Black is a 2006 first person shooter for PS2 and XBox by Criterion Games, better known as the creators of the Burnout racing series and one of the developers who have worked on the Need for Speed franchise. The story is told in flashback by a former CIA black operative named Jack Kellar, recounting to an interrogator his recent actions against a shadowy terrorist group named Seventh Wave.
The following weapons appear in the video game Black:
Black uses a standard two-slot system for carrying weapons where any two different weapons can be carried by the player, as well as up to nine hand grenades. The game is chiefly distinguished by the deliberate "gun porn" approach of the developers; they claimed in interviews that other shooters did not make their weapons look or sound interesting. As a result, weapons in Black are redesigned, with the chief goal of making them interesting to look at rather than technically accurate; weapons have added or moved components and often eject to the left instead of the right. Magazine capacities are also enormously increased; the game is about the act of firing a gun, and you can't do that if you're reloading it. Unusually, reloading animations are also sped up if the player is under fire, and draw animations skip any flourishes like racking the charging handle. As a result of all this ammunition flying around, enemies are somewhat more resilient than in most modern shooters.
The game's sound design for weapons is fairly unique, and was referred to as "a chorus of gunfire." Rather than having a single sound for weapons that is randomly pitch-shifted for variety and varied according to range, each enemy weapon in a given area is assigned a "voice" with different pitch, so each one is distinct from the others. In addition, movie sound effects are often used instead of sampling real weapons, often from specific action movies.
Most weapons in the game can be fitted with suppressors, though the game has very little in the way of stealth mechanics; a suppressor also decreases the damage of the weapon it is fitted to.
The game's only real Frankengun, the development team have stated the DC3 Elite is a cross between the Beretta 92FS and the IMI Desert Eagle; it comes with a 15-round magazine. It's the starting weapon in a few levels, including the first where it can be replaced with an assault rifle and shotgun within thirty seconds of the level loading. The weapon is apparently designed in such a way that even though the slide locks open when the magazine is released, the user still has to pull it back further to actually chamber a round. The sound effect is described by the developers as being "Jack Bauer's pistol" firing, presumably meaning the USP Compact.
The Glock 19 is featured in some levels as a starting sidearm, with an optional suppressor. Strangely, in a game full of comically increased magazine capacities, the Glock's 15-round magazine has been shrunk down to 12 rounds. As with the DC3, when Kellar picks it up or switches to it he'll do a brass check.
Smith & Wesson Model 629
Called the "Magnum" in game, so there was only ever one kind of Magnum it was going to be - a Smith & Wesson Model 29, or rather the stainless steel version, the Model 629. The game's version is heavily customised, resembling a Performance Center "Stealth Hunter," though with a RIS rail added to the top of the barrel and frame. The game's Magnum is seemingly single action only, with Kellar thumb-cocking the hammer after every shot. As is often the case with videogame revolvers, the range and accuracy of the weapon makes it more like a scopeless marksman's rifle than a handgun. The weapon is a rare find as a pickup and the only pistol to have its own ammo type; it is used extensively late in the game by riot shield enemies.
The weapon's reload uses a speedloader, which the developers seem to have confused with a moon clip; Kellar inserts the speedloader into the cylinder, but pushes it down rather than actually detaching it.
Shown very briefly during the opening montages is a blurry image of a Beretta 92FS.
Black's FN P90 is the Triple Rail version; rather than using the weapon's distinctive translucent polycarbonate magazine, the game's version has a metallic magazine which somehow holds 100 rounds instead of 50 and the rate of fire has been bumped up from 900rpm to 1500rpm. It also has a lot of accessory rails. As with many games, the ammo system counts "SMG" as a whole class, so the 5.7mm P90 can use the same ammo as the other subguns. Unusually for a videogame, the P90's magazine is inserted correctly during the reloading animation and it actually ejects spent casings off-screen rather than just hurling them out of some non-existent side ejection port.
A heavily customised Ingram MAC-11 based on an Airsoft gun appears in the game as the "MAC-10 Elite," with rails added more or less everywhere and then some more added for good measure, and a 70-round magazine. One of the few guns in the game to have a rate of fire lower than its real-world counterpart at 750rpm instead of 1090rpm. The weapon's charging handle is shifted over to the side, extending out of an additional raised RIS system; on this is mounted what is probably supposed to be a C-More sight but is actually a H&K-style front sight mounted on a riser. The weapon has a suppressor unique to it, whereas most of the other suppressor designs are shared between multiple weapons. Unlike any of the other guns, the suppressor is equipped by default when the MAC-11 is picked up or in the player's starting loadout; it even re-attaches itself if the weapon is discarded and picked up again. Its magazines are the model for submachine gun ammunition, which means that all subguns in the game are chambered for ".380 SMG", if the gun's markings mean anything.
