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BLACK PS2 Demo - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Gamerz' started by enoonmai, Jan 31, 2006.

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  1. enoonmai

    enoonmai New Member

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    I dont know how many of you knew this, but EA has been silently handing out BLACK demo discs to people who have pre-ordered and for free at some select outlets. Some kind soul got one and uploaded the demo to the Internet, where I managed to get my grubby hands on it. And boy, am I reeling with joy.

    First off, for those who own a PS2 and a good Internet connection, here's how you can get the demo for yourself. (The demo is NTSC, so you will need a modded PS2 in case you don't have one)

    Download the Black Demo Disc from here: (Size: 147.56 MB)
    Download via BitTorrent (recommended)
    Download from Rapidshare - Part 1 and Part 2

    If you've downloaded the disc via BT, unrar the ISO file and use the ISO Write option in DVD Decrypter to burn the image to a CD at 2x-4x. Remember not to use any other program other than DVD Decrypter if you want the disc to work.

    If you've downloaded the disc via RS, then unrar the ISO files and then get yourself a copy of ISOBuster and CDGenPS2 (Download them here) and extract the ISO files to some directory with ISOBuster. Open CDGenPS2 and drag and drop all the extracted files into the right pane and right click the SYSTEM.CNF file and select the Edit option. Check the Fix LBA box and enter 12331 for the LBA value. Click on VOL on the left pane and delete the CDGENPS2 label and then click the IMG button to save the contents as another new ISO file somewhere (You will get the "THE BOAT ARRIVED AT PORT!" message when it completes). Burn this ISO file with Nero or your favorite CD burning program.

    BLACK Demo - First Impressions:

    Talk about gun porn! It doesn't get better than this game, that's for sure. What the hell am I talking about? This is the equivalent of the world's largest orgy when it comes to guns and bullets and wanton, unbelievable destruction. Its no secret that the people at Criterion are lunatics right up there with the guys from Monster House, taking extreme pleasure from spectacular destructions, as anyone who has played Burnout will attest to. They just brought the excessive destructive streak seen in the Burnout games to an FPS and boy, I mean it, I've never seen such extreme destruction in any other FPS till date.

    The intro to the demo featuring high-definition "gun porn"- golden, glistening guns and ammo being smacked around, locked, cocked and put into action is enough to drive anyone mad with the itch for getting into the game and get blasting right away. The 10-minute time-limited demo features a single level - the Veblensk City Streets, where your primary objective is to rendezvous with your buddies from the Black Cell while taking out as many "bullet fodder" aka enemies, as possible. If you do not complete the demo mission within the 10-minute limit (imposed by the demo, not the level), the demo ends and you have to restart the mission.

    Graphics:
    Needless to say, true to Criterion's reputation, the graphics are, for lack of a better word, spectacular. Sure, they're not next-gen, but they're right up there with Burnout. If you aren't foaming at the mouth in the first 2 seconds when you glimpse a loaded clip smacked into a golden AK-47, which is then cocked, then something is seriously wrong with your eyes. The guns are modeled extremely realistically, right down to where you can actually see the round getting chambered if you look close enough. That's how high detail the guns and ammo are. Of course, you will cream your pants in orgasm when you actually start firing and see the shell casings explode out in a torrent of deadly fire. The environment is so richly detailed and the look of urban warfare is spectacularly captured with broken, blown-up buildings, shattered glass windows and other structural and vehicular debris lying around on the ground, which serves as extreme cover. (Just remember to make sure that you don't stand near a car whose gas tank is still not ruptured unless you want to be blown up to kingdom come) The particle effects are extreme - the amount of dust that gets kicked up in a firefight is so much that at times, you can't even see what you are shooting into. Not to mention the extreme decals that your carnage leaves on the environment. The environment actually retains the decals like FEAR and the other new games, adding to the sense of realism and accumulated damage, whether its the spectacular destructions or the light streaming in through the semi-transparent windows in the lull before the storm.

    Sound:
    There isn't much to hear in this game as far as dialogues go. There is supposed to be a lot of radio communication in the game, but there is none in the demo, so I can't comment on that. However, the environmental sounds and effects are absolutely top-notch again. The sounds of your weapon discharging, reloading and the brass ejecting are all supremely satisfying. Hearing the sound of a clip being smacked into the assault rifle and cocked is so realistic, you will actually smile in evil joy. The other sound effects of the explosions, distant gunfire, collapsing structures are all beautifully recorded, and the game gives a great rich aural experience, as was expected.

    Gameplay:
    OK, so there isn't much to gameplay except running around and shooting and blowing up stuff. But technically, Burnout wasn't much other than crashing your ride and making others crash theirs. And we all know how much fun that was. In the same way that the Burnout series revolutionized the arcade racing scenario, BLACK is all set to redefine the arcade shooter experience. If you're expecting a story, any sort of it, from BLACK, drop all ideas immediately. The game is nothing but pure fun that can be had from destroying everything around you, and at that, it succeeds wildly. The demo's weapons are limited to frag grenades, a Glock 9mm, a SPAS-12 shotgun and an AK-47 assault rifle, but there are tons of other weapons in the game, as you can see from the intros, including grenade launchers, RPGs, BFGs and a ton of other lesser intensity (compared to these behemoths) weapons like MP5s, Dragunov sniper rifles, Ingrams, etc. The environment in this game is your ally and your enemy, as you will be assaulted simultaneously from various points, in front, behind, to the side of and above and below you - all at the same time. Cover is available at every place in the game, but its lifespan can be relatively short, forcing you to quickly relocate before your player transforms from living being to dead meat. Cover is available in the form of vehicles, buildings, debris and by crouching behind these, you can buy yourself enough time to take out your enemies or at least thin them out before you finish them.

