When it comes to making games that engage in deep water happenings, the name of an independent Russian developer BIART won’t probably miss any listing. With few remarkable underwater titles such as Depth Hunter and a few still in development, their recent release Deep Black: Reloaded has already snatched the attention of many sci-fi third person shooter fans. The game features a world where everything is controlled by mega corporations, and these companies are engaged in a battle to use whatever resources they have left; even if it takes them into the deepest corner of the sea. Deep Black takes place in the year 2047 and you take the role of a retired Special Ops agent from a mercenary group called CHARON.
The game kicks on while you are enjoying an early retirement and your former commanding officer contacts you with a job. He informs of a terrorist network called Al-Azrad has kept a research team hostage off the coast of South America, and the job is to rescue them without harm. You are provided with equipments that include an advanced underwater outfit, pooled with a jetpack and built-in harpoon. You learn more about yourself when the game starts, and the more you play, the story cooks up something more complex then you can barely image at the beginning. There are about 40 missions in four different environments during the single player campaign, and those take place both on land and under the sea. Though key parts of the game are played under the sea, missions on land are likewise spread out. The developer really did a good job mixing the gameplay of underwater and land based in each level to avoid making the game repetitive. Other than the main character Pierce, you can play with several other characters such as Shark, Pirate, Caterpillar, Soldier, Cop, Bobby and Blondie. But these characters don’t alter anything; as each of them comes up with same character attributes.
While the game isn’t being spontaneous having to play in two different environments, land based gameplay can be a little unexciting compared to underwater. When you play on land, you do what any usual Third Person Shooter does. Simply move on from one end to another and respond to enemy attacks. You’ll face several waves of attacks during each mission, but they are nothing too thorny to deal with, as each wave won’t have more than two or three enemies at a time. During gunfire exchanges you must take cover behind the walls, which you’ll find plenty throughout all the missions. At times it feels as if enemies have staged the walls for your convenience, which makes the gameplay on land somewhat effortless. Throughout all the ground-based missions, all you’ll have to do is to take cover and wait till your enemies expose themselves to take shots. Weapons introduced in the game felt somewhat handy as each has their unique motives for using. However, the character movements feel somewhat casual. It’s comical that your character holds one bizarre quality, as he won’t be able to run or even jump. This could add some amount of frustration, even though these attributes aren’t hugely necessary for the smoothest gameplay. It only takes away the chances of the game being more realistic and limits your movement. To be honest though, I wasn’t too bothered during most of my play. I was eventually rushed throughout all the land missions, so that I could get back to the underwater plays.
Having said so, the game really takes its apposite form while you play underwater, as almost every element has been flawlessly placed in. You can move at ease in any direction weightlessly and your advanced underwater outfit helps you freely regulate your speed. You can dive with a high speed but the suit has a cooldown timer. Your suit’s feature will come in handy during moments where you’ll have to move against a powerful current or while propelling through long sunken passages. Like land enemies, there will be robot drones underwater to threaten your comfort. But unlike only being able to shoot land enemies, in underwater you can deal with these drones in several ways. For different types of threats you can apply different methods such as grapple, hack or rustle. These varieties are like additional features to enrich the gameplay. You can also use your grappling hook to reach out for switches that turn can off a spinning fan or open gates. There are also puzzles to crack but most of the time they are too easy. The graphics underwater is nice and smooth and it’s aided with wonderful sound effects. Deep Black: Reloaded will easily have you absorbed in exploring its underwater surroundings and make you enjoy it.
Beside the magnitude of the beautiful underwater graphics and gameplay, diving alone can make you feel lonely at times, until you try out the multiplayer modes. There are both quick and custom matches to play, as well as options to manually connect with your friends. Since being underwater isn’t the only part of the gameplay, the game can be a little distasteful and repetitive at times. Gameplay on land at is surprisingly similar to the gameplay of Dark Void and Vanquish, and it’s not uncommon to argue that the gameplay is an exact copy of those games having only dissimilarities in some features. Other than these factors, the game provides pleasing moments and offers uncommon experience. If you have been taking too many arrows in the knee or finding Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer a bit too discomforting, have a bite of Deep Black: Reloaded for a tonic.
Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed