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Black Reviews (PlayStation 2)

ESRB Rating
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Get creative with your kills. StickFigures (175) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars
Lots of strange design decisions make this visually and aurally impressive game a flawed one. Joel Segerbäck (664) 3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars
A very good FPS with lots of destructive capabilities and lots of weapons. Aphelion (2) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
One of the best FPS on the PS2... Kid Fraser (16) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.4
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.3
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.7
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.6
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.8
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation)
Overall User Score (33 votes) 3.6

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Level (Apr, 2006)
Gustat în doze separate, Black este un FPS absolut demențial, cum rar mi-a fost dat să văd.
UOL Jogos (Feb 28, 2006)
"Black" é uma das experiências mais intensas da atual geração de consoles, que leva o gênero de tiro em primeira pessoa às últimas conseqüências da ação e destruição. Com um dos melhores gráficos vistos no PlayStation 2 ou no Xbox, e um som poderoso, é um título que mesmo quem nunca se interessou pelo tema deveria experimentar. É uma pena não haver um modo multiplayer e a campanha de um jogador ser tão curta, com poucos incentivos para um replay.
91 (Mar 27, 2006)
It was dark and very quiet. The objective was at the other end of the square and everyone could see it was being heavily guarded. There were searchlights in the watchtowers and numerous guards patrolling the area. The agent took off his goggles and had a grim expression on his face. This would not be an easy stealth operation.
90 (Mar 17, 2006)
There will be some who label Black as an exercise into the realms of exaggeration, a thinly veiled trip into frantic action and easy destruction without any true sense of progressive narrative or other compelling undercurrent. And they may well be right in that assessment. However, as a freestanding FPS experience, Criterion has created Black with nothing short of clearly marked goals along the way. At no point in Black's development did the game ever indicate it would become anything more than what it is: a high-powered homage to the FPS genre in its simplest and most undiluted form. Many of today's games strive for layered intricacies they cannot reach, and subsequently they fall flat in the process, crushing that most valuable of all gaming assets: fun. Black is fun from start to finish, and that's a priceless achievement not often attained in modern videogames.
Gamereactor (Sweden) (Feb 18, 2006)
Tillsammans med underbart surround-ljud och fantastiskt underhållande spelbarhet är Black årets hittills bästa actionspel. Visst, det saknar både multiplayerläge och onlinestöd - vilket givetvis talar emot Black. Men precis som med The Chronicles of Riddick (som inte heller innehöll varken mulriplayer eller onlinestöd) bryr jag mig inte då spelupplevelsen i sig överglänser det mesta som genren i övrigt har att erbjuda. Köp Black, njut av tolv timmar ren actionmagi.
Gamer Within (Mar 01, 2006)
In conclusion, it can be confidently stated that the XBox and Playstation 2 have received one of their best titles ever, even at the end of their life cycle. Despite the 360 and the pending arrival of the PS3, fans of first-person shooters would do themselves a disservice if they did not get in some time with Black. It is a game that turns up the action and intensity to 11, and never lets up. Though it may lack Doom 3's length, Half-Life 2's story, Halo 2's multiplayer, and Far Cry's character development, it is unmatched in terms of action and the sense of power that comes from pulling the trigger on a gun. Criterion is intending to make Black the first game in a succession, and after playing Black through, many gamers will be willing to set their money down on the pre-order now already.
Game Chronicles (Mar 13, 2006)
Black doesn’t break any new ground, and is even missing some old ground. Being only eight hours in length, the lack of multiplayer is all the more conspicuous, and what replay value is there is a bit pointless. Black is unapologetic and uncompromising. And it’s hard to argue when it kills and blows things up so well. Black is a memorable, beautiful shooter that has some snags. There is definitely potential for much more, but what’s on offer is more than worthy. It’s fun and intense all the way through. And on PS2, no shooter can graphically compare. Black is the satisfying equivalent of randomly breaking something that belongs to someone else. You’ll love it.
