Let start with this:
US version: in general rev. 1, needs patch 1.1. and 1.2.
EU version, already rev. 1.1. needs patch 1.2.. You can download this from the midway website. Click the Union Jack on the midway homepage.
The game has a lot of bugs. Even after installing Patch 1.2 my character and my men flash up like a squid on mushrooms trying to hypnotize a shrimp.
It took me some time to figure out witch version I have and which update I need. An auto-updater or a link to the Midway website would have been a very welcome addition. It was google all the way.
Awesome! Except the flickering enemies, good guys and player character. Pretty detailed and nice alien animations!
A couple of sidenotes: ragdoll physics and peckinpah-esque bloodsquirts would have been preferable over "you-scored-a-hit" bitmaps that seem to be taken directly of out "Operation Wolf" It would also have been nice to see the enemy react to the location of the hit, like in SIN or in Soldier Of Fortune. Not bad, but this has been done better.
Sound: Great, not too much to worry about.
Gameplay: As for level design. I haven't finished the game yet. But it looks OK. External and internal levels as well third person drive around vehicle levels. The vehicle control works well, if you remember to steer with the mouse. (I want to steer with A and D and LOOK with the mouse)
The gameplay is straight forward FPS, but very, very linear. The upside is that the single player campaign is supposed of a decent length, the downside is that it is heavily scripted and no free roaming in this game!
The shooter part doesn't play as well as Half Life (2) or Far Cry or Crysis. Part of it, I think is because of the lack of ragdoll physics and the lack of hit locations. You have to hit the enemy a number of times before he's "killed", with one exception the head. The bodies disappear. The just vanish. This gives the game an arcade feel instead of a FPS feel. Let's not even begin talking about AI. Like I said, it is no FarCry.
The squad moral is a nice feature, but don't expect too much of it, same as squad tactics? Squad tactics?
Save function. There is no "save menu". This is a console port. I read some negative comments about the game having checkpoints. I personally have no issues with the save function in BlackSite. Why?
1: a checkpoint are never far away. You don't have to play hours and hours before reaching a checkpoint. If you die, you don't have to replay hours and hours of game.
2: checkpoints are savepoints! Unlike some games, where you lose all progression from the start of the level when you quit and restart -even if you did reach the final checkpoint, BlackSite really saves the game. If you quit after you reach a checkpoint and start the game, you will start from that checkpoint!
Overall the gameplay is nice. Not spectacular. Some moments have a cinematographical feel to it: like your "in" a movie. A Roger Corman sci-fi movie ;-) The single person campaign is supposed to be of decent length, but I haven't finished the Game yet. I haven't tried the MP side.
I sound pretty positive, right? Well, I bough the game for 20 euro's.
Here's my opinion:
BlackSite is a nice try, that should have deserved a little more beta testing. It also deserved a whole lot of other attention, to get it to the level of Far Cry or Crysis or Half Life.
But it didn't and we get a buggy FPS instead. If you look beyond the bugs and flaws, it is a light FPS snack with nice gameplay, that should only be bought as a budget title (20 euros or less)!