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BlackSite: Area 51

BlackSite: Area 51

BlackSite: Area 51

BlackSite: Area 51 (BlackSite in Europe) is a horror science fiction first-person shooter video game, released for Xbox 360 and Windows on November 12, 2007 in North America, with a PlayStation 3 version coming a few weeks later. The game is mostly unrelated to the 2005 Multi-platform game Area 51. The game was developed by Midway Austin and published by Midway. A demo of the game for the Xbox 360 was released via Xbox Live Marketplace on May 11, 2007. A PS3 demo was released December 11, 2007.

The game has been noted for its cynical political commentary, which challenges the often black and white viewpoint of many first person shooters with an unusually messy and nebulous situation. Characters comment on the injustice of the military's treatment of prisoners or wounded soldiers, the ethics of torture and other controversial subjects related to the War on Terror. Many level names are plays on speeches or comments made by members of the Bush administration regarding the Iraq War, i.e. "Last Throes", "Stay the Course" and "Misunderestimate".

The game begins in Iraq with protagonist Captain Aeran Pierce and his Delta Force Echo Squad (consisting of Lieutenant Logan Somers, Corporal Cody Grayson, and Sergeant Mitchell Ambrose) on a mission to investigate an underground bunker where WMDs are supposedly stored. The team is assisted by the head of an elite science team, Special Operative Doctor Noa Weis. After battling through Iraqi Republican Guardsmen, Echo Squad reaches the levels of the facility where the weapons are supposedly stored, discovering horribly mutated humans and alien creatures called Xenos infesting the facility. The team wonders about the Xenos, but Weis declares the matter classified. Pierce, Somers and Weis move to the weapon storage area. They find a strange crystalline alien object (later revealed to be a segment of the main artifact from the UFO that crashed at Roswell, which was stolen from Area 51 and sold to the Iraqis). Somers touches the crystal, sending out energy pulses that incapacitate Pierce. Weis drags Pierce to an elevator while Somers holds the Xenos back. Weis then closes the elevator door despite Somers frantic pleas. Pierce and Weis rejoin the others and relate Somers' apparent death before escaping the bunker.

Three years later, Pierce is summoned to BaseCamp, a U.S. military base garrisoning the U.S. 4th Infantry Division under the command of Colonel Dale Green. Green explains that a heavily-armed militia has taken control of the decommissioned military base at Groom Lake (Area 51), and Echo Squad must reclaim it. They have been specifically chosen for this assignment because Xenos have been seen around Rachel, Nevada; the town closest to the base. Fighting their way to Rachel, Echo Squad is attacked by both Xenos and the militia, who are revealed to be heavily armed, cybernetically augmented soldiers with U.S. dogtags, known as "Reborn".

Upon reaching Rachel, Echo Squad meets up with surviving members of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division sent to take back the town. While the squad helps defend the surviving civilians, Grayson discovers something very shocking: Somers, alive and well, but similar to the Reborn. Somers explains to his greatly surprised comrades that he survived the incident in Iraq only to be "disappeared" by the U.S. military and forcefully recruited into the Reborn Program. Somers explains the Reborn Program is a black-ops research and development program put in motion by the U.S. Government to create the ultimate army of soldiers for wars with other nations by experimenting on the homeless, illegal immigrants, prisoners of war, and, eventually, the project moved on to use American soldiers without close family. The soldiers suffered terribly, and eventually one of them led an insurrection. Grayson believes him, but Ambrose is skeptical. Somers assures his comrades that Weis can explain further. Against Colonel Green's direct orders, The team extracts back to BaseCamp.

At the base, Green berates Pierce for going against orders but before Pierce can discuss Somers, he is summoned to the medical center, where the truth is revealed; Somers himself is the Reborn Leader and Weis was the head of the Reborn Program. The Reborn Program itself was shut down and the soldiers were left to die, sealed within a massive concrete containment dome in Area 51. Somers led the others to adapt and survive, and were ready when the current administration re-instated the Reborn Program. Somers used the alien artifact at the heart of Area 51 to penetrate the dome, allowing them to escape and fight against their former masters. Somers, after non-fatally shooting Grayson, departs in a Reborn helicopter with several captured scientists, as the attack on BaseCamp begins.

Pierce, Weis and Ambrose successfully fight off the Reborn and Xeno attackers, ignoring and disregarding Green's orders for the Reborn to be captured alive. After the battle, and Grayson recuperates, Echo Squad is confronted by Green, who is irate they have ignored his orders twice, and confines them to BaseCamp. Echo Squad knows Somers intends to increase power to the artifact, and use it to get revenge. Grayson arranges for some of his pilot friends to transport them to Area 51, intent on stopping Somers. Echo Squad departs just as more Xenos attack BaseCamp.

Echo Squad, despite some difficulties, arrives at Area 51, joining the 4th Infantry Division as they launch a massive assault on the base, in an attempt to stop Somers from using the artifact, which could possibly destroy the world. However, it is too late, as a massive power surge caused by the artifact, knocks the helicopter out of the sky, killing Ambrose. Echo Squad descends into Area 51. In a Reborn ambush, Grayson is killed and Pierce is captured.

Pierce is brought to Somers, who is now attired and equipped just like the other Reborn. Somers gloats that Pierce is already too late; the true danger behind the Xenos is the spores that created them, and the artifact, the power of which Somers has greatly amplified, has released spores into Earth's atmosphere, causing Xenos to spread across the United States. Weis frees Pierce and, while Weis escapes pursuing Reborn soldiers, Pierce shuts the artifact down, and, in a massive shootout, defeats and kills Somers.

Pierce and Weis escape in a helicopter as Area 51 collapses, and fly off to see how far the Xeno spores have spread.


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