BlackSite: Area 51 Xbox 360

Metascore
62

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 48
  2. Negative: 3 out of 48
Buy On
  1. 85
    In actual fact I found this, while admittedly less spectacular, as enjoyable as anything else I've played on the 360. BlackSite never attempts to be innovative, but knows what it does best. A well-oiled working game is ridiculously hard to find these days and, if nothing else, BlackSite is certainly that.
  2. 80
    Blacksite is a decent enough FPS title that's the gaming equivalent of a summer action blockbuster: it sure as hell won't win any Oscars but it delivers just enough thrills to make you feel like you got your money's worth.
  3. If you're looking for a ground-breaking experience or a robust selection of multiplayer modes- BlackSite's don't offer much more than a weekend distraction--this isn't it. However, if you find the idea of fighting aliens in your own backyard appealing, you won't do better than BlackSite's relatable, the-truth-is-out-there experience.
  4. AceGamez
    80
    It looks great, plays great, sounds great and works well online, yet never pretends to be better than it is. It will slip under the radar of many gamers, but for those who are a fan of the genre it comes highly recommended.
  5. The graphics for the game are simply stunning. Normally, Midway games have pretty average graphics, but the graphics in BlackSite are very crisp and detailed.
  6. While the game was well paced, there wasn’t much depth to the individual gameplay facets used to break up regular running and gunning, and the lack of variety in weapons was disturbing for a shooter.
  7. I can see FPS fans having fun with BlackSite since it provides all the standard FPS rollercoaster thrills, but most of us have been up and down those hills a few too many times.
  8. Overall, the game does just enough to be good, but stops short of being great. Still, if you're an FPS fan looking for a break from Halo 3 or CoD 4, Blacksite: Area 51 is definitely worth taking a look at.
  9. 75
    BlackSite is a decent game unfortunately held back by poor AI and a lack of variety amongst the poorly designed enemies.
  10. 75
    The controls are silky smooth and responsive, the visuals are fantastic, and the multi-player is certainly proficient, but nothing really makes it stand out from the herd.
  11. Although Blacksite: Area 51 is a pretty good game it just doesn’t have the legs to make it one of those great experience.
  12. Games Master UK
    71
    A solid enough shooter but it struggles to distinguish itself from the very best titles. [Jan 2007, p.71]
  13. Over all BlackSite tries to slip itself into a niche squarely between the two benchmarks of FPS gaming, Call of Duty 4 and HALO 3. It unfortunately doesn't succeed in making that niche, in fact trying to make itself a little of one and the other it fails doing anything profound.
  14. A decent shooter, jam-packed with targetable Black Ops soldiers and aliens aplenty and showing moderately good production values, despite a few hitches. However, it's lightweight fluff compared to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and The Orange Box, especially when it comes to the slapped-together multiplayer and lack of story depth.
  15. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    70
    It’s a perfectly sound release but with so many top-notch shooters to choose from already, this is barely going to factor on the radars of many people. The shame.
  16. Blacksite: Area 51 is a decent game overall, however it feels like a game that is a shooter by numbers; offering very little that we've not seen before in other games.
  17. Pelit (Finland)
    70
    The beginning of the game is very promising. Graphics are great and athmosphere is high. Unfortunately game mechanics are very straight forward and everything has been seen before. If that's not bad enough, the AI is just stupid. [Jan 2008]
  18. Blacksite Area 51 is a textbook example of how half-assed ideas rushed to production become half-assed games. Instead of emulating Unreal, this game makes Hour of Victory look like Game of the Year.
  19. With a disappointingly forgettable story, solid but unremarkable action, and with little else to look forward to in the multiplayer mode, there's not much of a reason to dig for the truth behind this particular conspiracy.
  20. The shooting mechanic is passable, but aiming is excruciatingly slow. The morale mechanic is pretty forgettable.
  21. BlackSite: Area 51 is an ordinary first-person shooter that's held back by a collection of bugs and other issues.
  22. 64
    The fact of the matter is that "BlackSite: Area 51" is just like every other run-of-the-mill FPS out there. You can find better multiplayer in Halo 3, you can find a better storyline in Bioshock, and you can find a livelier environment in just about anything.
  23. The promise of fantastic squad features falls flat due to the poorly applied AI throughout the game.
  24. BlackSite: Area 51 isn’t a terrible game. It’s not even a bad game. It’s just not that memorable in what has become an overabundance of FPS titles available on the Xbox 360.
  25. The game is merely another mediocre bag of wasted potential tossed out that simply begs you to lower your expectations right before diving in.
  26. 60
    I don't dislike this game. Aside from a few minor graphical bugs and hiccups, BlackSite is unquestionably competent at what it does. It's just that what it does isn't particularly notable, or innovative, or memorable -- in either a good or a bad way. It's not even memorably mediocre. It's just...diverting, for 10 hours or so. You could say worse things about a game.
  27. 60
    BlackSite, which evolved from a light-gun coin-op game in the late 1990s, does its best to shadow "Halo 1"'s story in many respects, but regularly comes up short.
