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.
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.
I know this game isn't amazing however I really enjoyed this game and found the story rather interesting. The gameplay was just like any other shooter and easy to get use to. The environments were decent. The graphics were pretty nice for the year this game was made in. Also, if you paid close attention throughout the story there was a few neat references to Star Wars and X-Men. Go give the game a shot and remember that this is a older Xbox 360 game.
We all know that there are FPS action games that take the trophy with every release in their series and anything which tries to copy is rarely recognised as being an ambitious and inspirational game. "Blacksite" is no exception. This game will allow you to take on the alias of "Pierce", the sergeant of a small squad of elite soldiers which you will become acquainted with for the duration of the game. The beginning of the game takes place in Iraq, where you and your squad are looking for WMD's in a large Taliban base. Whilst carrying out the mission, you'll find more than you bargained for. After the Iraq prologue, the true enemy reveals itself as some kind of alien species and it's your job to stop its invasion of US soil, as well as find the culprit behind it all. The first thing you'll notice about the technical side of this game is the graphics. Blacksite was built on a modified version of the Unreal engine, allowing for more realistic looking textures and player models. However, these graphics aren't nearly enough to compensate for the amount of bugs and glitches that this game holds. At first, you'll excuse most of them, but over time they will definitely add up. The little things, such as guns and ammunition floating in mid air will quickly annoy you. This, coupled with glitch filled and predictable environments and slow frame rates, will be just enough to make you want to get the game over with. Blacksite doesn't get any better in the gameplay department either. The AI are predictable and lackluster, and the lack of variety in levels will make for a mediocre playing experience. Also, the idea of commanding a squad isn't nearly as cool as it sounds. They are, at many times, utterly useless except for the increasingly annoying times when you have to get them to open doors for you, because apparently you're too good for that. On top of these gameplay issues, Blacksite is far too easy. An annoying crosshair will always eliminate any challenge that even comes close to you, regardless of whether you aim of not. These issues could have easily been fixed if the game's development was not so rushed and more time was allowed for the developers to identify its flaws. In summary, the fans of big popular FPS's such as "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" will not make a good impression, but will be respected for its effort and lengthy campaign. Don't expect this game to be great, but give it a go and see what you think.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The story itself I think is perfectly satisfactory and held my interest the whole way through, wanting to discover more the closer we got to the depths of Area 51. The story does end rather abruptly and you’re not given much in terms of exposition before the credits roll. Overall, the story mostly boils down to a typical military jarhead kind of narrative with not much in the way of any character development.
The core mechanics of the game are pretty standard for the time and are perfectly functional: you’ve got regenerating health, a two weapon limit, a weapon melee attack, you can crouch behind rocks or walls to take cover and you can ADS with your weapons for better accuracy. There is no sprint function, which is kind of a shame and makes traversing the levels kind of slow and tedious. I did notice some destructible cover in the game, such as doors or partially fractured concrete barriers. It’s a nice detail that I wasn’t expecting to find in this game and actually forced me to move and find new cover a few times instead of just camping. The primary gameplay loop involves progressing through mostly linear, scripted action sequences: shoot some “Reborn” soldiers and/or Xenos, move through a hallway to the next objective/combat arena, have a mini boss fight where you need to shoot it’s glowing weak spots as well as fend of smaller groups of canon fodder and repeat. Similar to the story, the gameplay loop and core mechanics are also perfectly satisfactory, if a tad unremarkable and largely repetitive. However, it functions as needed and I was alright with that. The weapon arsenal works as needed but is very limited in terms of what you can use. You have an M4 assault rifle, a USP .45 Tactical Pistol, an XM8 Sniper Rifle, Frag Grenades, a rocket launcher and an AK-47 which is only available during the start of the game when you’re fighting the Iraqi Republican Guard. You’ll also only get access to two of the “Reborn” weapons, which are an energy scattergun which behaves sort of like a shotgun and a Plasma rifle with rounds that can be detonated mid-flight.
