Blacklight Tango Down review shoots from the hip!

BLACKLIGHT TANGO DOWN IS LAUNCHED IN UK ON XBOX LIVE

UTV Ignition bring AAA gaming to the download title with their stunning  Blacklight Tango Down

Arriving in a hail of automatic weapons fire comes the awesome downloadable title from UTV Ignition and Zombie Studio’s, Blacklight Tango Down.

We have been waiting with baited breath to get our grubby little mitt’s on this gem of a title ever since we brought you the first screenshots that we had on this game back in the Salad Days of May, 2010. With all that the developers were promising from this title it seemed that if anything, it was going to be just too much to acheive, that a game hyped up so much could really deliver the goods, when after all was said it done it was, at the end of the day, nothing more really than just another arcade shooter?

Well let us tell you here and now people, if this is your outlook on Blacklight Tango Down then get ready to take a huge bite out of the Humble Pie that Zombie Studio’s are having delivered as we speak, and as for Ignition? Well, they are salting your ‘beanie’ for your sensititve palate to munch on, following your ill-advised “I’ll eat my hat” statement, as everything they promised has come to fruition, and then some. Blacklight Tango Down quite literally comes out all guns blazing!

This online co-op shooter also comes with a solo ‘Black Ops’ Mode so don’t worry if you have all the reaction speeds of an arthritic pensioner, you will still be able to take advantage of the cracking gameplay that is on offer to you in this first person shooter action epic. In fact, it is in said ‘Black Ops Mode’ that we will begin this review.

Greeted with the main menu upon completion of the download via Xbox Live, you will notice that the game offers up three modes of Quick Match ,  PrivateMatch, and then of course there is the first mode that we have opted to dissect for you, which is ‘Black Ops.’ For those of you out there who love nothing more than fragging the ‘Beejaysus’ out of every living thing that comes wandering into their HUD, then we can safely say that you are going to thoroughly enjoy getting to grips with Black Op’s We were at first so stunned by how smooth the game runs, and the way that the game looks that we just could not understand why this game is not being boxed and packaged as a AAA title release, and getting shipped to the four corners of the gaming World? Blacklight Tango Down just looks as good as anything out there. And when we say anything, we really do mean anything.

As far as FPS titles go this is the most fun I’ve genuinely had since the opening credits on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

High praise indeed you may be thinking out there? Well, maybe? But when you have a title as good as Blacklight Tango Down on your hands, that plays better and looks better than any other FPS title out there at the  moment, then we kind of assume that ‘praise’ was what the title deserved? And Blacklight Tango Down does deserve such accolades let us tell you.

First off you will notice the dark futurisitic styling of the architecture that when fused with the classical masonary that make up your surroundings give you the impression of a not too distant World, in which everything has gone nightmarish and Blade Runner-esque. From the whirlybird ‘whoopings’ and ‘whirrings’ of the helicopters that encircle the area, and leave you with the paranoid state of mind that almost has you constantly raising your weapon to the skies to seek out your pursuers location, or to jumping in an out of cover like some combat weary conspiracy theorist.

The story behind the action goes a little something like this, (why do we feel like we want to say ‘hit it!’ after that sentence?),  the premise of the game is that in the near-future, the Blacklight Tango Team has been sent to find ‘MiA’ Colonol Klein and his personal Blacklight bodyguard  in the city of Balik. The only problem there is that the country has recently collapsed into war after the assassination of the president. The rebel group that  killed the president. the shadowy bad guy’s known only as  ‘The Order’, is thought to be behind the fate of the Missing in Action Colonel Klein and his Blacklight operatives.  But have they been captured or killed?  This is your mission, soldier. Discover the fate of Colonel Klein and your fellow Blacklight’ s and then get the hell out of Dodge before the ‘Infected’ feast on your smashed corpse.

Oh, didn’t we mention ‘The Infected?’  As Tango Team prepares to attack The Order’s headquarters,  Blacklight HQ informs them that the city’s inhabitants  have been infected with an unknown virus, causing them to attack everyone they meet. Moving to  engage the Order in combat, both sides are attacked by the crazed civilians. Because the circumstances have changed, Tango Team is ordered to stop The Order,  at any cost.

So off we roll into Blacklight Tango Down  with magazines locked and loaded and the grenades primed. The combat is, as we said earlier, smooth as silk, with realisitic weapons kick meaning that you have to plan your shot rather than just the usual ‘spray and pray’ tactic adopted by a lot of FPS titles. Quick precise bursts are the order of the day here, as just holding onto the trigger for dear life will only send the weapon careering off and hitting everything but your intended target. Gameplay through the Black Op’s mode, whether you choose to attempt this as a single player or if you try it with a friend in co-op, is fast and frantic. Progression is made throughout the game by unlocking varying forms of checkpoint. Each requiring different tasks, from unlocking a coded chest to reaching a designated area in one piece.