The Uzi is a full-size model, and is used later in the game by Seventh Wave, as well as being found as an "armament" objective in the first level. It is given a charging handle on the left side. The original charging handle is still present on the top of the gun, but it is not used for anything, and indeed would be useless given the addition of an RIS rail surrounding the charging handle. It also features a fire selector with a burst mode, and a ridiculously gigantic 90-round magazine, probably so it lasts more than a second since the rate of fire is an equally ridiculous 1500rpm, more than double the original 600rpm. The sound effect is, according to the developers, the sound of "Arnold Schwarzenegger firing his Uzi in True Lies." This presumably means it was sampled from the sound of the MAC-10s firing on the basis that every subgun Arnie fires is an Uzi.
Heckler & Koch HK94
A rare example of a videogame featuring a chopped and converted HK94 as an MP5; it's an HK94 since the gun lacks a paddle release for the magazine and has no lugs on the barrel. First appearing in the level "Tivliz Asylum," it's the most accurate of the submachine guns by a substantial distance. The weapon has an 80-round magazine and a rate of fire that falls in-between different models of the gun at 750rpm, and the telescoping stock is shown with the two rails actually sliding into the body of the weapon rather than resting along the sides. The firing sound effect is sampled from Bruce Willis firing his converted HK94 during the movie Die Hard.
The AK-47 is the primary weapon used by Seventh Wave soldiers throughout the game, and comes with a doubled capacity of 60 rounds. The rate of fire has also seen a boost from 600rpm to 750rpm. Stock footage shown between levels also shows militia groups, presumably re-cast as Seventh Wave terrorists, holding AK-pattern weapons, though the shots are blurry enough to make identification of the specific type impossible. In game, shells eject from the left and the charging handle is on the same side. Along with this the bolt stays open when the last shot is fired but when Kellar slides in the magazine it closes. Then to add in a bit of reality (of a real AK-47) he slides back the charging handle to load the next round. This is useless due to the fact that the first round would have been loaded when the bolt closed after the magazine was loaded. Another nice touch is that he inserts the magazine front-end first. The top of the receiver cover features some kind of mounting rail, and the rear sight is wider and shorter than it should be. The lever for detaching the gas tube, above the handguard, seems to be completely missing, replaced with tiny, useless rail mounts.
One of the images used in the mission briefings shows a man in a room full of weapons and equipment, with a hard-to-discern rifle mounted on his wall and an AKS-74U in his hands.
The Heckler & Koch G36C is the standard-issue weapon used by all friendly NPCs, though it is only available to the player in later missions. The weapon is shown with the Choate Machine and Tool folding stock of an MP5K-PDW, and has the gas tube and barrel reversed. In addition, rather than the charging handle being mounted on the top of the frame, it is shifted to being an AK-style charger. The magazine is more than doubled, to seventy rounds. A strange glitch exists with this gun; when set to single shot, the weapon will not eject spent casings.
Colt AR-15A2 Government Carbine
The weapon Black calls the "M16" is actually modeled on a Colt AR-15A2 Government Carbine. Like all weapons with selectable fire modes, it has both burst and full-auto capabilities, and the 20-round Colt magazine holds a staggering 95 rounds. It mounts an additional rail that runs from the carrying handle to the shortened front sight, and has some kind of electronic device near the muzzle, with a cable trailed over the weapon and down to a push-button switch mounted right underneath the fire selector. It is shown with two forward assists, two bolt release paddles, and no magazine release. It is called the M16 in-game unless the version earned in Black Ops difficulty is being used; this has the normally stand-alone M203 attached to it, and is called the M16A2.
The briefing for the mission "Nazran Foundry" includes a shot supposedly of defector William Lennox and some of his associates; this shows soldiers who appear to be British Special Forces of some kind, carrying hard-to-identify AR-15 platform rifles. However, in the foreground and very distinct is an Enfield L85A1.
The Walther WA 2000 is featured as the "Walther 2000." It is the game's only sniper rifle, and is portrayed extremely inaccurately; the weapon is shown with a conventional rather than bullpup layout, with the 5-round magazine inserted randomly into the rear part of the handguard in front of the trigger guard, and the weapon is a straight-pull bolt-action with a lefty bolt rather than a semi-automatic. The ejection port, fitted with an M16-style dust cover, is slightly to the rear of the new magazine location, with the original ejection port now part of a large hole right through the stock; the result resembles the stock of the Accuracy International AS50. The bipod is also missing. The crosshair is a precise replica of the Soviet PSO-1 scope reticle, though with all the numbers missing, and the scope is tinted green; it features x2 and x5 zoom settings.
Kellar holds the WA2000 across his body when he isn't firing it; at least, this is probably the idea. Due to the inherent false perspective of a first-person shooter, he either has eyes just below his collarbone or is holding the rifle at arm's length and level with his nose. The idle animation has him spin the elevation turret of the scope as per FPS tradition; slightly more curiously, he then does the same with the reticle illumination control, despite the reticle never actually being illuminated.
