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Area 51 sequel: First details

Blacksite: Area 51 is the confirmed codename for developer Midway's second extraterrestrial actioner, due to crash-land on PS3 and Xbox 360 in the summer, complete with blinding visuals, superb squad controls and super-smart AI.

Taking its name from a covert military term, this fresh foray into the successful Area 51 universe is aiming for a political-flavoured twist to its alien-based plotline. A "blacksite" is somewhere the military operates while denying the place actually exists, and also often refers to secret CIA prisons operating outside the law, used to interrogate suspected terrorists.

All this points towards classic B-movie themes like invasions, cover-ups and, of course, lots and lots of grotesque alien invaders. This time around you'll be fighting The Reborn, towering creatures that are the result of flawed human/alien experiments. Take a look at the screen below for a teasing glimpse of these gangly nasties.



Above: This CCTV-style shot gives you an idea of how the leggy aliens will look

With Area 51 destroyed, Blacksite takes place above ground in normal towns and cities surrounding the disaster zone left by the previous game. This mix of wild, unreal beings stalking you through dusty, small town Nevada only heightens the game's world-gone-weird atmosphere. And, while you soak up the mood, your squad of brainbox teammates can watch your back.

Midway has gone all out in the pursuit of AI reliability. Squad mates have their own personalities, which should enhance your attachment to the poor lads, and convincing voice-work gives you a window into their morale - when things are good they'll be deadly effective but if the situation gets really sticky your buddies will lose combat effectiveness and accuracy.

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