E3 2007: Hands On With Blacksite: Area 51

Blacksite: Area 51 Screen

One of the nice things about coming to E3 is that occasionally you’ll get to see a title that grabs your interest most unexpectedly. Blacksite: Area 51 was one game that had that effect on me this year.

First off, the game has nothing to do with either the arcade rail shooter or the previous Area 51 title. It places you as part of a Delta Force unit in the American Southwest. You also have two squadmates that help you advance through the story. Your squadmates are handled through an intuitive point-and-click system that is easy to learn and master. Additionally, their morale can be enhanced or degraded by the quality of the player’s orders and performance, which directly affects how effective they are.

Blacksite includes 32 levels, two of which are rail-shooters. Yes, I know people think rail shooters have been done to death, but there’s just something viscerally satisfying about blowing a hundred-foot tall alien to bits with a Blackhawk chopper’s minigun. In addition, the entire game can be played in a two-player cooperative mode, something that is seriously lacking in a lot of games today.

In the time I spent playing the game, I could already tell that this is a title that shooter fans will indeed enjoy. While we don’t have an exact release date, judging from the build we saw, it should be coming to store shelves very soon.

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