XBOX REVIEW: DELTA FORCE BLACK HAWK DOWN

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down is a decent first-person shooter but it's based on the two-year old PC version. In this day and age of military, quad-based, tactical shooter, Black Hawk Down is a bit of a disappointment.

One the other hand if you're a bit of lone wolf you might just really appreciate the simplicity of Black Hawk Down. There are tons of modes that don't require much in the way of teamwork. In the single-player mode you will be flanked by a handful of AI soldiers that you can issue commands too with the interface or with the Xbox Communicator. Commands are not the focus of the gameplay and serve only to offer you more flexibility. The bots will hold their own without being told what to do - and even at that they won't win the battle for you regardless of what commands you issue.

Based on actual events, Black Hawk Down is the story of a pair of American choppers that crashed in the streets of Mogadishu in 1993 amidst an angry mob of enemy soldier and civilians armed with weapons and a deep hatred for Americans. The incident began as a news report and then ultimately became a novel, a movie, and a PC videogame in 2003. While the story is timeless the game is somewhat dated.

Online play is incredible. You can find servers that will accommodate up to 50 players. Teamwork is not thrust upon you. You can get pretty far in the game just looking out for number one. An abundance of modes lets you play just about every variation of Deathmatch, King of the Hill and Capture the Flag just to name a few. There are split screen multi-player modes and co-op modes to boot.

The character and class that you choose is persistent and will continue to evolve kind of like a RPG but with no actual leveling-up. Your skills will increase commensurate with your gaming skills, most specifically your reflexes and aiming. It's not easy seeing some of the enemies in the distance, especially with the four-player split screen which I don't recommend using. The streets are filled with enemies and innocent civilians. It's up to you to discern among them. Whatever you do, don't hit a civilian.

Classes available to choose from include sniper, medic, assault and melee. They have the ability to jump, lean, roll, kneel and lie down in ambush which is great news for the sniper. You can also use binoculars to locate the enemy but unless you've got a high-powered sniper rifle you're not liable to hit him from a great distance.

The maps are huge and unlike the PC version there are some vehicles, but they come with restrictions. They are only available on the larger maps and you have no control over where they go. You can also use them to shoot on-rails. They are indestructible and with unlimited ammo you will be at a very unrealistic advantage as you mow down the hordes of angry Somalians.

Areas such as the deserts are barren while the streets are a labyrinth teeming with sadistic killers. The maps can be huge and as a result some of the graphics take a nosedive. The textures are blurry and the colors are weak. Even with surround sound you can't pinpoint the exact location of the enemy's gunfire. It's just a sound effect thrown in for ambience that can't be used as a tool.

There were games a-plenty being played online and it wasn't a problem finding a good connection. The developers claim that there are tons of maps available from the PC players that will be made available for Xbox and PS2 users in the future. Even without them there is still a lot of game here for the money. If you're interested in a straightforward shooter with no storyline getting in the way then you might want to give this one a shot. Pun intended.

Preview By Chris

Based on the real missions set in 1993, which inspired the book and the movie. Delta Force Black Hawke Down is going to be the largest online game of its kind for the PS2. It will allow 32 players online while this sounds impressive it may just be a bit lag filled. The game is going to be a revamped version of the popular PC version and while using the Azura graphics engine. The game is boasting that it will have the most realistic graphics that will recreate the war-torn story and the levels are going to be very detailed. News of the Xbox version has been released as well and both seem to have the same feature except the Xbox version will probably feature a 16-player online mode.

Hollywood based movies turned into games are risky. However, it worked for the PC and they are hoping the game will can repeat the magic and graphics on the PS2 and Xbox consoles. The game will feature an intense single player campaign and several multi-player modes. Gamers will find themselves in Somali and have to do rescue and advance missions in the war-torn city. It sounds like the game will not be a direct port-over from the PC version and will feature new missions and stories. However, the overall storyline will most likely stay in tact.

The real test for the PS2 version will be the ambitious 32-player online mode. It would be great for players if this would play smooth and lag free. It would be the largest online game ever available for the PS2 if they can pull this off. While the Xbox version seems to have the same options and both versions look good from the early screen shots. Both versions will also feature a 2-player Co-Op mode as well as a ton of new and impressive weapons. The game will be a FPS shooter and many are looking closely at this one. I have included the screen shots taken from the PS2 version and have listed features for both versions. Take a look at the screen shots and you may agree this one does look interesting.

Press:

In late 1993, the United States launched dual military operations in Mogadishu Somalia. Delta Force Operatives and Army Rangers were sent in to capture Somali warlords and restore order. Experience the intense combat of Operation Restore Hope in this groundbreaking first person shooter. As a Delta Force operative participate in a number of daring and intense raids against the oppressive Somali warlords in and around Mogadishu.

PS2 Features:

  • Developed specifically for the PS2 console using the Azura game engine
  • 16 single player missions with unique character skill development progression: accuracy, reload speed, movement speed, unlocking commands etc.
  • Based on the #1 best selling PC game: Delta Force - Black Hawk Down
  • An arsenal of authentic weapons as used by US Special Forces during Operation Restore Hope and Task Force Ranger.
  • 28 total weapons & equipment
  • Voice recognition allows players to give their AI teammates orders on the fly.
  • Support for 32 players through Sony Online - the largest games ever on PS2!
  • 4 player split screen multiplayer
  • 25 multiplayer maps
  • 10 co-op missions
  • 2 player split screen co-op
  • 7 multiplayer game types: Team Death match, Death match, Capture the flag, Team king of the hill, TAG, Attack and Defend and Flag ball.
  • All new MP maps and content designed specifically for the PS2
  • Portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Special Forces Warrior Foundation

Xbox Features:

  • 50 Players simultaneously on Xbox Live
  • Experience 16 intense single player missions, similar to those encountered in Somalia.
  • Engage in close quarters battle, sniper fire, air attacks and room takedowns as a Ranger or a member of Delta Force.
  • Test your fortitude in 4-player split screen Co-op missions exclusive to Xbox, or fight it out over Live in Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, TKOTH and much more!
  • Communicate with your teammates using the Xbox headset and issue commands to your AI teammates using advanced voice recognition technology.
  • Prepare yourself for the battle ahead in tutorial mode.
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System: PS2, X
Dev: Rebellion
Pub: NovaLogic
Release: July 2005
Players: 1-32-Multi
Review By Dean
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
3.0
VALUE
4.5