E3 2010 Blacklight Tango Down Hands On

Blacklight: Tango Down is set to be one of the most full-featured shooters to hit the downloadable market when it arrives on the PC, Ps3 and Xbox 360 this summer.

The title is being developed by Zombie and published by Ignition Entertainment. It will be $15, and should offer a pretty decent value for that price.

As I was strolling through the Microsoft area of the show floor (that had tons of games to play), I saw the station for Blacklight: Tango Down. I knew enough about the game, and was interested in seeing what the game had to offer, especially since it should be releasing in the near future.

I walked on up and waited for the next session to start. The demo was a simple deathmatch vs four other players at the main Blacklight booth somewhere else on the show floor. It was on a small map, and was mostly fun overall.

Blacklight Tango Down E3 2010 Hands On 2

What I liked: When I hopped into the game, the guy standing at the station told me that the game uses standard “Call of Duty controls,” which was good. I think that control scheme works well, and am glad when other games realize that as well.

The pace of the game wasn’t quite as twitchy as say, Modern Warfare 2, but it’s still fast-paced. Players surely aren’t bullet sponges, but they do take a little more time to kill than in MW2 (that is, using the couple guns I had access to).

The big feature that the game revolves around is the soldier’s helmet, which is an HRV, or “Hyper Reality Visor.” We’re fighting in the “NetWar,” and everyone’s equipped with futuristic armor and weaponry. The helmet is the key part of that armor, as it allows you to see your enemies and ammo supplies through walls for short periods of time. The ability doesn’t feel overpowered, and is a fun tweak to regular shooter gameplay.

The flash grenades in the game are really quite neat. Instead of just blinding you, they create digital interference with your mask, which blocks the ability to see out of your helmet for a few seconds. The grenade also acts as a sort of smoke grenade as well. When it explodes, the digital interference is shown as a small area of interference on the map, which covers that area in a pixelated shroud. It’s a great dual-purpose grenade.

Blacklight Tango Down E3 2010 Hands On 3

What I didn’t like: Though the game is most likely going to retail for $15 when it’s released this summer, I’m not sure if it will catch on. Though I did enjoy my time with it, it just didn’t feel different enough from other games. The helmet is neat, but I’m not sure that’s enough. That said, I only played one map on one gametype, so take that as a grain of salt. I simply am just wondering if people will play this over other popular shooters.

The shooting in the game feels fine, but not great. There’s just something strange about the way they weapons felt, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Sure, it’s something you’d get used to, but it’s still something I noticed.

Killing people didn’t feel overly satisfying. I know that sounds sort of sadistic, but it’s a valid complaint. In shooters, you should feel good after taking someone down, whether it’s through a screen pop-up, the enemy’s death animation, or some sort of audio, it should make you feel…satisfied. Sadly, that wasnt how I felt after getting kills in the game.

All of these remarks should be taken lightly, as the game I played surely wasn’t the final build.


When the game hits the downloadable market, it will include a variety of features. Here’s what we know now:

  • Battles with up to 16 players
  • Experience and ranking system with 70 levels of progression
  • 12 maps based on a world 25 years in the future from now
  • 4 “Black Ops” missions that can be played alone or with up to 3 friends
  • Thousands of weapon combinations (20 barrels, 13 scopes, 9 stocks, 30 magazines and over one hundred weapon tags)
  • Seven confirmed game modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Last Man Standing
  • Two factions – Blacklight and The Order

Blacklight: Tango Down hits Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this summer.