Platform PC review (Xbox arcade/PSN to follow)
Release date Out Now
Deep Black Reloaded is a game with a surprisingly in-depth storyline for a shooter, immersing the player into a world set some time in 2047 and rife with political intrigue, corporate espionage and good old back stabbing. The game designer’s innovative idea of placing some of the combat underwater makes it a refreshing break from the norm. That said there are some questionable gameplay decisions made by developers Biart that can make certain sections of the game frustratingly difficult.
Probably my biggest bug bear is that there is no health/shield/armour indicator meaning you have absolutely no idea when you’re about to die and you die quite a lot. Sometimes you die very quickly other times you seem to take several hits without a scratch. Surely letting the player know their character’s health is quite important for a shooter? This lets player take cover if their health is low and generally make tactical decisions about how to progress. Needless to say I died a lot which became quite frustrating. Others might find the missing health bar refreshing release from games that allow players to run and gun.
The game has many pluses, as mentioned earlier the story is refreshingly entertaining but also the background music really stands out in the game giving it a great atmosphere when things are quiet, or when enemies are present or not. It’s a shame this isn’t backed up by good voice acting (it’s not terrible but it’s not great either) which can spoil what would otherwise be some great gaming moments. That’s not to say the script itself is not without its own flaws but let’s face it this is a sci-fi game so you have to expect some cheese along the way.
Visually the game is quite impressive, this was reviewed on PC but to think this will be an Xbox arcade/PSN release too makes the level of detail really stand out. This looks good, sounds good and plays really well too.
The controls are in the standard WASD configuration but aiming can be a little problematic using the default controls so I’d recommend taking the time to adjust them to suit your own playing style or make use of a USB controller if that takes you fancy.
The level design is generally pretty good providing you with plenty of cover which gets progressively scarcer as you progress through the game. The missions are generally of the tunnel-shooter variety, forcing you to enter and leave the water as you progress through them, really letting you contrast the two over and underwater environments and learning how to navigate and take advantage of them.
Overall : To sum up Deep Black is very playable and will give most shooter fans a comprehensive sense of satisfaction as they blast through this visually impressive fully immersible game. Alas with the voice acting and some questionable game design choices I’m left feeling a little short-changed mainly as I think this could have been a great gaming experience if it was a little more polished and thought out. There is something in the game despite the flaws that i really connected with so I live in hope for a sequel.
For the moment it is still quite a solid third person shooter with some nice original idea’s well worth taking for a test run.
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