Blackwater is a licensed property and titled for the former name of the private security company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL, to provide training support to military and law enforcement agencies.
Kinect games have had a mix of reactions from the gaming community, either they are simply amazing or just plain bad. When it comes to simply amazing I can think Gunstringger and when it comes to just plain bad I think of Sonic Riders, but now some can add Blackwater to the bad area of games.
When it comes to first person shooters this season it was all about BattleField 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, and with a lot of validation both titles set higher standards for military shooters with their last release to their respective franchise.
Blackwater came with a twist, in this military shooter your are the controller with the help of the Kinect and the option to also play with a controller if the Kinect was either not an option or well like some players out there you bought it and then realized you do not have all the room necessary to play it.
I jumped straight into the Kinect gameplay and well who wouldn’t do so, I had a blast playing Gunstringer and Fruit Ninja, the previous Kinect titles I covered. And when I read what the game was about the idea of running and gunning, kicking down doors, signaling maneuvers, and just over all feel more involved with my experience was to much to resist. But sadly I found myself stressing over what I thought was my Kinect or lighting but it turns out to be the game more than anything, with what seems like no check points in between areas and lack of response from the movements of my arm to the targets I was aiming at, I died a lot, and restarted, a lot.
The game also has graphics that seem to be outdated to the current standards of FPS games, and if not only that but the graphics also pop in a little late at times. The overall feel of the game was odd, you’re on rails the whole time and at times that’s what gets you killed more often rather than you not taking cover in time or reacting to an attack in the appropriate manner. The experience is shared by switching between squad members and using different weapons but even all that does not change the over all experience since it just feels like more and more of the same. With few moments that change things up like kicking down a door or shifting your body dramatically to take quick cover, the game will just continue to be the same experience.
The controller experience did not change much, with controls switched a little from the regular standards getting used to them took a bit of time but sadly it made me want to go back to the Kinect even though it was a broken experience in my mind.
The biggest thing I can give this title and 505 Games is that they took a chance on something that had not really been done, sure Twisted Pixel made Gunstringer and it worked but that does not mean that they should be the only ones to make it happen. 505 Games stands where Rockstar games stood in the early Grand Theft Auto games, no one really speaks of the first two titles because it was not till their third attempt that the franchise and the company finally stood out. I cannot say that this games is definitely a must have at the moment, but I can say try it out and see how you feel about and let’s hope that 505 Games looks at the feedback goes back and makes huge leap in a possible sequel to this game.
Kinect games still going, still working, but still a true gamble in the gamers buying protocol.