For a contemporary FPS game for that time, that arsenal is way too small in scope. There are no variants of other weapons or alt fire modes and having just two “Reborn” weapons feels like it’s really short-changing the player. The lack of weapon variety can also make the shooting and the overall gameplay feel even more repetitive than its already is. Occasionally, the combat arena gets broken up with either driving sections where there’s not a whole lot of expositional dialogue or combat (it’s often better just to drive past the fight and hit the next checkpoint), “on-a-rail” sections like a mounted vehicle turret or a helicopter minion or a turret section.
The game also features a light tactical element to it: you can press the RB and order your team to focus fire on a targeted enemy or move to other areas of the combat arena. While this sounds useful in theory, like using it to have them flank enemies or provide covering fire, in practice your squad mates will often just mover into an open area and get gunned down or take there sweet ass time trying to take down a single enemy. It’s often just more expedient to kill the enemies yourself and the only time I regularly used this command was when you need them to open doors in order to progress the game.
Graphically, I think the game is fine for 2007. The textures are of decent quality and the lighting seems okay. It does kind of overdo it with the bloom effects, but plenty of other games from around that time period were also guilty of that.
On a technical level, this game does have some issues. The most egregious one being the frame rate. It never really feels all that steady. It dips pretty frequently when loading in a new area and during certain combat encounters. It’s at it’s worst during the final chapter as you fight your way deeper into Area 51. There were at least 3 or 4 times where the frame rate dropped down into Powerpoint Presentation territory, despite the fact that there wasn’t a lot happening on screen. Thankfully, it never screwed me over during a combat section or mini-boss encounter but it’s arguable the game’s biggest technical flaw. The loading times feel mostly fine. I didn’t notice any significant texture pop-in or streaming and got no hard crashes.
Blacksite: Area 51 can be some half decent fun as a mindless, alien shooter. But overall, it’s a textbook example of a middling game. The mechanics all function well enough and the game doesn’t overstay its welcome. But it’s just kind of a forgettable FPS game that doesn’t really excel at any one thing nor does it execute any really poorly either. If you can find a copy of it for a bargain basement price and you’ve got an afternoon to kill, you could do worse than Blacksite: Area 51.
Here are some questions to consider. Have you played Gears of War and thought it would work well if it was a military First Person Shooter instead? Do you like mediocrity? Can you settle for average? Can you cope with bad programming? Have you played every shooter you can think of and still want more, regardless of quality? Blacksite is the game you're looking for. Imagine Battlefield 3's campaign on a (VERY) tight budget, much lower quality and generally worse in every way. Blacksite is not a bad game, but not one that you would buy unless you have no alternatives. Graphics are not horrible but the lighting is practically non-existent and in desperate need of about 32x anti-aliasing. It runs on Unreal Engine 3 and is one of the more dated games. You can tell it's old from the old-school levels (very simple, walk and shoot), dumb AI and an average cliche modern American war action story. Achievements aren't good either. The only thing that's really impressed me is the shooting mechanics. Finally, a game where you can play purely by hip-firing, but with an ADS option as well. It kinda reminds me of Prey, but instead of making obvious its old-school mechanics it tries to make itself look better than it is. Controls are OK but could be better; certainly much better than some games. What really lets it down is how it FEELS low budget due to the medieval programming. Not so much glitchy/buggy, but when you play it you feel like it's still in the development stage, and that the levels aren't properly finished. Some games try to cover up lazy design subtly. This game makes no such efforts. It feels scripted and coded by amateurs with little concern over user experience; whereas other games flow much more smoothly with fewer faults. If you get this game, you should expect nothing more than a budget shooter.
If half-Baked could be an artform, Area 51 would be a Picasso. There are pieces **** game here, but it got put together all wrong. I spent most of playthrough laughing, either at one of the worst assembled story lines EVER, or at the various very entertaining glitches. How this got past Beta testing is beyond me. It's as if they designed seven differnet games, and then just through them together and had a programmer write a plot. Midway does Half-Baked Right!
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 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 **** 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 **** 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.
SummaryFeaturing a powerful single-player campaign, along with multiple online multiplayer modes,
BlackSite: Area 51 delivers vicious combat action, next generation graphics and A.I., and a plethora of powerful weapons and vehicles. Set in present day, players take the role of a decorated military veteran charged by the government to lead a s...