The M249 SAW is the only machinegun available during gameplay. It is shown with no stock and a 150-round solid metal ammo drum rather than the cloth or plastic drums of the real weapon; the drum looks like it would have trouble holding more the 50 rounds. The drum itself is L-shaped, partly covering the left side of the gun in a way that would be impossible on a real SAW due to the STANAG adapator; Black's SAW is thus missing this adaptor. The charging handle has been moved to the left of the weapon, and reciprocates every time the weapon fires; the fire rate is much lower than a real SAW, 500rpm instead of a selectable 750rpm and 1000rpm, to allow this. The weapon's muzzle flash is also out of synch with its rate of fire, with one muzzle flash for every half-dozen or so rounds expended while firing in fullauto. The weapon is only available in the final three levels of the game, though a cheat which calls it the "BFG" replaces the player's starting DC3 Elite with a SAW in the first level. It's one of the most powerful weapons in the game, with the longest range of any automatic weapon.
Another briefing image shows a group of soldiers advancing through a street, mostly carrying impossible to discern assault rifles; one however is clearly carrying a support weapon with an unfolded bipod. This appears to be an M60 machine gun, given the high front sight.
The Franchi SPAS-12 is the more common of the game's two shotguns, predictably shown as pump-action only and rather less predictably with the magazine size just six rounds; this is accurate, since it is shown as the short-barreled version. Kellar operates the pump whenever the weapon is switched to; this doesn't eject anything, or cost ammunition. The SPAS is the principle means of opening doors in the game; rather than shooting the hinges or lock, this is simply done by blasting the middle of the door with buckshot, which will rip the entire door out of its frame. This presumably means that in Black's world a deer buck is roughly the size of a tyrannosaurus and made of cement.
Much rarer than the SPAS, the Remington 870 is only seen in the levels "Vratska Dockyard" and "Spetriniv Gulag." It has a larger 8-round magazine and a faster pump animation, without the mildly ridiculous recoil of the SPAS: the spread is also tighter. Kellar operates the pump by turning the weapon over so the ejection port is visible; as with the WA2000, he's probably supposed to be holding it across himself, but perspective conspires to make it look like he's trying to eject the spent casing into his eye.
The RPG-7 is Black's only rocket launcher. It fires a relatively slow-moving rocket with a thick smoke trail. In third person, the rocket is so exaggeratedly large and pointed that the launcher could probably be used as a lance. The RPG-7 can only be picked up from pre-determined locations; enemies with RPGs will collapse and blow themselves up with their final shot, apparently destroying the launcher in the process.
The weapon's iron sight is shifted to the side of the tube rather than being mounted on top of it, though the empty bracket for mounting the top sight is still present. This is replicated in several other first-person shooters, and appears to be a perspective issue; offsetting the tube to the right emphasises that the weapon is above the player's right shoulder rather than stuck through their torso as it might appear if the weapon were bought to the middle of the screen.
M203 Grenade Launcher
The M203 grenade launcher is the less common of the two explosive weapons; it appears as an "armament" secret objective in the level "Nazran Town," but otherwise isn't encountered until the second-to-last level, "Graznei Bridge." It is shown fitted to a fictional stand-alone mounting with flip-up sights and a pistol grip, and uses black-and-silver grenade rounds. It is used in stand-alone configuration unless the player has unlocked Black Ops difficulty, in which case they start every level with an "M16" with a mounted M203.
Black's hand grenades seem to have a severe identity crisis; the grenade box pickup shows them as Mk 2 hand grenades, the HUD icon shows them as M67 hand grenades, and the actual model of a thrown grenade appears to be an M26 hand grenade. They are thrown the instant the button is pressed and cannot be "cooked" as in some other games; however, they can be manually detonated if the player shoots them in mid-air.
Landmines are encountered during two sections of the game; a wide passage between factories in Nazran Foundry, and later hidden under and around vehicles on the Graznei Bridge. They appear to be a hybrid with the body of an anti-tank mine and the fuze assembly of a Yugoslavian PROM-1 anti-personnel mine, though with only three prongs on the sensor. The first area they are encountered, a narrow passage between industrial structures, seems to be a reference to Owen Wilson's encounter with mines in Behind Enemy Lines; the player is even told to watch out for tripwires, although the mines are only actually triggered by contact. They are also frequently triggered by each other if one detonates.
During the introductory animation, a pair of US armoured vehicles are seen with a massive explosion in front of them, possibly composited into the shot. The vehicle on the right is an M1 Abrams with the FN M240D machine gun on the loader's hatch distinctly visible. It is difficult to discern if the other is an Abrams or a Bradley; regardless, the left-hand vehicle's weapons are not easily made out.
A repeated image during the briefings is stock film of an AH-1 Supercobra attack helicopter, equipped with an M197 Vulcan.