Blacklight Retribution, an online first person shooter which is free to play on PC and soon the PlayStation 4; with the options to pay real life money for extra weapon mods and weapons themselves. Set 50 years from now you find yourself fighting in an Asian metropolis which one of the developers referred to as Neo-Tokyo.
Not a lot is known on the origins of Blacklight but from what I noticed within the game the cities are completely empty. Nobody really knows what happened to the population, whether there was some sort of riot or outbreak is up to you to decide. Although saying this you can find some clues within the game that could favour your decision, as there’s a player skin that has signs of an outbreak.
Now that nobody is within the urban areas you and your team have been sent in by global arms corporations to gather what’s left of the resources and to gain political dominance over rival corporations. The two teams consist of 16 players (Currently) which have to fight over a range of game types such as; Deathmatch and Domination, ect. But there’s a twist amongst all this havoc you have the ability to see through walls for a short period of time, therefore eliminating and any chance of campers, sneaky moves and counter attacks. But it doesn’t even stop there, did I forget to mention giant Mechsuits? That’s right, it’s bad a**, get over it!
So I’ve played this game at different points over the past year and have had some really fun experiences on it. Throughout the year they have been constantly updating the game for their users and have done a good job on getting bugs fixed and new features added. When I first started playing the game it was in beta, so I’ve had a chance to evaluate compared to it’s current standing now (which they’ve decided to release on PlayStation 4 at the end of the month). Zombie Studios have done a good job of keeping players interested as well, adding new heroes, new weapons/weapon mods and new maps to play pretty much constantly over the past year.
The gameplay itself isn’t half bad for your typical First Person Shooter, which most would compare it to the likes of Battlefield or Call of Duty (two massive games in the FPS genre) but try to think with an open mind on this. As detailed earlier, you have the ability to see through walls for a short period of time. This was a massive game changer for me, something I’d never experienced in a online FPS before. I was sceptical of it when I first played, I couldn’t sit anywhere with a sniper and I certainly couldn’t camp or for that matter I couldn’t even take decent cover without someone shooting at me. However as I continued to play, I’d start to find ways to win. My playing method seems to be “Kill anyone who stands in my way!” which although sounds cliché, became the best tactic I found.
Something else I’d never done in a online FPS before was controlling the giant Mechsuits you’re able to get in. At first I was always hopping into them left, right and centre because of their ability to kill infantry pretty much out right, this was up until the enemies Mechsuit came along and blew me away. Eventually it began to lose it’s novelty, I found it harder to get kills/points compared to how I played without it. I couldn’t ever really find a tactic that worked well when inside one, but I had seen players do immense with them so I know it’s possible.
Somewhere in between all the chaos of shooting rockets out a giant Mechsuit and seeing through walls, you do actually get to see some pretty nice map design. The maps are distinct and colourful as well as being kinda dark and dingy, one of the developers described a map as Neo-Tokyo. The maps definitely portray an aspect of eeriness and loneliness which most certainly sets the tone for the game as you battle through deserted urban areas. Following on from the visuals we’ll head to the sound and I personally enjoy the soundtrack in this game, it’s got a gritty urban-dub sound which really adds to the atmosphere of the game.
The game does have a flaw in that there is the option to pay for your weapons and weapons mods using actual currency, this kind of kills the whole game for me. I’m not a fan of the whole “Pay-to-win” structure and as a player who doesn’t pay to win I’d have to work twice as hard to get the items I want in order to have a fair chance at winning. Using the buying system is also quite bizarre as you’re able to rent modifications for your guns which last up to a week (depending on how much in game credit you wish to spend). You’re obviously able to buy your modifications as well but they cost nearly four times the price of renting it, I’m not very keen on these features and for those reasons I had to stop playing.[tabgroup][tab title=”The Good“]Innovative ideas, brings something different to the plate
Brilliant level design and atmosphere
New innovations, whilst keeping close to classic FPS titles
[/tab][tab title=”The Bad“]Using a free-to-play store system in a PC title
Distinct lack of players
No single player campaign