Expectations, eh? While Black is technically flawless, painstakingly designed and probably the best single-player shooter on PS2, we can't help but feel a little disappointed. Why? Because it doesn't keep its promise to "do for first-person shooters what Burnout did for cars".
Burnout changed the way we looked at racing games, with its speed, hypnotic structure (one nudge meant an instant crash) and benchmark graphics. Black's victory isn't innovation, but execution.
Forget the plot - its
Rewind your mind a little bit. Remember Blinx: The Time Sweeper on Xbox? A curious time-bending platformer fronted by a terrifyingly ugly cat, it delivered little on its promise of allowing you to control the world around you as if you had a VHS remote control - pause it, rewind it, record it, speed it up. All we got was a messy, frustrating game with all the logic and order of a monkey house.Fast-forward back to the present. Blinx 2 is better than the original, but not by much. Gone are the
It's arguable that upping the amount of manual labour in a game can sometimes be a good thing. Having a strong work ethic (as in, say, Morrowind or Shenmue) can be a way of grounding the player in the game world, of strengthening the illusion through a deliberate use of dullness. Small wonders become greater when they feel like you are getting a reward. Entering a new town in Morrowind feels all the more exotic, actual and populated when you've just had to trek across a square mile of
"I can't shoot there, Sarge." Simple, scary and powerful words. When you hear them in Brothers in Arms, be assured that they carry more weight than Vanessa Feltz's slippers.
You're hunkered down behind a hedge with your fire team, bullets whistling past your ears. There are two machine gun emplacements buried deep in the foliage up ahead and you can barely make out the landscape, let alone the whites of their eyes.
You went out on a limb to get round the back and Hartsock and Leggett can't