‘Deep Black’ gameplay as shallow as graphics

Video Game Reviews

“Deep Black” is a downloadble game available on the PS3. It’s your basic cover based run-and-gun shooter that attempts to put an interesting twist on the genre by changing the setting.

Lately we have seen these shooters set in apocalyptic locations like those in “Gears of War” or a desert constantly plagued with sand storms such as seen in “Spec Ops: The Line,” and “Deep Black” attempts to place players into a new environment: under the sea.

Now that the catchy little tune from the “Little Mermaid” is in your mind, let’s get to the review. . .


At first glance, the graphics of “Deep Black” are not that bad. There is great use of lighting, textures look good, and the look of the main character’s oxygen tanks compressing after reaching the surface look pretty darn cool.

Unfortunately, that is where the graphics start to venture into the deep end -- and sink.

Once you dive into the water where most of the game is set, the graphics become dead, dreary and uneventful. This shooter wants to set itself apart by taking place underwater, but doesn’t give you a reason to explore the environment.

The gameplay is also just as shallow as the graphics.

Every mission in “Deep Black” is standard fare for cover-based shooters: infiltrate, rescue hostages, eliminate hostiles and repeat. The game attempts to create a narrative about a futuristic government, but instead of stringing the events together like pearls on a necklace, it simply drags you down like an anchor attached to a sinking ship. The game tries to be clever by allowing you to use a underwater jetpack, yes in this game that is real, a technologically advanced harpoon to open gates, and a underwater cover system to avoid gun fire. While these may seem like interesting concepts, much like the game “Dark Void,” it is an immediate let down and becomes repetitive way before it becomes fun. The only time the game seems to divert from the cover-based play is when you use your harpoon to stab a mechanical eel in the face. Trust me, it is not as cool as it sounds, and happens way to often.

I hate to be a wet blanket, but “Deep Black” is just not worth your money. The main character physically appears to be a cross between Master Chief from “Halo"and Isaac Clarke from “Dead Space.” The dialogue is stale and cliche and does not add any depth to the story. Much like their last game “Naughty Bear,” 505 Games seems to have jumped the shark with this title that looks interesting on paper but is not executed effectively.

“Deep Black” is dead in the water, and if you think these puns are bad, just play the game. “Deep Black” is also avaliable on PC and in episodic format on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

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