Game Captain (Mar 17, 2006)
Wer auf knallharte Action steht und sich damit zufrieden gibt, ist bei Black bestens aufgehoben. Die Präsentation ist absolut fantastisch und schlägt alles was bisher auf der Konsole in diesem Genre zu sehen war. Dagegen stehen zu wenig Abwechslung und der geradlinige Spielverlauf. Außerdem gibt es keinerlei Innovationen. Mich hat das Spiel dennoch überzeugt, denn hier gibt es pausenloses Dauerfeuer mit einer grandiosen Atmosphäre und genau das erwarte ich von einem puren Action-Spiel.
Gamigo (Feb 27, 2006)
Hirn ausschalten, Spiel in die Konsole einwerfen und loslegen. So schön einfach kann Spielvergnügen heutzutage sein. Ihr seid es leid euch durch komplexe Titel zu wurschteln und wollt einfach nur Spaß haben und vielleicht noch ein wenig den Frust abbauen. Black ist hierfür das perfekte Mittel. Schnelle unkomplizierte Action für Erwachsene. Nicht mehr, aber auch nicht weniger.
IGN (Feb 22, 2006)
BLACK is a 100% visceral experience, 100% of the time. It's engaging, enthralling, and moreover, it's simply the definition of fun imbibed into two analog sticks and a handful of buttons. You'll have an extremely hard time finding a game that does a better job at placing a gun in your hand and letting you blow the utter [email protected]%* out of everything in front of you.
XGP Gaming (Mar 16, 2006)
Although it doesn’t seem Black lived up exactly to the hype it produced, it gave the genre some new features to emulate. Vast numbers of destructible objects, semi-destructible buildings, Hollywood explosions coupled with semi-scripted action sequences, stellar sound effects, and musical ambiance that only a top-rated score can produce, are all great things that Black birthed to the FPS genre. However fantastic those qualities are, Black still fell a bit short from reaching true greatness. That would entail what claims Criterion had initially stated.
Black may not be the definitive FPS the PS2 world has been dying for, but it is a competent shooter with a few moments of spectacular content. Well worth a look if nothing else and, at about $40 new, it’s a low-risk purchase.
ince I first saw Black at E3 in 2004 I was enamored by its no-holds-barred approach to guns and the emotional feedback that comes from not only your weapon in hand, but its effect on the environment. Over time I saw bits and pieces of the game, and came away from those experiences thinking this game would be a non-stop assault of bullets, destruction, and debris. The finished game wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, but that doesn’t mean I was disappointed. That said, I really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to see what Criterion can do with this franchise in the future. For a first-time entry into the first-person shooter market, Black is impressive. It just needs some tweaks and some of the required options that gamers expect from an FPS – like multiplayer.
With only eight missions to play through, Black only lasts about 6-8 hours. You may want to play through twice to unlock all the weapons, but any more is just for the fun of blowing everything up. A huge downer is that there is no co-op play or even multiplayer to enjoy. With the highly destructible maps, Black would have been a blast to play with your friends in a death match. This wasn't on Criterion's agenda because they wanted to create the ultimate single player experience with a shooter that blew people away. Black is easily classified as gun porn for all shooter fans alike and is a must have for any PS2 and Xbox owner. Being written as a trilogy, many have high hopes for seeing Black in a next generation platform. We will have to wait and see where Criterion goes from here and what they have in store for their new baby in the future.
84 (Feb 24, 2006)
Technisch und atmosphärisch ist Black eine Vorzeige-Ballerei, wie man sie sich wünscht. Allerdings kann der Einsatz mit Jack Kellar spielerisch das anfänglich hohe Niveau nicht über die gesamte Spielzeit von knapp neun Stunden hinweg halten. Zu eintönig erscheint nach den ersten Missionen eure Aufgabe, die nur daraus besteht, sich von Punkt A nach Punkt B vorzuarbeiten, ein paar versteckte Bonusgegenstände wie geheime Dokumente zu finden und dabei die meist dümmlichen, aber zahlenmäßig überlegenen Gegner auszuschalten. Zwar sorgen die großartigen, wenn auch linearen Außen- und etwas sterilen Innenabschnitte für einen regelmäßigen Tapetenwechsel sowie eine dichte Atmosphäre im Kugelhagel, doch hätte auch spielerisch etwas mehr Abwechslung drin sein dürfen.
