It’s a breath of fresh air to see a next-gen FPS that doesn’t use Modern History’s favorite bad guy - the Nazi - as rifle-fodder in war-torn Europe. What about the war that’s been raging ever since little green men invaded our turf in ’47? We all believed that Will Smith landed a decisive victory for mankind - as seen in political documentary Independence Day; but it seems the aliens have returned for vengenace in Midway’s BlackSite: Area 51.
BlackSite eschews the camp of the original, going the route of the gritty squad-based FPS set against the backdrop of the current war on terrorism. You fill the boots of Aeran Pierce, Delta Force squad leader and all-around government assassin, in charge of three other killing-machines who’ve got your back for most of the game.
Oge Young (sounds like “rogue”), Producer of BlackSite, demoed the first “area,” a desolate Iraqi village complete with fluttering flags and dilapidated buildings, where your team’s been deployed to snoop for some WMD’s - grounding the game in an urgent and believable reality. Young impressed us by blasting the arm off a statue to demonstrate the destructible environments, which extends to enemy cover. As Iraqi rebels screamed and shot at Young, he blasted through their barriers and even pillars to take them down.
When battle became overwhelming, Young demonstrated how teammates can help. Squad control is generously mapped to one button for contextual commands depending on where the reticule is pointed - such as “Move here,” “Target this,” or “Open this door.” Battles become intense rather quickly, so it’s easy to call out for backup while you’re circle-strafing around hordes of enemies.