  28. The one aspect of BlackSite that stands out from the crowd is its not-so-subtle political commentary — for example, every mission is titled with a Bush-ism, like “Stay the Course,” “Mission Accomplished,” and “Regime Change,” and the game leaves nothing to the imagination regarding its designers’ political viewpoints. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you, but we just wish they’d woven it in a little better — no one likes being preached at when they’re trying to kill alien scum.
  29. 60
    In the end Blacksite is at times a fun shooter, but in a gaming landscape where games like Halo 3, Orange Box and Bioshock are currently available, Blacksite does little to make itself stand out.
  30. VideoGamer
    60
    Other than the odd set-piece, Blacksite has nothing to warrant recommending it above the other big hitters and some severe technical issues drag it down considerably.
  31. Apart from exciting moments that are few and far between, the game is dull and uninspiring.
  32. 60
    Blacksite: Area 51 is reasonable first-person shooter that looks quite nice. However, its short length and lack of ingenuity will keep most away until it hits the bargain bin.
  33. games(TM)
    60
    By not setting impossible standards, and despite its derivations from countless other better shooters. BlackSite has achieved that most important of objectives: it is entertaining from beginning to end. [Jan 2008, p.129]
  34. BlackSite: Area 51 is a noble attempt that really doesn’t shape up into anything.
  35. Blacksite's biggest issues aren't in the controls, but the lack of what you can do with them, not to mention the horrible enemy A.I.
  36. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    57
    At best, BlackSite is a poor man's "Resistance"; at worst, it's half of an unfinished game with a few cool set pieces. [Holiday 2007, p.74]
  37. As if the clearly unfinished development, many imperfections and unoriginal design weren’t enough, BlackSite also arrives in one of the best years ever for the FPS genre.
  38. BlackSite: Area 51 features a handful of fun moments blasting giant aliens, but there’s too much time spent in forgettable shootouts, the story fails to engage, and it’s so riddled with bugs that not even the Orkin Man can feel safe purchasing it.
  39. Were it not for the technical faults Blacksite would be a just-about-half-decent FPS, albeit one with an identity crisis. The graphics aren't all that bad, but you can never really see them because of the staggeringly arse-flavoured frame rate.
  40. FPS fan-boys might decide to give this one a rental, but the experience will likely be forgotten less than a day after completion.
  41. 50
    As a shooter, it's an awfully generic game that we're hard-pressed to recommend among the smorgasbord of significantly better FPS titles out there right now. As a political allegory, it's undermined by poor audio with no subtitles, heavy-handed storytelling, and little to emotionally invest in these characters.
  42. Little more than a seriously undercooked run-of-the-mill shooter that labours along with poor AI, botched squad handling and undemanding combat. With a desperately unfinished feel about it, Midway has ended up rushing a mediocre game onto the shelves at precisely the point when there's an embarrassment of riches for shooter fans.
  43. X-ONE Magazine UK
    50
    You like boring, generic, sub par shooters? No? Well don't buy BlackSite. [Issue 27, p.84]
  44. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    50
    Not that we were expecting something big from this game. But something like this, unfinished and with no personality whatsoever, will quickly drown in a highly competitive industry... even more so if it’s an FPS. [Jan 2008]
  45. Edge Magazine
    40
    Blacksite is a thoroughly unexceptional title for which unrealistic promises were made, and one that is further let down by a wide assortment of bugs and design issues. [Jan 2008, p.83]
  46. Five to six hours in and Blacksite curls up and expires, ending mercifully an experience that not even an alien would care to dissect.
  47. 20
    Instead of creating the game they promised themselves in the design documents, the end result is a spaceship sized wreck of catastrophic proportions and with very little redeeming qualities to prevent it from being placed at the very bottom of the bargain bin where it belongs.
User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 27
  2. Negative: 8 out of 27
  1. Jun 16, 2013
    0
    Being a huge fan of the first Area 51, I had high expectations for its sequel. However, what I had paid for (Thankfully, only $5), Was aBeing a huge fan of the first Area 51, I had high expectations for its sequel. However, what I had paid for (Thankfully, only $5), Was a butchering of one of my favorite games.
    I constantly found myself searching for a character to feel attached to. In the first Area 51, I found myself liking the traits of your teammates. In Blacksite, I feel that they were pushing the player toward liking them, and failing. The only generally likable character is the southern, ripped, "Murikan!" soldier. However, I had such a low sense of likability toward them, that I didn't even bother paying attention to their names.
    Of your teammates, you have a "Medic", who is poorly equipped, and you dislike from the start. A black guy, who is supposed to express the "family man in the war" feel, but winds up simply being a stereotypical "Black guy dies first" joke, at best. Then there's your ally, and final boss, the soldier who you and the medic leave for dead...because...uh....you....can?....And lastly, the comedic relief, the Pure-bred-American who seems to always have something "funny" to say.

