Blacklight: Tango Down Review

Blacklight: Tango down from Zombie Studios & Ignition Entertainment is attempting to set a new standard for downloadable games – does it raise the bar or does this futuristic FPS fall short in this popular genre? Read on to learn more!

[nggtags gallery=blacklight1]

In Blacklight: Tango down, players take control of a soldier and engage in futuristic multiplayer warfare across 12 maps. Battles can feature up to 16 players, leading to some very fast-paced and intense firefights.  In addition to the multiplayer component, players can co-operatively work together to complete four Black Ops missions. Black Ops missions can be played solo, but they’ll be overly difficult. It is recommended to play co-operatively with up to four players, the game supports both local or online methods to play these. Whether you’re playing the primary multiplayer mode or the Black Ops missions, you continue to gain experience towards unlocking new weapons and upgrades.

Clearly based on the content, Blacklight: Tango Down is catered to the primarily multiplayer gamer fanbase, similar to EA’s hit online only shooter, Battlefield 1943. The game supports an extensive network of upgrades, statistic tracking, and various other unlocks to earn. Players are definitely not being shorted in terms of gameplay and general content and feeling ripped off shouldn’t be an issue whatsoever.

There are two playable factions in the game. You’ve got Blacklight, a covert ops unit who utilize the best available military technology. The opposition, The Order, is a group comprised of ex-soldiers from various groups including US Special Forces and local militia. They work using the standard mercenary formula, utilizing the best technology that money can buy.  The potential is here for an interesting story, but it wasn’t part of the primary focus, and outside of basic information regarding the factions, you’ll have to make up your story.

While the game focuses on multiplayer, the four included Black Ops missions are accessible to play solo. However, the difficulty is rather challenging and teamwork combined with proper communication really improve the experience and help to bring your overall goal to a more attainable level. The gameplay feels like a mix between modern shooters and the classic arcade box games. Players fly through the maps at relatively high speed, and the gunplay feels very “arcadey” rather than fine-tuned in shooters such as Battlefield or Modern Warfare. This isn’t a bad thing though and arcade fans will truly enjoy their experience.

[nggtags gallery=blacklight2]

With Black Ops, players must manoeuvre through large detailed environments battling multiple enemy troops, often well concealed in fortified vantage points. Enemies will come out shooting and moving from cover-to-cover. If you’re not careful, you’ll get flanked easily, which of course enhances the idea of playing with a few friends. Level are quite large and will take at least 15-25 minutes each, depending on the number of players and the skill level of those said players.

Geared towards the multiplayer fans, Blacklight: Tango Down features seven modes including the common deathmatch modes, retrieval mode, detonate, and more. These modes of play feature up to 16 players and require you to perform a variety of tasks.  There’s nothing new about the included modes, but there’s no reason to change a working formula so keeping it familiar is a very welcome decision. Detailed stat tracking is featured which includes over 150 awards to unlock in a similar fashion to Modern Warfare 2.

Using your Flux Capacitor Hyper Reality Visor (HRV) for up to four seconds at a time, players can catch a brief glimpse of the locations of objectives, friendly and enemy troops on the map. Grenades have also been future-proofed in Blacklight. You’ve got your standardized fragmentation grenades, through to the more intriguing model, the digi grenade which when they’re thrown, create a dome of pixilated digital interference. The interference will block both players views’ though, making it more or less a tactic to get around behind an enemy, or they can be used to simply escape from an area if you’re pinned down.

In terms of weapons and game progression, the game works in a different style compared to the “popular shooters”.  Blacklight allows you to unlock new weapons in every class based on your overall level. These can be customized in hundreds of different ways with a variety of barrels, scopes, magazines and muzzles, through to aesthetic changes such as your countries flag and more. The weapons sometimes feel overpowered, notably the default sniper rifle with its often single shot kill. Maybe that’s the way it should be though, considering many people complain about multiple bullets for a kill in other games.  Most of the weapons feel powerful, but there are a few that do feel slightly unbalanced when you get into cross-class usage.

[nggtags gallery=blacklight3]

Blacklight: Tango Down definitely has the content, and some fun gameplay, but it also has its faults.  Spawn camping is a very common issue in the game because you also spawn in a default area of the map. To attempt to counter-act this issue, automatic machine gun turrets are placed at both entrances to your base. Unfortunately, it’s possible to get by these guns on some maps if you’re quick enough, and that allows you to sit inside the enemy base waiting for them to spawn.  Be aware, spawn camping is a consistent issue that you’ll encounter, and it’s very frustrating. We hope a patch is on the way to do something about it.

Visually, Blacklight: Tango Down is definitely a step above when compared to other games in its price range. The levels are extremely well-detailed with convenient hiding spots, and they feature various objects to use as cover or camouflage. Some of the textures on buildings and other random areas are blurry, but the levels themselves look fantastic overall.  The most impressive thing in the game, visually speaking, is the armor of the soldiers. Both the Blacklight operatives and The Order  look really good, with impressive lighting and armor reflections.

The soundtrack takes on an interesting choice for background music and features Electronica music. It’s a niche genre of music, and not very often used in gaming to say the least. Voiceovers have a unique digital sound to them as well. The gunfire and explosions sound effects are pretty standard, and everything blends well and nothing sounds out of place when playing the game.

So, is Blacklight: Tango Down able to raise the bar? Honestly, it’s a fun game, and it’s got loads of content that can offer you hundreds of hours of fun. But, boasting the futuristic theme didn’t make me feel like I playing a revolutionary title and it feels like your typical online FPS game.  However, 12 multiplayer maps, 4 challenging Black Ops missions, hundreds of unlockables, and millions of customizations… That’s a very solid package for $14.99 or 1200 :MSPoints:, depending where you plan to buy the game.  Zombie Studios and Ignition Studios have brought gamers a really great bang for their buck with Blacklight: Tango Down. Take a look, and try the demo – it’s a timed demo but you’ll have a full hour to play whatever you’d like.

Xbox 360 owners, grab the demo on the Marketplace by clicking here.

Old review system import, no comments available
Old review system import, no comments available
Old review system import, no comments available
8Final Score

Social Media