay modes include Team Deathmatch, Domination, Retrieval, Last Man Standing, and Detonation. The multi-player modes will accommodate up to 16 players in total. The co-operative mode in Blacklight: Tango Down is known as Black Ops. This mode will allow you to team up with up to four players and tackle mission objectives which relate to the conflict in Balik. Zombie has said that the missions are dynamic and change every time you play.

So what should you expect from Blacklight: Tango Down? Is it more on the tactical side, or is it all about the thrilling experiences seen in the Call of Duty series? When I asked Jared Gerritzen he told me that Blacklight will meet in the middle on that front. Tactical FPS fans can opt to stick to their usual tactics on the battlefield; while the more laid back FPS fan that just enjoy shooting people will be able to enjoy the game without being forced to strategize too much.

There are also some fancy tools in your arsenal that give the game character. One of my favorites was the HRV (hyper reality visor); which gives you real time info on the battle field, allowing you to see where your enemies are lurking. Though you can only use the visor for a limited amount of time each spawn, and when equipped you are unable to fire your weapon. You must figure out the best time to use it, and be careful. Also in your arsenal are EMP grenades that disable opponent’s electronic visors, and ‘Digi’ grenades that distort enemy optics. When used they give off a nice digital effect on the battlefield, giving Blacklight its own unique touch.

It’s a huge guilty pleasure outsmarting your opponents, gunning them down until they so bluntly curse at their TV’s/Monitors. But what else do gamers get out of the experience besides fragging their enemies? Well Blacklight: Tango Down also features a very interesting weapon customization system. Players can mix and match the parts of their assault rifles, depending on their own needs. If you want to be super light on the battle field, and scale the maps quicker. You have the option of equipping light parts, or parts that will be heavier but pack a meaner punch. Not only that but you can also modify your characters armor and camo to give you a stealthy edge in battle. Though the ranking system is simple, it is very satisfying. You will gain points for all your actions during battle; whether it’s capturing control points, supplying ammo, or assist bonuses. With all the points you gain you will unlock new ranks, attachments and more.

PC fans may be upset to know that the game doesn’t give you the option of setting up dedicated servers on the game. However seeing as the game is going to be available through Windows Live, you will be able to set up your own private matches and arrange the settings to your needs. There was no mention of a Steam version of the game, so right now it’s safe to say it will be Windows Live exclusive on the PC. At least the PC gamers can be happy about having high quality textures, ensuring that they see the game visually how it was intended.

Blacklight: Tango Down is set to release sometime in the summer, at the moment early July looks most likely. The game will be available on PSN, XBLA and Windows Mobile. From what I have experienced I can safely say that it is well worth your money, especially seeing as full length FPS’s are offering map packs for the same price. Look out for more information on Blacklight: Tango Down at The Koalition.

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