The original Area 51 was an arcade light gun
shooter that used pseudo-full motion video of people in B-Movie alien make-up
and set the action on rails. Then, a couple of years ago, Midway revamped the
arcade game and turned it into a first-person shooter with a great sense of
ambience and a much darker mood to it. Now, Midway is revisiting Area 51 on
next-gen consoles in BlackSite: Area 51. The game will offer up the same blend
of creepy ambience and stylish FPS action with the obligatory next-gen boost, as
well as some nice squad command elements added to the mix. While the preview
build that we played of the game was quite short, it still presented a good feel
for the direction the game is headed. All things considered, BlackSite: Area 51
is shaping up quite nicely and should be an impressive jaunt into the unknown.
The preview build for Area 51 took us to the
small town of Rachel, which had apparently gotten attacked by some alien
invaders. You are leading a squad of two other soldiers as you go through
building to building, investigating the town. Eventually you arrive at a gas
station that’s been turned on its head and you get attacked by several huge
alien creatures as well as armed footsoldiers.
The team command options weren’t really presented
much in the demo, but what we could see was pretty easy to grasp. All you’d have
to do is press the A button when your targeting reticule lines up on a door or
an area of interaction to make them react.
Graphically, the demo presented some great next-gen
graphical tricks. The character models looked very impressive and the rain
effects and reflective textures were all very great.
BlackSite: Area 51 is looking to be yet another
great entry to the Area 51 franchise and one that fans of the FPS remake will
definitely want to check out. Look for it this summer.