Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blacksite: Area 51

Who remembers the Area 51 lightgun game? I certainly do and I always preferred it to House Of The Dead; probably due to the fact that I've "taken down" aliens in reality, but demons and zombies are firmly in the realm of fantasy. This however sounds like something I've been writing about myself... the truth.

In early 2005, developers Midway rejuvenated the lightgun shooter franchise on the PC, Xbox and PlayStation 2 with Area 51. The game was a pleasant surprise all around, boasting fantastic visuals and an engaging storyline that wound tighter and tighter as it progressed. Now, this year they will unleash its sequel on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in the form of BlackSite: Area 51.

It will not be a true sequel but more a game inspired by the previous game. It's more rooted into the fiction of what's going on in today's world and what we afraid of today: Terrorism, world wars, powerful governments that are secretive to the population - things like that.

Blacksite is an FPS where you're now in complete control of a Special Forces squad. Their morale will play a part in how well they perform. Properly commanding them will have them at their best, but running them poorly into bad situations will negatively affect their aim, wear down on their fatigue and make them even lose the will to fight. Squad commands are said to be contextual, utilizing a single button to take care of all your available commands without the need to scroll through menus or whatnot.

Vehicles will also play a part in the game. Vehicles such as HMMWVs, ATVs and even civilian vehicles will play a part in the action. The level design is promised to be multi-pathed with various routes that you can take to surround and flank the enemy. Cover points will be prominent, encouraging you to make proper use of your squad and covering fire. The cover won't be safe for long however as much of the game's environments will be destructible.

The storyline is being scripted by Susan O'Conner previously responsible for Gears Of War and Acts Of War (which is on my playing list on the right sidebar). Apparently you start off in Iraq; you're actually on the battlefield in a war that's happening today. You and your squad mates are there fighting the war and you see some things that are kind of strange, which then ties you into the fiction that brings you back to the United States to investigate a strange town where some being has been found.

The game's producer Zack Wood said "There are some parallel elements to what you saw in Iraq and what you see in America and that ties those elements together. We're toying with that idea of what it'd be like if there were alien elements involved in what we face today as a society. It's kind of fun to play with those ideas a bit."

Personally I was thinking of bringing a lawsuit against them as its obvious from that "storyline" that the writer has seen part of the manuscript of my autobiography, but perhaps if the world is exposed to these ideas through the video-game medium first then when I eventually reveal the truth I won't be ridiculed. It also won't hurt to find out if this game isn't mysteriously shit-canned and if all involved don't have fatal accidents, then I know the way will be safe for me to do what I need to following my eventual retirement.

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