Blacklight: Tango Down Review
Blacklight: Tango Down box art
System: PC, PS3, X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Zombie Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ignition Entertainment 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: July 7, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 (2+ Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

If the developers wanted us to give them $15 and spend time away from our big-budget games, they needed to give Blacklight a bit more polish. There are only a few spawn points in each level, making it easy for cheap lowlifes to camp in front of them and rack up kills. You die a bit too quickly, meaning that you’ll often be sprawled out on the ground before you even get a chance to spin around and figure out who just started shooting at you.

Blacklight: Tango Down screenshot

Also, the basics of online mutiplayer could have been handled better. While some of our matches started almost instantly, in other cases, we had to wait up to five minutes or so. (This beats the XBLA version, whose waits tended to fall in the three-to-ten-minute range.) Also, we often found ourselves up against far superior opponents players who had leveled up several times, and thus, had better guns and accessories. The guns aren’t such a big deal, considering it takes only a few shots to kill someone with the gun you start with, but some accessories, especially the scope, can make it dramatically easier for you to acquire a target quickly, and at longer range. Conversely, this means that the least experienced players are also the weakest. Until you level up a bit, plan on dying a lot, and always remember to pick up the guns dropped by anyone you’re lucky enough to kill.

The single-player game, meanwhile, is so useless it shouldn’t have been included. It’s just four stages, and it’s designed more for four-player co-op than single-player campaigning. You’re underpowered, and the swarms of enemies are frustrating without other players to help you out. We imagine the levels would be a bit more fun with other people, but you can’t be assigned random players for your team, as you can with the competitive multiplayer modes. You can only play with your friends. So, unless you can trick a few buddies into wasting their money on this (we couldn’t), don’t bother.

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The basic idea here isn’t so bad: provide gamers a multiplayer experience that competes with the big boys, while saving money by not developing a campaign. That could work, with a fresh and fun concept behind it. The concept here, however, is just to copy the best attributes of other games, and the developers botched too much of the small stuff for players not to notice. When a used copy of Call of Duty 4 goes for $20, there’s no reason to save money and waste hard-drive space (about two gigs) with Blacklight: Tango Down. Only the hardest of the hardcore FPS fans need apply.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
This game looks great for a downloadable title, with Unreal Engine graphics that compete with the visuals in big budget games.
4.7
Control
After close to two decades of working on it, FPS developers pretty much have the standard control scheme down pat.
4.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Everything sounds great, from the exciting music to the sound effects.
2.1
Play Value
It’s not bad for a $15 game, but it does next to nothing to advance the FPS genre. You’re better off getting a used copy of Call of Duty 4.
2.8
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Over ten multiplayer maps across seven multiplayer game modes: Play competitively online against friends and foes in favorites such as Team Deathmatch, Domination, Retrieval, Last Man Standing, and Detonation.
  • Black Ops: Enhance your skills in four cooperative Black Ops missions with support for one to four players. These missions explore the Blacklight universe and the events surrounding the conflict in Balik. Take on The Order and the insurgent population of Balik to complete strategic missions that change dynamically each time you play! Compete for the top spot in the leaderboards as well.
  • Customizable character and weaponry: Highly customizable weapons allow you to modify the way your firearms shoot, look, and feel from among thousands of combinations. Customize your soldier’s look to become the soldier you always wanted to be.
  • Exciting new weapons and supports systems: Use EMP grenades to disable opponent’s electronic visors, Digi grenades to distort enemy optics, and futuristic weaponry based on real research concepts and development.
  • Net-centric warfare or “NetWar”: NetWar allows players to utilize HRV, hyper reality visors, giving players a tactical view of the battlefield. Use it to your advantage to get the drop on your enemies or find your next objective.
  • Deep player award and ranking systems: Receive points for more than just killing an enemy. In matches, the game tracks each player’s actions, such as capturing control points, supplying ammo, or inflicting damage to an enemy without killing him. All of these aspects give the players points during a match. These points unlock new ranks, weapons, weapons attachments, and more!


  • Screenshots / Images
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