When I downloaded Blacklight Tango Down from Xbox Live Arcade, I wasn’t certain what to expect. From what I’d heard the game was exclusively online, a first person shooter and rocked a “real future” style and setting. Those are all good things, of course, but in all respects these details left me woefully unprepared for the experience I was about to have.
What wasn’t told to me was that Blacklight Tango Down was going to shove me to the ground and kick me for the duration of my review. You see, Blacklight is deathmatch style multiplayer FPS with an experience system, much like the Modern Warfare games are so famously known for. I’m terrible at these types of console games, especially considering my competitive nature sets me up for endless hours of frustration.
Okay, Blacklight Tango Down, you won the first round, but now it’s my turn.
Blacklight Tango Down is multiplayer game, nothing more, nothing less. With seven different game modes and twelve different maps there’s plenty to keep you busy for hours and hours. Blacklight also includes a cooperative mode titled Black Ops, which is a series of simply objective based missions that you can play solo or cooperatively with a group of three other friends.
The competitive game modes, each 16 players maximum, include all of your old favorites: Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, team versions of the prior two modes, Retrieval, Detonation and Domination. If you’re not familiar with these modes, worry not because they’re all just variations of killing the opponents, not dying, and supporting your team whenever it pleases you. Sadly, a few of these game modes are disappointingly unpopulated, so if you’re excited to jump into the action you’ll have to stick to the Deathmatch modes.
Black Ops, the cooperative mode, is simply a joke. From what I could find you are unable to search for a team online, instead you either play solo or add friends to your match. Again, this isn’t exactly a popular game so friends are hard to come by. That’s all besides the point though, because the actual missions are terrible. Since there’s no single player story mode most gamers won’t understand the scenario, not that it matters. You start a mission, you go through a few waves of enemies, you grab an objective, rinse and repeat steps two and three. Friends won’t even want to play this mode with you.
Also employed is a fairly robust customization system. Thousands of gun variations, skins for your character, emblems to stick on the side of your gun, all of these things are available… as long as you gain the appropriate experience level. Yup, at the start of the game you’re stuck with a simple weak SMG, Assault Rifle, Handgun and grenade type. For players like myself, you’ll never see most of these customizations. As a result, you’ll spend hours floundering online before you can acquire weapons to help you progress.