Delta Force Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre
Before there were hyper-realistic tactical sims starting with the name Tom Clancy, there was a shooter that graphically looked a bit outdated but did manage to get a huge fanbase behind it. The Delta Force series has found its way to consoles already some time ago and after the Black Hawk Down title there’s now also the Team Sabre PC add-on released on PS2 as a standalone game. That you don’t have to expect SOCOM 3 or Rainbow Six: Vegas is made clear by the pricetag. For a mere €30 you can get this game. Still, Team Sabre on PS2 is an enjoyable shooter that lays good in the hand and doesn’t look all too bad.
The story is known, you’re a US elite-team that gets busy in the South American jungle again a bunch of drug dealers. Here and there a Blackhawk crashes and you’ll need to save the crew while at other times you’ll have to blow up planes or murder someone.
The missions consist out of a series of objectives you need to get and a bunch of checkpoints are present if “things go Iraq”. As team leader it’s your duty to give many commands so that you manage to get rid of the enemy as quietly and quickly as possible. And it may be said, Team Sabre has a really good controller layout at its disposal that allows you to quickly switch between giving commands and emptying your M4 on a bunch of “hombres”. Also the AI of your team mates is quite well developed so that they don’t do all too stupid stuff or expose your carefully created ambush with a shot fired too soon. Sadly enough there are a ton of scripted events which make your team members not follow your orders and just decide to walk over that bridge towards the hostile camp while you would have rather got to work with a sniper rifle first.
Next to that – and this has been a problem in the Delta Force series for some time – the enemy AI isn’t all too fantastic. Either they come running right at you or they stay still and look around a bit even when their colleague gets killed right in front of their eyes.
Completing a mission successfully gives you stars which you can exchange for upgrades and experience that for instance allow you to aim faster and more accurate. All very classic but still enjoyable.
Graphically the game nicely manages to bring the atmosphere of a jungle onto your tv screen although here and there some flaws are present. Bodies that are floating above the floor, planes that suddenly turn black, sometimes chunky animations and quite annoying popups do bring some irritation and confusion but for a post-gen title it’s all in all still quite acceptable. Don’t expect a varied color palette that makes your enemies be cloaked better though and despite all the flora, the levels still look quite empty.
Also empty is the sound. Your teammates sound bored, even when surrounded, and the music shines by being almost absent. The biggest positive point is the multiplayer where you get to play in one map with up to 32 players with a wide variety of weapons and explosives.
I’ve looked around to see what other reviewers thought of this game and to my big surprise everyone’s pretty negative. This is quite strange as the gameplay is rock solid and although the presentation could be better you do manage to find your way to the action. Graphically it isn’t the best but certainly not the worst shooter on PS3 eventhough the glitches do give it an unfinished effect. All in all, it does remain a stripped port of an expansion pack for a dated PC Game.