BlackSite: Area 51: Hands on and early impressions

Some of you may be aware that I was in Las Vegas the past two days to attend Midway’s winter event that essentially showcased their top titles for 2007 and 2008. One such game on hand and playable was BlackSite: Area 51 for the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.

Due this summer, hit the jump for my quick and simple impressions of the game. 

Understanding that there is a flood of first-person shooters out there, the creators behind BlackSite: Area 51 are really trying to set themselves apart from the pack by claiming to have gameplay that will “redefine the first-person shooter genre.” They plan on doing this by mixing in elements that, honestly, aren’t anything that will redefine the genre — at least not moreso than games like Gears of War already have.

Some of the big talking points about the game include a keen focus on incredible sound, fully-destructible environments, and a story that’ll keep you intrigued. Have they succeeded? Well, it’s too early to tell for most of this, but the game did sound and look amazing — though it was a bit sluggish at certain points.

Besides the usual FPS additions (standard multiplayer modes, us vs. them storyline, etc.), BlackSite also has a touch of squad-based combat intertwined. Though, it should be noted, it’s at a very simple level. Still though, it’s there for you as a placeholder for variant gameplay.

As for my final say on the game after seeing and playing it, BlackSite doesn’t really revolutionize anything like Midway claims, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad either. It has promise and FPS fans will most likely be pleased with what comes out. It’s certainly one that deserves to have an eye kept on it as we learn and see more of the game.

Robert Summa