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PC Game Review
It’s always good to see independent software studios putting out games, their continued existence holds out hope that game creation is still a vibrant and moderately successful endeavour in economically troubled times.
Deep Black: Reloaded, from Biart, sees a bleak future full of terrorism and professional company soldiers. Anyone who has played a first person shooter (FPS) will be familiar with the environment. Game makers seem to think that if their games are placed in a fictitious near future, then the wanton mayhem which come with killing endless waves of AI goons, is more acceptable.
Given that the market has a glut of such games, any new entrant really needs to have something special going for it to raise it above the competition, unfortunately for Deep Black, it lacks any such edge. It’s not that it’s a complete stinker of a game, taken in isolation; it has both strength and weaknesses.
So, you play your little character as he swims and runs around. The first thing which strikes you about the game is the colour scheme, which is predominantly muted blues and greys, it would appear that the future has a lot less colour in it, this becomes a little tedious after a couple of hours of play.
The environments are well detailed, with lots of convenient objects to hide behind during fire fights, though don’t expect to interact too much with it as it remains mostly static, leading to the irritation of not being able to move or destroy objects, or even open doors. This is not an environment which encourages free movement and interaction because, ultimately the game is linear. So long as you are moving from one objective to another, this isn’t too noticeable, but try and do anything different and your limitations are immediately obvious.
The script is cheesier than sweaty camembert. Presumably, the deep baritone of our protagonist sounds sufficiently heroic in its native Russian, but to a western audience it sounds like the guy who seems to have cornered the market in movie trailer narration. The scripted conversations are likewise risible. Now, you may take this as a knowing wryly, witty take on the sort of nonsense which usually passes as speech in action adventure films, but I’m not convinced that this isn’t just poorly written.
There are various modes of play. Campaign, sees you taking on the story alone. Although there are options for online, multiplayer action, nobody seems to be playing at the moment, so I cannot comment on the online experience.
Had the game been release a couple of years ago, then the general impression would have been one of reserved approval, especially if the script and vocal acting were radically changed, but placed against the best of the genre and Deep Black looks like a game whose time has passed. It’s an ok shooter, with ok AI and an ok environment, but this is not going to make it compete well with games who have taken the genre to a new level.