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Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.0
Value 7.5
Review Date: Mar 2012
Developer:
Biart
Reviewer:
Josh Waters

7.5


Deep Black: Reloaded

Biart's new third person shooter, Deep Black: Reloaded, continues a growing tradition of underwater-themed Biart games albeit in a more serious, edgy style. The hero of the story, Pierce, will traverse air, land, and sea (okay, just land and sea) to stop a terrorist organization's nefarious plans. Alright, so the story isn't a huge selling point: Action is. Consider Deep Black something of a mix between Gears of War and Metal Slug. There’s a lot of fighting, but with a third-person strategic element to it, using lots of cover for the best effect. 

The main single-player mode is the meat of this game. With around 40 levels to hack through, there's no lack of effort here. The environments sport considerable detail and obvious planning. That having been said, much of the game does not incorporate a great deal of clever puzzle elements. Pierce's harpoon device is what you generally use for puzzles, but it essentially adds up to shooting a button to lower a bridge or open a door. An underwater jetpack is one of the game's mechanics, and that sometimes becomes involved as well. Of course, you aren't looking for Resident Evil here, but one of the challenges that arcade-style games have in design is keeping the play from becoming too monotonous over the course of the game. Unfortunately, so much repetition does become a tad boring.  

Keeping the game afloat are intense battles, usually in the form of "drones" under water. In the best of situations, this means a gunfight where expert players will learn to utilize their jetpack to the best effect and enjoy the challenge. In the worst cases, it's just another repetitive situation that doesn't challenge you at all. One early-game enemy quickly grapples with you before you can repel it, and then you are presented with what at first appears to be a "quick time event" mini game... but turns out to just be a prompt to repeatedly mash "f" to win every time. On the bright side, boss-style fights are refreshing and intense, generally providing an interesting layout of cover objects and a definite feeling of accomplishment afterward. 

The sound for Deep Black is for the most part quite decent. The sound effects are satisfying, underwater noises have a good feel to them, and the voice acting is, though a little corny, fairly well played. One issue, though, is the "death gurgles" of slaughtered enemy humanoids. Virtually every enemy soldier downed results in a hearty "Urrrrggggghgggghgggggg" which, though it might make you giggle a little at first, quickly becomes very old. 

 

Multiplayer is not a big selling point for this game. It gives off the impression of having been included for completion's sake, and features like room selection are not available - instead, you either create a match and wait for players to enter, or attempt to be "quick matched" to somebody else's game.  

Biart stresses that the game is very arcade and action oriented, not to be compared to hardcore titles; and this really gets to the heart of the matter. Deep Black offers waves of enemies on land and somewhat more strategic, cover-based battle in the sea. Included are boss fights, a decent multitude of weapons, and a nifty jetpack mechanic. Don't expect to fight Deus Ex or Battlefield 3 here. If all of that sounds great to you, I think the odds are that you'll enjoy Deep Black. 

Josh Waters






 
 



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