May 2, 2012"Deep Black: Episode I" is an FPS for XBLA, which costs 800ms points, and is the first of two episodes. The game's story takes place in 2047, in a world where there is much poverty and scarce basic resources, and where international mega-corporations dominate the world. Are you an anti-terrorist agent who is send to invade a research facility underwater, to rescue civilians and secret data, but is not quite what happens there ...
The game's graphics are adequate to the appropriate environments, especially the submarines ones, which have a good amount of detail and effects, ranging from light to turbulence. Out of the water, the thing is not so nice: the enemies have a somewhat weak character detail that is repetitive, but the scenarios are OK.
In the audio department, the game features music that matches the action, despite being very generic and in the background. The big disappointment is the voice overs; Deep Black have one of the worst acting that games I ever played: all the dialog, whether they are inside or outside the water (and you use a mask 100% of the time), are equal, as if all the characters where in a room, talking - and the acting is extremely clichÃ©.
When the enemies die, outside or inside the water, they have a ridiculous screaming, that is quite be funny, and when in the water, they make a drowning sound, although they where killed by head shots - and if you throw a harpoon at a land enemy and pull him to the water, the sounds outside or inside are the same. Moreover, the sounds are good (gunfire, explosions, etc..), but nothing great.
The gameplay is different from other third-person shooters, as the game is a mix of action in and outside the water: out of the water, the game behaves like a generic shooter, which reminded me greatly "Matt Hazard", but with a worse sight and not very precise. It uses an generic weapons set: pistols, shotguns, machine guns and grenades, as basic weapons, with plenty of ammunition scattered in the environments.
In the water, the movement is different, and you use thrusters to cross areas with water currents. Furthermore, you can't use grenades, and the dead enemies float freely. Another feature is the use of a harpoon that can be used to hack control panels and drones, and to pull enemies into the water.
The game has three basic difficulties (Easy, Normal, and Insane), and is more difficult by the glitchy gameplay, that is not very accurate. The opponent AI is dumb, and they announce themselves screaming, before entering the screen, not having a very real behavior in action, but what makes the game more challenging is the amount of enemies that can appear at the same time, along with the cover system, which is not always effective.
The game is linear, with well-defined objectives and stages that are easy to follow: you can roll, but there is no option to jump, and the game ends up paying off, more fun in the underwater parts of it. The health system it's a auto-regenerative one. There is a multiplayer mode, but I did not tested it.
Ultimately, the game stands out briefly for having a submarine, setting and gameplay, but misses the spot in other details, that I cited as negatives: bad aim, bad enemy AI, repetitive design and ridiculous performances. For 800ms points, it's a average game, if the game not possessed two episodes - it's nothing that stands out greatly in the middle of other generic shooters, but it is playable, and have a different approach.… Expand
Jun 30, 2012It's not that bad as a game. Even though it faces some technical problems and some references in gameplay of Dead Space (Not so much actually) this game is not half bad. Not a complete waste of time either as the gameplay is pretty standard and fun for a third-person shooter.
May 29, 2012It is great to see more games of this quality appearing on download services such as Xbox Live Arcade, as it shows that those platforms are viable for bigger and better games. Deep Black Episode 1 may miss step in a couple of places and have an extremely abrupt ending, but it is a competent shooter that is defiantly worth a look, if you enjoy the genre. Just don't expect anything ground breaking in terms of story.