However, what I can say is that if you want a free-to-play, quasi-realism-bordering-on-futuristic first-person shooter, Blacklight: Retribution is really damn hard to top.
Chopping the gameplay down to its barest of bones, Blacklight: Retribution is a modern shooter. It takes no more than six bullets to kill another player, a stamina bar is put in place to limit everybody from abusing their ‘Shift’ keys, and no matter what the circumstances may be you can only carry two guns. And yes, the role-playing game-esque mechanics of leveling up and gaining experience points is present here. While overused beyond belief, these game mechanics themselves are not poorly executed within Blacklight: Retribution. In fact, the mechanics are executed extremely well despite them being done thousands of times beforehand.
That piece of machinery is the Hardsuit. After getting 1300 CP, a player can position where their desired Hardsuit will land, after which the player can climb into the machine and cause some major damage. The Gatling gun and railgun of the Hardsuit can kill any player within seconds of being in the aiming sights of the pilot. Despite the slow speed of the Hardsuit, it is very thrilling to mow down other players like a hot knife through butter. It is also quite entertaining how using the boost function of the Hardsuit does enough damage to enemies in order to kill them, making the strategy of boosting into a crowded area not half-bad.
Every player of any level is equipped the Hyper-Reality Visor (HRV), a game-changing feature that allows an individual to see the current location of every other player. Not only that, but the HRV also reveals the weak points of Hardsuits and the locations of planted mines. This feature empowers players with information, meaning that no more will players die because of a wrong turn or because of campers; players can avoid almost any encounter they wish and can even get the jump on campers themselves. The HRV has also lead to much more active players; Because everybody knows that everybody else can see them, the best way to keep hidden is to keep moving. And since most game modes in Blacklight: Retribution have objectives besides killing other players, this starts making players focus on traveling to points of interest, further making the players more active. The HRV really is a great addition.
The game modes of Blacklight: Retribution follow the standard fair of deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture-the-flag along with a few less-common modes. The first of these is Domination, where captured control points will automatically give their corresponding team about a single point every second. The first team to reach a certain point amount or the team that ends up with the most points at the end of the match wins. This mode, to me, shows the team aspects of Blacklight: Retribution the best; Hardsuits
The third quasi-unique game mode is the most brilliant with only the slightest of twist to differentiate it from the normal team deathmatch mode. That mode is called Kill Confirmed, and instead of getting the most kills the objective is to pick up the “Dog Tags” that players drop upon their deaths. While not seeming a massively entertaining mode at face value, what makes Kill Confirmed brilliant is how it psychologically affects the players of a match. Upon killing another player, the immediate reaction is to dash towards the enemy’s grave and grab the dog tags. However, if a player follows their instinct they may end up them getting killed by an unseen enemy that was waiting around the corner. It is a great psychological aspect to a mode that enhances the overall game.
This freedom of self-identity is emphasized throughout the games massive number of load-outs that can be created. Not only can a player choose what gun type and utilities they bring into combat, but they can customise their depot options and attach different barrels, scopes, and rifle stocks to their preferred weapon to fit their specific play-style. Although the total amount of different gun parts for each category is limited, the different guns and their parts can fit the needs of many looking for a performance boost in one area, be it reload speed or bullet damage. However, after unlocking a weapon or gun part a player cannot simply call it their own; weapons must be either rented or permanently bought with GP, a currency that the game gives the player at the end of each game match. For the rentals, the GP prices are fairly good; it will only take about one-to-three matches before acquiring enough GP to rent a gun or gun part for 24 hours. However, the GP costs for permanent buying is very high and I would recon that I myself have only gained enough GP to permanently buy about six weapons. Permanent buying is a viable option for those dedicated to being entirely free players however, so I will give Zombie Studios, the creators of Blacklight: Retribution, praise for allowing that option.
Another important aspect of the free-to-play side of Blacklight: Retribution is the Heroes that Zombie Studios have introduced. After paying a certain amount on Zen, players will be able to either rent or permanently buy a Hero. As the rental and permanent buying options for the Heroes are relatively high, most players are fine with sticking to the default male of female character models and ergo I have not encountered many players using Heroes. However, when I have played in matches with Heroes, the players using said Heroes always seem to be in one of the top three players slot at the end of each match, if not first. I am not entirely sure if this is because specific armor and weapon combinations overpowered the Heroes or because those playing the heroes were already very skilled with the game, but many players seemed to have agreed that the cause for the effect is the first of the two possibilities.
Putting my annoyances with some of the aspects of the free-to-play model, Blacklight: Retribution provides a very fun and unique experience if it does tread ground at face value. The fact that the only requirements to play Blacklight: Retribution are a decent gaming computer and your time only enhance the experience you could get out of this title. While I know that some video game players are bored to death of the base mechanics of games like Blacklight: Retribution, I honestly recommend this game to everyone simply because there is more to the game than just those mechanics. Also, it is hard to argue trying something when it is free.
Our Scoring and Comments Policy
Our Scoring and Comments Policy