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'Blacklight: Tango Down' brings nothing new, but low cost

Better to have a buddy when wading into a firefight.
Better to have a buddy when wading into a firefight.
  • Game plays similar to many other first-person shooters
  • Multiplayer action offers more fun than short solo missions
  • Only costs $15 through Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network

(CNN) -- "Blacklight: Tango Down" doesn't really bring anything new to the table for the genre of games in which you play as a soldier who shoots at people.

That is, except its exceptionally low cost -- $15.

The game features a lot of what other, more prominent shooter games offer. If you've played "Modern Warfare 2" or any of the "Battlefield" games, "Blacklight: Tango Down" will seem like more of the same.

The story doesn't do much to drive the action. Actually, the game's plot could be easily summed up like this: Point gun at enemy and shoot.

In the game's documentation, there's a back story about taking on rogue soldiers, but nothing from the narrative really makes itself known in game play.

Action takes place in a near future city setting where weapons and armor are slightly more high-tech than current weaponry. There are four Black Ops missions, which can be played alone or in cooperation with a buddy. These missions are very linear and slow-moving. Bad guys lurk around every corner and seem to know exactly where you are.

Dying during a mission means starting from the beginning again because there are no save points along the way. Completing a mission feels hollow with the lack of any boss battle at the end to let you know you've achieved a goal.

The real area where the game shines is in multiplayer action. Seven group games are available, from Last Man Standing to Team Deathmatch.

Weapons can be upgraded and experience is gained with each battle won. There are two new elements in the players' arsenal from the normal rifle, shotgun and pistol choices. A set of high-tech goggles allows gamers to see through walls to spot locations of enemies. The duration of the X-ray effect is only a few seconds and you can't fire your weapon while it is on.

There is also a grenade that creates a distortion dome so the bad guys can't spot you. Unfortunately, you can't see them through it either, so that weapon can help or hurt you, depending on the situation.

The scenery and effects in the game are well-rendered. The environments are able to look broody without being drenched in darkness. Enemies crumple realistically before disappearing in a puff of static.

What makes this game rise above other first-person, soldier shooters is the price. "Blacklight: Tango Down" is available for download on the PC, the Xbox Live Arcade or the PlayStation Network for a penny under $15.

The low cost combined with the good graphic and multiplayer game play counterbalances the weak story line and lack of solid single-player action. "Blacklight: Tango Down" is value for the money as long as you obey the old adage: You get what you pay for.


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