Seeing this game from the outset I know what you are thinking, an underwater Gears of War that is “reloaded” with features that you have already seen before. You would happily be mistaken as “Deep Black Reloaded” has successfully found its way to develop its own nitch off the developmental work that the team at Biart did.
Biart company is a well known producing arcade titles, which is why it comes to know bodies surprise that their newest title draws on those routes. “Deep Black Reloaded” is a third person shooter that uses the arcadic formula as its backbone for game design. Early levels start off plain and simple, but the more you progress throughout the game; waves of enemy’s will attack you as the levels become increasely harder and will offer a challenge to that most aren't expecting.
The single player campaign starts off in the year of 2047. The world is now under control from Global mega corporations known as keiretsu who have successfully toppled the government governments around the world. The storyline put you in the role where you are the leader of the resistance and help form alliances in order to survive. Your main villain during your crusade is Ishiguro-Himmel Systems. Not the most original set up, but it has a storyline that should grab the players attention.
The game is set in Berlin with their being over 40 different levels in the game and each one being different than the last one. One of the concurrent themes is fighting under the city. Most of the gameplay centers on you fighting in the deep water and against alien creatures. This is the core of what “Reloaded” is all about. Having the game set entirely underwater gives the game a unique feel. There are times when you’re outside the water and are moving outside the world, but they are very few and far between.
Even though “Deep Black” has this great underwater set up, it goes noticeably unused. As you swim deeper and deeper through this underwater adventure, you never get a sense that there is a looming danger. I never got the feeling that I was in danger of running out of oxygen and overtime the water disguises its self as a color filter because of how limited it plays into gameplay. For this reason alone, I never got fully submerged into the setting this new world because I never feared the situation it was in. The story really does take over the setting its trying to set.
However even though it has a great premise, its sabotage by reloading the gameplay with traditional features that aren't up to par. “Deep Black uses a traditional cover system that barrows many elements from other third person shooter. You can attach and shield yourself from your adversary with cover, but its almost to robotic. Jumping in and out cover is a little bit jarring because it doesn’t flow into gameplay naturally. The main problem with the cover mechanic is the camera. The camera is hovering just off your character, but its almost too far away and never tracks you entering or leaving cover. It really does take you out of the action from close heated battles.
On the presentation front, “Deep Black Reloaded” steals the show. The sound effect will really drive your experience and help immerse you into the world. The explosions in the game will make battles heated. Little things like bullets spiraling past you while you traversing in the underwater helps keep your mind on the lockout. If you have some high definition headsets, I recommend plugging them to fully get the most of the sound effects. My only complaint with the presentation is that graphics look a little bit outdated. It tends to take an extra second or two before the area tends to render. Besides that however, the game runs smoothly from start to finish.
I came into this ocean opera with little expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised on what the team at Biart has developed. If you are looking for something new in the third person shooter market then “Deep Black” might be swimming adventure just for you.
Some consumers are going to be turned off from this adventure and rightfully so. It doesn’t has a visually striking look that many will be looking for, but they would be missing out. “Deep Black” has a wealth of content, that should keep fans interested more long term and making more bang for your buck. This is Biart company first entry into the market and even though they made mistakes, I wouldn’t mind returning to this underwater extravaganza they created.
Score: 8 out of 10