Game Review: Blacklight: Retribution
What do you get when you combine fast FPS action with customizable weapons and gear, awesome maps, stunning graphics, and no price tag?
You get Blacklight: Retribution.
Initially when you hear the term “free to play”, images of sub-par games with over-priced items come to mind. Zombie Studios is trying to erase that image by offering up a game that looks great, plays great, and won’t deceptively attack your wallet. Blacklight: Retribution is the follow up to 2010’s Blacklight: Tango Down. If you are familiar with that game, then you’ll feel right at home here.
Blacklight features all the expected game types: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, King of The Hill, Team King of The Hill and Capture The Flag. None of these modes hold any surprises and play just like you would expect. The maps are varied, and each hold a variety of spots that benefit different gameplay styles keeping matches varied. The thing that sets this game apart from most is the HRV or Hyper Reality Visor. By turning the HRV on, a player can instantly see where everyone on the map is. That’s right, there are no safe hiding spots in Blacklight. The HRV only lasts a short ammount of time, though, and players cannot attack while using it. The HRV isn’t the only extra goodie tossed in, as players will have access to grenades that disrupt HRV, Hardsuit mechas, and even Airstrikes.
Outside of the fast and sometimes frantic gameplay, players can customize their characters by selecting a variety of different armor and weapons. While most games feature a large arsenal of weapons, Blacklight instead offers up a rifle and a pistol only. While this might seem like a rather measely set of weaponry in a FPS, the truth is that they are completely customizable, and through that become other weapons. These parts become unlocked via leveling, though players can spend money to unlock them early and even pay to keep items. However, this is completely unnecessary for players who stick with the game and play it well. Armor and other items in the game are unlocked by the same means, but are not customizable. Each piece of armor has its own set of bonuses and players are allowed to mix and match. The end result is the ability to custom tailor your character to fit your playstyle. This is amplified by Nodes, which boost certain aspects for a time before they need to be replaced. Players can also unlock Hero characters where come with their own stats, armor, and fully customized weapons and special gear. There is something to suit everyone’s playstyle and even different weapon loadouts that can be switched to after death.
When you take into account the sheer amount of items and the over all look and feel of the game, it definitely does not feel like a F2P game. That’s not to say it’s a perfect game, or one that everyone will like it. Fans of fast paced FPS games in the vein of Counter-Strike will definitely enjoy this game.
GO Rating: 4/5