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PS3 Review: Blacksite: Area 51
Posted on January 4, 2008 by Victor Dangelo

Blacksite: Area 51

Platform: PlayStation 3

Publisher: Midway Games

Developer: Midway Studios – Austin

Players 1-16

Rating: T

This past year marked arguably the greatest year ever for gaming as there were many high-quality games released on the Sony PS3 as well as other next-gen consoles. Many shooters such as Call of Duty 4 took the console world by storm while games like Uncharted paved the way for some truly innovative experiences. Midway Studios – Austin has developed Blacksite: Area 51 in hopes of adding to what has been a great year of gaming, but did they succeed?

Blacksite: Area 51 heading into release actually had a lot of positive buzz around it as there were many press outlets praising the game for its impressive visuals and frantic action. You take on the role of Aeran Pierce who is your typical bad mofo who sets out with a group of military men by his side to battle evil.

The game kicks off on a mission in Iraq when a sample of alien origin is discovered. One of your men is lost and you suddenly black out. Three years later you wake up and find out that these aliens are back and it is up to you to take them down.

Midway tried to do a lot of things with the game but in the end what you are left with is your typical run-of-the-mill shooter. There really is not much here that is going to make you say wow of believe that any type of innovation or creativity was taken into account in the development of the game. Midway tried to do things such as a morale system where your teammates would be happier and more effective the better you perform, but simple things such as A.I. hamper this from being enjoyable or effective in any way.

The missions consist of you leading a few military men into battle. You get to use the right bumper to give out orders so that you can direct your teammates to go to various spots which will allow you to be more strategic. The problem though which hampers this is the fact that the A.I. is really poor. A lot of the times your teammates will simply charge into battle like blithering idiots, not waiting for orders and not thinking much about what is shooting at them.

Even beyond your own teammates’ A.I., the enemy A.I. is not any better. You will see your big boss battles be filled up with some truly stupid alien creatures. If these guys were smart enough to make it all the way to Earth, they sure as hell should be a lot smarter in combat-type situations since they must have known they would have to put up with some sort of fighting. Many of the boss battles have the bosses follow typical patterns with no variety which will truly bore you.

There is unfortunately not really a lot here to praise about Blacksite simply because it is just such a generic game.

Some of the cooler aspects of the game include the fact that you do get to drive around in some nifty military vehicles as well as use some high-tech weaponry. These wear off quickly though as they are all placed in the same game which by the time you get through the first few levels, you will be all done with.

One highlight of Blacksite: Area 51 is that visually it is not a bad looking game in any regard. There are a few problems with framerate here and there, especially later in the game, but for the most part it is a visually appealing release.

The aliens you encounter are highly detailed as there is some nice texture work done on your own characters as well as the enemies and weaponry. The big problem though is that even though the environments may look nice, they are not filled up nearly enough with enough to play around with to make it that appealing.

When I mean playing around, there are some destructible environments and such here and there, but you will often find yourself in a big wide-open space which could have been used for much more enjoyment.

The single-player mode spans over six episodes which you can easily blast through in under ten hours if you really want to. There is also an online mode which supports 2 to 10 players. The game modes are your standard fare and to be quite honest, there is a lot better you can do on the PS3 right now for online playability with games like Call of Duty 4, and even Resistance still.

Blacksite: Area 51 fails in the aspect that you never get connected to the game in any way. The story is not good enough to draw you in, the characters are not real enough that you believe in them, the A.I. is not there, and the controls are generic and average. Overall the game really does not have one single unique draw to it which would remotely give gamers some enjoyment. For those who were anticipating the release of Blacksite: Area 51, you better rent this before you even think about dropping your hard-earned cash on it.

Graphics: 7.9

The visuals are actually nice with good character detail, nice levels. Some framerate issues though take away from the experience, and the levels just feel too wide-open with not enough in them.

Audio: 7.0

Nothing really noteworthy about the audio. Everything sounds as it should but there is nothing here that will stand out to you.

Gameplay: 5.0

There is nothing original about the way Blacksite: Area 51 plays. The controls are bland, A.I. is terrible, and it really is just not that fun.

Replay Value: 5.0

The single-player campaign is short and the game may not be enjoyable enough to even warrant spending a decent amount of time online.

Final Score: 5.5

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PCN Related News
 Midway Announced Blacksite: Area 51 for PS3, Xbox 36... 29/01/2007

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Nicarlo says:

I played the demo downloadble over the ps3 network and I was really not impressed by this game. A 5.5 is about right

Posted on Jan 5, 2008 11:03:08
Nicarlo says:

I played the demo downloadble over the ps3 network and I was really not impressed by this game. A 5.5 is about right

Posted on Jan 5, 2008 11:03:08
Nicarlo says:

I played the demo downloadble over the ps3 network and I was really not impressed by this game. A 5.5 is about right

Posted on Jan 5, 2008 11:03:08
BlackSite: Area 51 BLACKSITE: AREA 51
Publisher: Midway Games
Developer: Midway Studios - Austin
Genre: Action
ESRB: Early Childhood
Release: 2007-12-10
Wished: 0
PCN Rating: 5.5


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