On October 3, 1993, President
Clinton sent Delta Force soldiers to the inner cities of Somalia to capture a
military warlord for questioning. One situation, however, changed from a
military operation to a survival mission when a Black Hawk helicopter was shot
down by a rocket-propelled grenade from militants. Several of the surviving
passengers of the helicopter withstood days of enemy fire while their fellow
Delta Force soldiers devised a path to rescue them. This true story captured
the essence of the phrase “leave no man behind,” a theme Ridley Scott found to
be a great movie idea. He was right, and Black Hawk Down became an
instant success of the military-movie genre. The release of Black Hawk Down
for videogame consoles now, almost a year passed the PC version, and almost
four years since the movie arrived to theatres, almost guaranteed its untimely
demise. Adding insult to injury, the game barely stands as a playable title
with boring gameplay and look.
There is nothing more to Black
Hawk Down than a simple first-person shooter with 16 different missions
throughout the game. Though it has a respectable amount of missions in it,
Black Hawk Down is one of the dullest war games I have ever played. The
gameplay is so predictable, driving through
hostile Somalia in a Humvee feels more like a
joyride through the suburbs than a constant adrenaline-rush, on the look out
at all times for unfriendly and armed militants that could pop out anywhere at
anytime. The game is obviously scripted and doesn’t even attempt to change up
the pace of the action between being on foot and manning the machine gun in
vehicles. The main point of the game is to kill as many
Somalian rebels as you can, with rare side missions that contain
nothing more than strategic troop movements to find many
Somalian rebels to kill.
Your character won’t be alone,
accompanied by America’s finest warriors who are at your command. Well, that’s
not really the case. The command prompts are too confusing and limited to be
considered useful. Most of the time, your squad will just follow your
movements and “try” unsuccessfully to fire at assailing enemies (I mean, it’s
not like your squad is a group of fully armed American Delta Force soldiers
who have spent years training for combat…).
The PS2 version of Black Hawk
Down features online multiplayer with up to 32 users playing
simultaneously. I was only able to connect to one game, and although I was
impressed with the number of players that could play online, the technology
and capabilities are more defined on Xbox Live.
There are several multiplayer modes including capture the flag, cooperative,
and deathmatch which are available to play with
friends (although I’m sure Halo 2 has already filled that slot).
Black Hawk Down features
graphics that were dated in the release of the PC version. Now, with
developers using up all the capabilities the PS2 and XBOX can give them as
well as previews into the next generation systems, the game’s presentation is
more outdated than Pauly Shore in 2005 (the
soldier models and animation are oversimplified and the environments are
blandly textured, much like the former Bio Dome star’s acting). The
sound falls tragically short, as well. Everything from the sound effects to
the voice acting can only be described as adequate and the music is
Simply put, Black Hawk Down’s
PC version was up to par in 2004. Now in 2005, the game fails to live up to
its own mantra “Leave no man behind.” This title is way behind in the pack of
a cluttered war-game market and it’s time to leave it in the dust.
simple run-and-gun with limited use of vehicles.
Somalia is ugly
to look at, but I don’t think the graphics were this bad on purpose.
still doesn’t bring justice to the real skirmishes of war.
situation) was about a rescue mission, Black Hawk Down (the game) is
about killing as many African militants as you can find. WHERE’S THE
the Playstation 2 lacks in solid online FPS
titles. But anyone with Xbox Live would do better to purchase this title on
the mammoth Microsoft machine (if you must purchase it, that is)
Down has proven
that a war game can be based outside of the years 1939 through 1945. Now, they
just have to prove why spending $49.99 on it makes sense. Only die-hard war
fans will find small satisfaction from playing this title, and you might as
well just rent it.