Blacklight: Tango Down is a video game by Zombie Studios and published by Ignition Entertainment. The game was released on July 7, 2010 on Xbox 360 as a downloadable title, and was released on Microsoft Windows on July 14. It is set to be released on the PlayStation 3 in September 2010. No exact date confirmed.
Zombie is planning to make Blacklight a multimedia franchise that will include the video game, a feature film, and a trilogy of comic books. The idea was concepted by Zombie executives which later pitched the idea to several film and comic book production companies. The film rights were immediately bought by Fox Atomic to create a film adaptation of the franchise. Fox Atomic's comic subsidiary, Fox Atomic Comics, was also to be creating the Blacklight comics, but after the closing of Fox Atomic, the trans-media rights have been purchased by Imagine Entertainment. The film, comic books, and game will not share the same storylines, but tell different stories in the Blacklight universe at different time periods.
Blacklight: Tango Down is an online multiplayer first person shooter with an experience system similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Unreal Tournament, Battlefield Bad Company series and Quake, yet very unique in its own ways. The game contains traditional modes such Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Control Point, with other modes being announced in the build up to launch. The game makes use of its near-future setting by offering HRV (Hyper Reality Visor) that allow players to see through walls, and digi-grenades that counter other players' visors.
The game features an experience system lets the player rank up through 70 levels. Weapon customizations will unlock as the player gains skill and experience points and will include more basic add-ons like sniper scopes as well as more complex enhancements, such as stocks, barrels, muzzles, magazines, weapon tags, etc.
Blacklight: Tango Down takes place in the near-future in a fictional eastern European city. The city is a former soviet state that has become rundown and dilapidated.
The game was officially announced by Zombie and Fox Atomic on March 16, 2009 at a press conference. The pair announced not only the game, but the collaboration on the film and comic book series as well. The only details revealed were the first-person perspective and futuristic setting of the game. The designers described Blacklight as "Science Fact", as opposed to Science fiction. It was explained that this meant Zombie researched the cutting edge of modern day technology and applied them to the armor and weapons of the game to give it a real but futuristic atmosphere. Zombie, having worked with the Army on several training games, have had the ability to check the advances in R&D as far as new technologies.
The following day Zombie founder Mark Long had a public interview revealing much more information about the game. A basic plot summary was issued as well as some weapon designs. Although no release date was set, he noted that the comic book will come first and the game will come "sooner than later".
A few screenshots of the game were released alongside the interview. Most of the screens, in a unique marketing approach, all depict the same scene from different angles and perspectives. The scene depicts a battle between two warring factions dressed in advanced combat armor in an urban environment with several skyscrapers. Some of the buildings are shown being crumbled and some are destroyed with large holes in them from previous battles.
Blacklight: Tango Down sold over 100,000 copies in its first three weeks of release on Xbox Live Arcade.
In July 2010, Zombie Studios revealed to file hosting site Big Download that the team was already starting development on the sequel to Blacklight: Tango Down. According to Zombie Studios CEO Mark Long the game will feature larger maps and vehicle control. Blacklight: Tango Down 2 (working title) is targeted for a summer 2011 release.
The most positive review came from Daemon Hatfield of IGN, who described the game as a "fun and inexpensive way to get your multiplayer fix", and that "when you first jump into the game it may be hard to believe you only paid $15 for it". However despite commending the game for being solid, he admitted it was "not particularly inspired". GamesRadar gave a similar review to IGN, saying that the game "seeks to bring the beloved multiplayer modes of AAA shooters to a downloadable game that only costs fifteen bucks, and in many respects it does this well", but called the co-op modes "linear" and "uninspired". The title's unique weapon custimisation mechanic came under particular praise by NTSC-uk, claiming it provided "not only the largest variety of guns seen in any competitive shooter today, but also the most balanced online ranking system that is on the market".
The lowest scored review came from Jim Sterling of Destructoid, who rated the game 3/10. He also criticized the co-op missions, saying that the "Black Ops levels seem thrown in for no good reason", and that the "multiplayer is only marginally better". However he did note "Tango Down looks really quite good, with visuals that almost look convincingly retail", but that "graphics really aren't worth buying the game for".
- Imagine's "Transmedia Storytelling" Deal
- Faylor, Chris (2009-03-17). An Early Glimpse of Zombie's Blacklight. Shack News. Retrieved on 2009-08-30
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Blacklight: Tango Down Revealed
- Blacklight: Tango Down Sequel Develelopment Announcement
- Fox Atomic
- Fox Atomic Comics
- Official website
- Official Xbox.com page
- Developer's official website
- Blacklight franchise website
- Press release
- Blacklight: Tango Down Sequel Announced