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Blacklight: Tango Down Review

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Futuristic multiplayer mayhem

★★★★

As it’s available as an Xbox 360 download for a mere 1,200 Microsoft Points – which amounts to a little over a tenner – you’d be forgiven for assuming Blacklight: Tango Down would look shameful beside big retail releases such as Modern Warfare 2. But, surprisingly for a budget release, Blacklight holds its own admirably in the face of tough competition and can compete with the big boys of first-person blasting.

Best experienced in the brutal multiplayer mode, Blacklight is set in the grim, wartorn streets of futuristic Russia that offer a fabulous playground for carnage, with dozens of twisting alleyways and shadowy doorways to set-up ambushes, and a smattering of wide-open areas that make for some dramatic shootouts. In terms of its weapons, Blacklight is beautifully balanced, and will delight everyone from gung-ho gun nuts to sneaky snipers, while a range of unique gadgets, including a visor that can reveal hidden enemies and a digital grenade that disrupts your rivals’ view, help make this feel different to every other shooter on Xbox Live. And as your battlefield antics earn you experience points that can be used to unlock new weapons and equipment as you progress, Blacklight will keep you coming back for months and offers tremendous value for money.

A word of warning, though. Solo gamers who prefer their action offline will find the single-player game a crushing disappointment, with linear challenges, a complete lack of storytelling, and levels that abruptly end rather than offering up a boss battle or showboating conclusion, in turn offering little incentive to keep you coming back for more.

Regardless, if it’s multiplayer mash-ups that keep you hooked to your console while the sun blazes outside, you won’t find better value blaster than Blacklight, which hopefully points to a day when you won’t have to pay a premium for top-flight firefights.