Cheat Code Central (Mar 07, 2006)
As a PS2 owner you'll be blown away by the visuals and destruction, as an Xbox owner you'll recognize a very cool game (albeit) short one, when you see it. As an Xbox 360 owner, you'll be extremely annoyed that you currently cannot play it on your shiny new system. Let's hope that changes. Criterion is definitely off to a great start here, with their first non-Burnout game in years and considering the complete genre switcheroo, they should be commended for their efforts. I can't wait to see what they can pull off on the next gen systems and hope they continue the Black franchise for years to come.
GameZone (Mar 07, 2006)
BLACK is a refreshing FPS that stood apart from the rest the day it was announced. It wasn't because of the name, the visuals, or the promise of all guns blazing, BLACK stood out because it came from Criterion. When Criterion's name is attached to a game it isn't just an announcement – it actually means something.
Game Over Online (Mar 06, 2006)
BLACK is the kind of gun opera you’d expect from director John Woo, starring Chow Yun Fat. It’s explosive both in its technical presentation and gameplay, but it’s a very short experience. Brevity is a tough $40 pill to swallow, but from the opening credits to the inconclusive ending (a sequel is planned), BLACK is a blast to play. As long as you’re a fan of first-person shooters, you owe it to yourself to at least rent BLACK and watch the current generation of consoles go out in style.
Cheat Code Central (Mar 27, 2006)
With no multi-player modes, replay value is a little low compared to most FPS releases these days, but if you take into consideration the non-linear paths and uber-challenge of the harder difficulties, those who enjoy what Black had to offer the first time around will like experimenting the second and third time. Black does suffer from playing all of its cards early in the game, in effect, giving you not a lot to look forward to in later stages except for more enemies and new surroundings. Once you've played the first level you've experienced all of what Black has to offer. That's not to say it isn't entertaining, perhaps just slightly disappointing. You certainly can't complain about the lack of action which requires a fair amount of patience, strategy and even luck. I'm definitely willing to cut Criterion some slack as this is their first attempt at a FPS and they've shown that they've got what it takes.
80 (UK) (Feb 22, 2006)
Thanks to Criterion's otherworldly technical ability to pull off graphical effects that wouldn't look out of place on next gen machines and some truly inspired set-pieces, BLACK is the most progressive and exciting shooter to emerge on the console platforms for years. Even without the chance to play online with foul-mouthed American teenagers (a blessing, some would argue), and a general lack of longevity within the game, it's obvious that BLACK has more than enough going for it in its potent single-player campaign to recommend the game to anyone who believe that happiness is a warm gun.
Video Game Talk (Mar 13, 2006)
For fans of first person shooters that are just looking to blow something up Black is a godsend. The action is so over-the-top you'll get a nosebleed and the sense of immersion is amazing if you let yourself get swept away. Unfortunately the lack of multiplayer, proper pacing, creative gameplay, and mind-numbingly stupid AI leave something to be desired. For what it's worth Black does make an immediate and positive impact that lasts for at least a few hours. After that it starts to get a little dull.
80 (Apr 20, 2006)
Verdict: Rent it. You can beat it in a weekend and since there is no multiplayer, immediate replay value is low. However, Black is a great game to have around if you find yourself in the mood to kill a bunch of stuff because you got fired, or your girlfriend left and took the cat with her.
Club Skill (Mar 08, 2006)
Criterion’s first attempt at a first-person shooter is a worthy attempt to say the least. The direction they’ve taken has brought the best out of BLACK and with the constant blasting of weaponry into the surrounding environments, BLACK is a must buy for those PlayStation2 owners looking for a great first-person shooter. It’s by no means tactical, it’s utter mayhem. Also, It is by no means long as there is only 8 missions in total to go through, but it’s still a good experience. Criterion have built a foundation to take BLACK to the next level on the next-gen consoles (hopefully) and with the Burnout series coming to life in Burnout 3: Takedown, let’s see if Criterion can make a sequel to BLACK as good as Burnout 3 was for the Burnout series.
80 (Mar 28, 2006)
Black isn't original and it isn't genre-defining, but it is an excellent first person shooter offering a consistently solid and enjoyable single-player experience that every fan of the genre should try.
