EA Games (PS2, Xbox)
Game ••••• Graphics/Sound ••••½
Flip open Webster's. Look up the definition for "fun." As clear as Jessica Simpson's post-Proactiv complexion, it reads "Black." At last, from the mad scientists who devised Burnout comes a first-person shooter with cajones. Make that Hollywood balls, the sort of macho that Pacino exudes when he's spurting off an AK in Scarface. On the surface, Black isn't revolutionary - you're a super-secret agent, you go on missions, you shoot people. It's the game designers' rules of execution that are so bleeping awesome. Rule No. 1: Every bullet finds a home (scraping sparks from metal, spitting up dirt, sticking in plaster), making the frenzy all the more flavorful. Rule No. 2: Screw scorekeeping - just crank the gunfire and explosions to 11, drowning players in Dolby Digital mayhem. Rule No. 3: Make everything destructible. Every. Single. Thing. Rule No. 4: Above all else, design a game that defies description. And so they have.