Like so many others, the conceit for this game was fascinating. Underwater open environments! New and interesting ways to fight in a dystopian, cyberpunkian future ruled by merciless corporations! Lots of other stuff that, at most, gets passing mention in this game and has no bearing on the gameplay whatsoever! Actually playing the game is the deepest (...hah.) of disappointments. Thrill at having trouble getting onto a half-submerged staircase! Marvel at the stiffest protagonist movement since Resident Evil 1! Experience the pulse-pounding irritation of trying to make the sloppy, broken aiming work! This game not only did not learn from the current generation of FPS games' mistakes, it's still not sure that the mistakes of the 90s were really something from which to learn. Did I give this game a fair try? No, not really. After about half an hour of already repetitive, narrow corridors, enemies so bland I'm still not sure whether there was more than one enemy character model, godawful broken shooting, and getting caught on boxes and corners while trying to run around, I gave up. Still, as the game is fairly pretty (except when it's actually moving or trying to do anything) and boasts mediocre voice acting to go with the atrocious script, as well as having at least attempted something novel, I feel that it has earned its 2. This would have been significantly higher, no doubt, had they opted for a novel, interesting concept which they had some sort of idea for using.
This game is like neon underlighting for your toaster. It's a kinda neat, odd idea that looks cool for a little while then makes you regret spending your money on such an utter waste of technology.… Full Review »
1Plus: A nice idea. Normal: normal modern/scifi settings. Bad: Clunky unagile movement, bad controls both above ground and below. Character cannot jump! A million invisible walls. Stupid enemies. Chest high walls. Cannot grouch unless in front of a afore mentioned chest high wall. A crappy crappy crappy console port. I'm sorry about offensive language, but the port is absolutely awful that I cannot stipulate it enough. I need to say that I usually play pc-end shooters an bought this just to see what the commotion was about. The port between a xb pad and mouse is so damn horrible that stay away!… Full Review »
2Why is it that games set in the ocean even when few and far between correlate so strongly with bad design? Hydrophobia: prophecy, Deadly Tide, and now Deep Black: Reloaded. I suppose I should have been warned LONG before I even made it to the register with this tome after all the game's unique selling point, right there on the front of the case was the fact that it 'supports nVidia's 3D technology!' But even after the install, I was leaning far, FAR back in my seat from the intro sequence when I was given a set of bullet points in lieu of an ACTUAL introduction. Then the dialogue started. Oh my god. No the voice acting isn't terrible, and no it's not as bad as sitting through Space Marine, but if there wasn't a 13 year old kid with ADHD and an obsession with burning things on the production staff of this game I will be surprised. There's the hispanic mission ops lady with the predictible accent and poor grasp of enlgish aphorisms, the over-testosteroned banter and deadpan delivery in the face of certain death and the enemies who not only spout the same three lines at you, that often make no sense: 'Unloading Grenade!' What grenade? The only truly immersing part of the dialogue is the assortment of 12 or more death screams... Yeah. When you put MOST of your effort into how people sound when their shattered bodies finally give out I'm gonna want to keep you away from the sharp things.
Oh and when it comes to certain death... Oh god the gameplay! What the hell were they thinking? I've never been a fan of Third-Person Shooters but this one is capital B.A.D. BAD. You run about 15 degrees to starboard of where you shoot and zooming in just exacerbates this disparity, if it wasn't for the auto-regenerating health it would be an even bigger headache. Even the underwater movement feels clunky. And in a game suffused with chest-high walls, only SOME of them are useable as cover, generally in combat areas, but even still that's yet another black mark against this game. The even MORE annoying thing about this cover mechanic is that the cover key is context dependent. Pressed when you're not taking cover you will do a roll in the relevant direction you happen to be moving. Wouldn't be so bad if the roll actually DID something, you move a total of about three inches while being completely exposed to enemies all over the shop. Also, why is there no jump key? Chest-high walls aside, it would be SUPER handy to be able to vault over cover and jump the odd railing. But obviously this was removed from the game to cover for the level design which features MANY areas which a player with a jump key could easily fall into and not get out of (unless someone invented say, a ladder), and the game would lose about HALF of it's ridiculously short key-quest style stair lowering 'quests' which amount to crossing a single room while facing maybe three or less braindead AI enemies.
That aside, with a proper amount of polish this game would actually be quite good, but the big problem is EVERYTHING needs polishing. The control system is half-finished, the level design--while it flows okay-- is still too simple and suffers from the aforementioned puzzle mechanic, the AI is boring, and predictible resembling space invaders more than current-gen shooters, and the weapons are bland, uninspired and look like they were picked out of Master Chief's weapons locker. The writing needs a lot more flesh on it before it can be called a story, and the truly sad part here is someone OBVIOUSLY had an idea, had a coherent sequence of ideas which did in fact resemble a chain of events and not just a few footnotes hastily scribbled on a whiteboard somewhere. Were it not for the fact that this game apparently has its own proprietary engine I would have said that Deep Black resembles an indie game done by a bunch of high-school kids, but the fact is that someone sank a lot of money into what amounts to a giant turd, and not a very polished one at that.… Full Review »