Mission success involves fighting through the infected streets as you search desperately for any signs of Colonel Klein and the missing Blacklight operatives, whilst simutaneously fighting off the crazed intentions of ‘The Infected’ and the hail of lead from the muzzles of The Order’s troops. All in all Black Op’s is the games ‘Campaign’ mode, and it serves that purpose more than adequately. From the sheer size of the combat zones to the true-to-life way that the weapons behave, the noticeable lack of glitches, (for which we commend the developers whole heartedly), and the awesome renders and sound effects that make you feel like you are in downtown Kandahar dodging incoming fire from snipers and Special Forces troops, rather than your living room.

So we bring you now to the selling point of Blacklight Tango Down. Which is also the titles shining light. The online multiplayer action, and also the co-op action, are just breathtaking in their presentation. As stated on more than one occassion on this website, whether in previous announcements or in this very review? When you consider that this title is being released not as some huge multi billion dollar blockbuster, but as a download title, then you have to credit the development teams behind the game for the sheer genius and depth of quality in the gameplay that runs right throughout this title from the opening images to the last bullet fired, before you hold your controller aloft in multiplayer joyous victory celebrations.

Some of the additions to the basic staple diet that is the online FPS game are welcomed with open arms, as gone are the lethargic ‘thunderflash’ type special grenades to be replaced by the far more useful and practical ‘Digi Grenade.’  This corking little inclusion to the Blacklight arsenal means that when deployed the grenade ‘pixelates’ the affected blast radius, making it impossible to see through, and even though you can, should you choose to do so, run through the pixelated cloud of wierdness, we advise against it as we tended to use the ‘Digi Grenade’ more as a trap than a standard thrown weapon. So place the grenade, sit back and watch blinded heroic type charge through into the grateful fiery doom that spits from the barrel of your rifle.

Speaking of rifles. This is a nice little segue into the ‘Weapon Customization’ in Blacklight Tango Down, which, quite frankly has so many different combinations and possibilities for upgrading , cannibalising and customizing that it is truly dizzying to behold.

The combat in the multiplayer of Blacklight Tango Down is by far its main draw. We were so surprised by the fact that when we began this review and needed to go online to get a look at the multiplayer that finding a match was not a problem and the best thing? The multiplayer seems to have that beautiful ‘glitchless’ gameplay that is so elusive for even the biggest of FPS titles.

The matches are set to the format of being Reds vs Blues in 15 minute rounds of fast , frenetic warfare. Quick respawns make for continual action as the winner is determined by the highest number of kills achieved thus indicating the victorious team. Suicide is very possible so be careful of unusually high leaps and moving trains on the very different combat zones.  The locations are all highly polished affairs with plenty of good cover and sniper spots in all maps that make for a great blend of tactical and ‘run and gun’ action that suits the styles of play of all gamers. We liked the fact that in Private Matches the game rules are totally customizable also, as well as the time limit or points based victory.

The maps themselves are beautifuly rendered and crafted with the  focus being placed on incredibly fast gameplay that, for 15 minutes, is relentless in its assault on your senses as explosions burst all around you and the  hiss of bullets whizzing past your ears like angry bees fill the lethal air. Your character will gain XP and therefore upgradeable armour, equipment and weapons as you progress through the level’s, and as you do you will unlock previously unavailable weapons of mass destruction that will bring a smile to the faces of you and your brothers in arms, but will literally blow the faces off your hapless opponents.

So to summarise a title such as Blacklight Tango Down in any regard is to not be able to fully do this corker of a game the justice that it deserves. In a genre where the familiar is king and the multi million dollar franchise rules supreme, Blacklight Tango Down comes along and rips the very rule book out of the ‘Old Kings’ withering hands and straps a pound of C4 to it before detonating said book into a million cliched pieces. If the future of titles is to be digital downloads in a bid to combat piracy, or if this is just the standard of future arcade titles? Then whichever way you look at it Blacklight Tango Down has set the mark so high for future releases, that for some developers binoculars wil be required to see the grins on the sniggering faces of the developers at Zombie Studio’s as they wave down mockingly to the ‘once were kings.’

There’s a new Sheriff in town, his name is Zombie and he packs a mighty punch!

Graphics:  Your mouth will hang agape and your jaw will be bruised from the amont of times it hits the floor as you have to constantly remind yourself that this is an arcade download title   9

GamePlay: The quality of a title shines through in its gameplay regardless of gimmicks. Blacklight Tango Down’s quality shines out like a lighthouse stapled to the front of a super nova!    9

RePlay Value: Unlike a multitude of ‘so-called’ disc based blockbusters you will be playing Blacklight Tango Down well into the Wee Hours and when the snow is falling at Christmas.    9

Presentation:  In a world were there is a huge margin of difference between ”Arcade’ type download titles, and disc based releases, Blacklight Tango Down has smashed down the barrier and marched defiantly from one side of the battlefield to the other daring anyone to challenge its right to be there. Best not to stare to long though, as Blacklight does have somewhat of a temper to go with the itchy trigger finger      9

4 Responses to Blacklight Tango Down review shoots from the hip!

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