    Although, this also proves to be a double edged sword. The car that you are hiding behind can be blown up, the stone that you are hiding behind can be plastered with gunfire making it disintegrate quickly, the building you are hiding in can have its support structures, like pillars, support columns, etc. blown up, crushing you under the building itself or the falling debris. Its up to you to use your enemies' cover against them and make sure you stay alive yourself. The game uses positional damage indicators, like in Half-Life 2 or Call of Duty 2, to indicate which direction the damage you are taking is coming from, allowing you to concentrate your fire there. The game also incorporates locational damage for you and your enemies, so head shots are more effective than wasting ammo on the torso or chest, where there is armor protection. The game also features stellar collision detection, so a single headshot is enough to bring you or your enemy down if aimed right. Which is even more better that the guns in the game allow you to change the firing mode for weapons, for example, single shot, semi-automatic or fully-automatic with the press of the Up button, which you will use depending on your situation. So, for example, if you are hiding at a place where you can see the enemy and he is in range, you might want to switch to single shot mode for your assault rifle and blow them up rather than waste ammo in the Automatic mode, which would prove more useful in making your enemy duck for cover when you yourself are moving from cover to cover.

    Which brings us neatly to AI in the game. While you fight with a squad in the game, they are not directable in any way and are wholly computer controlled, and at least, as far as the demo went (may not be indicative of the final game of course) they just managed to take a lot of fire and still stay alive. Maybe they had armor, but I distinctly remember that your teammates COULD die in the game, as it progressed. Oh well! Coming to the enemies, they actively seek out cover although they are idiotic enough to peek out or run from cover when you are hosing them down with bullets. Sure, they're not the mercs from Far Cry or the Clones from FEAR, but what they lack in intelligence, they make up for in numbers. The game overwhelms you with wave after wave of enemies, and considering that the game (at least the demo) allows you to carry only 3 health packs with you, you could easily wind up dead, considering that if you are not under cover while reloading (which is realistic, meaning expect at least 3-5 seconds for many of the high-powered weapons) you could easily wind up dead. But that's where the fun is, right? The controls are smooth and responsive enough and movement is fast enough to make the battle interesting but not drawn out. And oh, did I mention that the best feature is also the ability to actually shoot through walls (yeah, yeah, I know its been done in other games before) but you can actually hit (and get hit) if the wall is thin enough or the ammo is high-caliber enough to penetrate the wall. The physics are equally good, and the enemies die in accordance with perfect ragdoll physics and watching a guy come tumbling out of the 5th floor window after you shoot the poor bastard through the throat is REALLY satisfying to see. And oh yes, this game has the most satisfying way of opening a door EVER! - the only way to open a door in this game is to actually blow it off its hinges and watch it fall slowly in a cloud of smoke. Tell me there's a better way to open doors, coz I doubt it. The HUD is minimal enough to display the necessary information such as health, health packs, ammo and reserves and your current stance, without getting in the way of the action. All in all, a good design.

    Ater having played such a small demo, I am completely worked up about the game and can't wait to get my hands on the full version next month. Knowing Criterion and having sampled their latest offering, I am sure I won't be disappointed. Here are some photos I took during gameplay.

    Loading Screen 1
    Start Screen
    Controls/Game Load
    Mission Screen
    Options Screen
    In-game: SPAS-12 Shotgun
    In-game: Glock 9mm
    In-game - AK-47 Assault Rifle

    The final score for the demo?
    Graphics - 8.5/10
    Sound and Sound Effects: 9/10
    Gameplay: 8/10
    Presentation: 8/10
    Value: 5/10 (its too short, the demo is)
    Tilt: 9/10
    Overall (not an average): 8/10

    I suggest you all read through the IGN preview of the massive Naszran Town level here for added oomph.
     
  2. tarey_g

    tarey_g Hanging, since 2004..

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  3. Chyawanprash

    Chyawanprash New Member

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    ya i played the game, creamed in my pants, when the bullets flew out like dildos, seeking (). the bullets flew into the enemy, again & again, harder and faster, oh so hard oh so fast, and the target was moaning, i dont know with pain or pleasure
     
  4. dIgItaL_BrAt

    dIgItaL_BrAt New Member

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    not exactly the right choice of words...
     
  5. vmp_vivek

    vmp_vivek New Member

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    Hey enoonmai,
    Is the demo available for Xbox ? :)
     
  6. KoRn

    KoRn New Member

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    talking about the porn and dirrrttyyy stufff like not allowed cuz if it is den dont get me started anyways will wait for a reply from mods
     
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