Black sequel plans confirmed by developer
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Electronic Arts
Sometimes there’s an underrated gem of yesteryear in which fans may have forgotten about, but there’s always a section of loyal fans that would love to see such a game make a dramatic return.
One such game is the 2006 first-person shooter developed by Criterion Games, Black. Released for PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox, Black was a no-nonsense, cinematic pick-up-and-play shooter that for its time, had impressive destructive mechanics. On aggregate websites such as Metacritic, Black garnered scores in the high 70s.
Check out the Black trailer below!
There were rumblings many years ago that Black would be getting a sequel, sadly, that never came to be. Though, it did get a spiritual successor of sorts in 2011 with Bodycount from Codemasters with much of the development team consisting of those who had originally worked on Black. Earlier this year, fans were pleading for Black to finally receive its sequel, pleas that publisher Electronic Arts failed to respond to.
However, some of the ex-developers who were at Criterion that worked on Black spoke to media outlet thatHITBOX confirming that the rumours were true and the shooter was intended to have its sequel. When Black was originally released in 2006, it was during a time when many video games had multiplayer modes stapled on, such a mode never featured in the game. To fix that, the Black sequel was going to have its own online co-op multiplayer.
Ben Minto who was the sound designer on Black also revealed that the sequel was going to have ‘Rendition’ as its subtitle and its premise centred on: “American troops going overseas, kidnapping people and bringing them back across borders. I'm not sure that there was a fully-fledged story mapped out though.”
One other feature that was common for the time was cover-based shooting mechanics as popularised by Gears of War which was released during the same year as the original Black.
“We had an amazing [first-person] cover mechanic where you could position yourself against things and blind fire,” said Black-level designer Michael Othen. “It felt intuitive and organic. There were some cool enemy AI behaviours with the way they moved around the environment. You'd see them jumping over car bonnets and sliding into cover. It looked amazing as a player because you had that dynamic flow of movement. These were just very early ingredients at the R&D stage.”
What’s more, continuing on with its cinematic presentation from the first game, the Black sequel was going to be influenced by pop-culture action movies. “They wanted to continue to be influenced by movies. They employed a model builder to build miniatures of lifelike locations,” game designer Richard Bunn explained. “One of the aspects of pre-vis that stood out was they wanted to have more realistic scenarios. More of this assassin-type gameplay, where you'd go into real locations that were a bit more alive, with other people, and take out a target. Essentially a bit like Hitman.”
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get to see a Black sequel. Though you never know, if the community makes enough noise, Electronic Arts might listen, just don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
If you want to try the classic shooter for yourself, then Black is backwards compatible on both Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.