Yahoo! Games (Mar 03, 2006)
The story stars special government operative J. Kellar, who finds himself in boiling hot water. A mission hasn't gone as planned, and he's taking the heat. We find Kellar interrogated by a higher-up after the feces has hit the fan. In his retelling of what went down, we take control and see the events that unfolded firsthand. Between-level storytelling is done through nice FMV scenes, but make no bones about it: They're merely to get you from one battleground to another.
GamePro (US) (Feb 23, 2006)
Under interrogation, you detail your path of destruction and murderous rampage in an attempt to hunt down a known terrorist. What you didn't know: You weren't officially sanctioned by the U.S. Government, and instead, were used as a pawn for someone else even more sinister. Eh, so what, you say?
GameSpy (Feb 23, 2006)
As you make your way through the game, you'll likely notice countless setpieces that seem to have been directly inspired by some of Hollywood's biggest action blockbusters. There's a columned lobby that's similar to the one shot up by Neo in "The Matrix," as well as a shower sequence that'll make you think you're running through the Sean Connery vehicle "The Rock." As is the case with even the best action films, BLACK probably won't stay with you long after the closing credits have rolled. That's not to say, however, that you won't be on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
79 (Mar 12, 2006)
Black is such an accomplishment, and such a disappointment at the same time. On the one hand there's no doubt that technically this is probably the most accomplished title ever seen on the PS2. Not only are the graphics superb, but the audio is top notch, and the AI impressive. At the same time however you'll also lament the fact that the game is so short, there is no online gameplay, nor even split screen. There's certainly somewhere for Criterion to take the inevitable sequel at least. Should you buy it. If you love FPS's then yes, if you just want to see what's going on then perhaps a rental is best - most gamers could get through Black in a day or two - albeit without discovering all the secrets.
Whilst there are some problems with Black I have to say that the game is enjoyable and it's one of the few FPS games I'd be happy to play on the PlayStation 2 console. The explosions look great and the graphics for the most part are impressive. There are some issues with the game though such as the lack of a multiplayer component, low replay value, suspect enemy AI and poor provision for deaf gamers. Still there aren't many better FPS experiences that you can have on the PlayStation 2.
Worth Playing (Mar 19, 2006)
It’s such a shame when a perfectly good little game can be overwhelmed by its hype. This happens pretty often actually, and you can feel free to add Black to the list of titles that would have been perfectly satisfying and impressive if people just kept their overexcited mouths shut about it. As it stands, I can’t imagine anyone who plays Black not being disappointed with it.
GameSpot (Feb 23, 2006)
Black is an explosion-filled first-person shooter from Criterion Games, the company responsible for bringing explosions to driving games with the Burnout series. Like the Burnout games, Black packs in a lot of firepower. It seems like something's blowing up every minute or two, and this helps the game make an absolutely killer first impression. The action, however, doesn't hold up for long. Black quickly falls into a rut that not even amazing-looking blast effects can save it from.
PSX Extreme (Mar 24, 2006)
From a technical standpoint it's phenomenal and gets performance out of the PlayStation 2 hardware that nobody thought was possible. That said, you can't help but feel all the missed opportunities as you play the game. Even slightly improved AI would have made the game much more engaging, as would more effective bullets, varied mission objectives, and more freedom to carry whatever guns you wanted. On a larger scale, co-op mode would be fantastic, and the potential of online multi-player action with this engine is endless. The PS2 isn't exactly blessed with a large number of enjoyable first person shooters so Black is certainly worth a look if you can pick it up cheaply or as a rental. The lack of replay value, however, keeps it from being worth the full price of admission.
Thunderbolt Games (May 17, 2007)
Overall, Black is a good game. It has absolutely superb audiovisual presentation, extravagant and hugely entertaining action and some of the best FPS set-pieces you'll find on the PS2. It's a shame the experience doesn't deliver a little more variety and there are a few minor flaws which bring things down a little, but all in all this is one of the most explosive, entertaining shooters on the PS2. Well worth your time.
GameDaily (Mar 02, 2006)
We've been talking about Black for quite a while, haven't we? Whether it was the full-blown preview I knocked out a few weeks ago or even back in the day when the game was first announced, the buzz was there, starting to build up steam. "A first-person shooter from the Burnout guys? With destroyable environments? Count me in!" But then, during the game's development, a few facts were laid on the table. Yes, the game would be intense. Yes, the game looked to have plenty of exciting features. Yes, there would be no multiplayer. But, hey, Half-Life 2 wasn't half bad, right? So we can't factor that against it right away.