    Getting away from the horrible characters, the story is horrible. The story of Blacksite, is the complete removal of the original Area 51's story. In essence, the events in Area 51 NEVER HAPPENED. Not only did that annoy me, as a fan of the first game, but to see Midway pull off such a terrible "Replacement" of a story, just left me in awe.

    Graphics were poor, I couldv'e easily seen this being on the first Xbox. Throw in some of the most ridiculous gameplay mechanics; a car that accelerates to full speed from its stopped position, floating guns after you kill an enemy, and conversations between your squad and civilians, that make me feel that i'm playing a game taking place in an autistic child's fantasy. (As rude as it sounds, there is a scene fairly early in the game, where a man armed with a pistol, upon his house being completely destroyed by a giant worm creature, then tries to attack the worm, claiming "YEEAA I HAVE A GUN!").

    In addition to all previous problems, the game's difficulties are just sad. There's three modes: Easy, Medium, and Hard. And i'll break them down. (Fun fact for this, I'll use the term "Morale" a lot, that shows how your squad is doing. high morale means more accurate bullets from your allies, along with more taunting and actual fighting. Low morale means they will hide, shoot inaccurately, and be virtually no help).
    Easy- Morale will almost always be high, and your character is a human tank. In essence, Master Chief on beginner difficulties wishes he could match that kindv'e armor.
    Normal- Morale will be all over the place. Some areas will be easy, much easier than you'd expect. Other areas will throw suddenly cheep A.I. spikes at you, and drain your allies Morale in a instant. Mix that with a huge drop in heath from easy mode, and this is actually a difficult, yet beatable, difficulty.
    Hard- Ridiculously hard. Your squad's morale will rarely go above low, and your health...well...you don't really have any. You're probably not going to enjoy this mode at all. Then again...would anyone enjoy this game at all?

    In summary: This game is a pathetic attempt of an uninformed reboot to a nice game. Pathetic characters, horrible A.I. and game mechanics, low weapon count (Less than the original game, I believe), horrible difficulty spikes in different difficulties, and poor graphics.

    I really wanted to like SOMETHING about this game...Whether it be an ally, a gun, a map, the story...just something, but there is really nothing fun about this buggy mess.
    Full Review »
  2. NiklasA.
    Dec 12, 2009
    1
    I remember when the demo came out, and I played it thinking it was going to be sweet. But when I did play it, I was simply dissapointed at a I remember when the demo came out, and I played it thinking it was going to be sweet. But when I did play it, I was simply dissapointed at a high level. The multiplayer is cheaply worked, and contains very few multiplayer options in camparison to what was promised. The graphics weren't impressive, and the aliens shootinghoming barf balls is a crock of garbage. The cars that accelerate to full speed in 2 seconds is wack. The story's emotions hardly hit you they way the were planned, and the scripted horror scenes were a riot. I was deeply amused by the cut scene whith a floating crystal that flashes a picture of a 70' classic green alien on your screen. The scene when you and the chick are on the elevator was l hysterically horribly made, because the voice acting was prett horrible, and the script didnt show much reality. I advise to not consider investinng any maoney into this game. Full Review »
  3. JoE
    Mar 14, 2008
    0
    Very possibly the worst game i have every played. if you purchase it i hope it is to ritualistically burn it. its not even worth the time to Very possibly the worst game i have every played. if you purchase it i hope it is to ritualistically burn it. its not even worth the time to waste on it. so horribly glitchy and just bad. short, few weapons, crappy ai, bad game in general. Full Review »