I tried Midway’s Xbox 360 shooter Blacksite: Area 51. It looked very cool and I was especially impressed by the mass of the assaulting aliens; it felt like they would topple me upon impact. Otherwise, so very original Half-Life. Maybe if they have some tricks in store it’ll be interesting, but as it stands, it’s merely competent FPS action – polished in every respect, but seriously lacking originality.
What I was intrigued about was the AI of your squad. The game features very basic squad command, with one of your bumper buttons assigning context-sensitive orders (move/ attack/ breach). I was wondering about the comments my comrades were saying during the game, asking me why I’m holding back and so forth. I thought it was just colour, but apparently the game features a squad AI with morale, and that morale is based on the player’s behavior. If you’re aggressive, your squad’s aggressive. If you hang back, your squad’s efficiency is hampered due to your “indecisiveness”. In practice I felt that my normal, cautious FPS play style was being punished. Not that that is a bad thing per se. Interesting gameplay element and certainly something that adds a little colour to an otherwise generic FPS setup.