Pro-G (Feb 26, 2006)
Criterion basically rewrote the rule book for racing games with the Burnout series. Particularly with Burnout 3 and Burnout Revenge, the games were less about racing than they were about crashing. Criterion effectively carved out a new racing genre that others haven't been able to match. With an emphasis on destruction, a full-on action game seemed to be an obvious next step for the company and the result is Black - a game that has wowed journos since it was first revealed as nothing more than a tech demo. The final game is just as destructive as promised, but doesn't stand up as well as the technology that powers it.
1UP (Feb 23, 2006)
If you come into Black expecting high drama, you're going to be disappointed. Throughout the game's development, Criterion has made no bones about that not being a top priority. While other recent shooters have struggled to measure up to the standard set by Half-Life 2, using that stick here won't give you an accurate reading. Like its namesake color, Black is bold in its simplicity, an elemental force that makes a strong, singular statement: It intends to be the most adrenaline-pumping, testosterone-infused shooter ever. And in that regard, it succeeds.
Netjak (Mar 13, 2006)
While it's nice to see EA supposedly stepping outside their vanilla confines, it'd be better if they didn't just trade their vanilla confines for someone else's. How about giving us something original next time that doesn't comply to another game's every cliche? My final opinion? Just a rental, despite what Alex Ward would have you believe. You can't ship a game that's under 10 hours long in this day and age without multiplayer and real unlockables and just expect gamers to go out and plunk down $40 for it. It is a fun 6-8 hours? Sure. Will you ever need to play it again? Very, very unlikely. "Gun-porn" turns out to be the most accurate descriptor anyone slapped onto the game. I mean, how many times can you rewatch the same bit of pr0n before you're completely unstimulated by it? It's intense for the first experience, but completely diminishing returns every time after that. That's not something I can recommend you slap down $40 for.
65 (Feb 23, 2006)
Fichtre que l'enrobage de Black est beau. Bougrement impressionnant, le FPS de Criterion opte pour un gameplay des plus basiques qui réussit à tourner en rond en se reposant sur un certain fun lié à la frénésie destructrice qui l'accompagne. Malheureusement, sous le vernis, son I.A. au ras des pâquerettes, son gameplay finalement sans surprises et son gros manque de variété finissent par lasser. L'inclusion d'une ou deux phases originales auraient suffit à régler ce problème et à rallonger une durée de vie rikiki.
GameLemon (Jul 14, 2006)
At the end of the day Black is far from the worst first-person shooter you could play (that honor is unquestionably held by Dick Cheney vs. Infants & Elderly: Take No Prisoners!). You'll have a few decent moments of shooting and killing, but considering the amount of boring blasting away at specs in the distance and dodging wildly out of the way of rockets from nowhere, they're probably not worth it. You're much better off playing a game that makes you feel less like a bitch for lowest-common-denominator marketing strategies. I suggest my own soon-to-be-released magnum opus, Mike Zeller's Traveling Antique Dealing Adventures. It's got more credenzas than most!
The A.V. Club (Mar 14, 2006)
Another uncanny Black/Doom-demo parallel is painfully obvious: Each one initially takes about six hours to complete. That was awesome for Doom, a free download with 16 extra maps available after registration. But 40 bucks for Black's eight levels, with no multiplayer mode, and unlockable difficulty settings the only incentive to replay? The question is really whether renting this lovely oversized tech demo is worth a whole weekend.
Diehard GameFan (Mar 14, 2006)
If this is gun porn it’s that garbage that gets made in sunny Southern California, full of silicon and rubber. The game is vapid and shallow, with little depth and a wanton craving for your money. There is one thing which makes this game just like porn. You never EVER buy porn, unless you’re some sort of sex addict. Black is much the same. If you’re a gun addict, you might find this to be an interesting addition to your collection. Otherwise rental only.
Black is short and complete lack of multiplayer causes the game to have almost zero staying power, but that being said the gameplay is solid and the explosions and sound are amazing enough to at least warrant a rent. It's a good first step into the FPS realm for Criterion, but it falls well short of its full potential