My all time favourite console is the Playstation 2. Whenever I feel like bringing back some memories, I’ll stick in one of the classics and off I go. One of my favourite games of the generation was BLACK, possibly the most visceral shooter ever created. The game sticks a gun in your hand and basically tells you to go and blow stuff up. From bullets ricocheting off of walls to a whole magnitude of detonating objects, BLACK was made from the ground up to be a purely cinematic experience.
One such moment comes in the very first mission where there is a guy situated in a tower trying to end your life with an RPG. Shoot the explosive crate next to him, and the tower erupts, collapsing around him. It is a needlessly over the top way just to end ones person’s life, but it’s what I love so much about black, touches like this. The clink of a bullets going through a helmet to the way that fire cascades from buildings after you throw a grenade through a window, these are all things that make BLACK…BLACK.
I guess the ‘bad’ thing about BLACK is the way that it is so straightforward. You’ll probably never be able to find a more bare-bones shooter: “here, take this gun and go shoot things”. There’s barely any story and not much emotional motivation for what you are doing in the game. You don’t need that though, since the sight of bullets flying and bodies falling with debris crumbling is emotional enough. Emotional enough to bring tears to your eyes in fact, or maybe that was just me. If you play this game by conserving ammo, precisely aiming every shot and even taking cover, I regret to inform you that you are doing it wrong! You do it like this:
1. Find general location of enemies.
2. Unload whole magazine in their direction.
3. Not dead? Repeat first two steps.
Don’t go thinking that this is all just mindless destruction though, oh no! As you play through the game you’ll start to encounter more heavily armored enemies. If, for example, they are at the bottom of a concrete pillar, you can shoot the top portions to make concrete rain down on them. Using the environment to your advantage is one of the most satisfying parts of BLACK, and is one of the main reasons why it’s possibly my favourite shooter ever.