Blacklight: Retribution [Review]

Blacklight: Retribution is your next standard Free to Play First Person Shooter. The game was developed by Zombie Studios in the Unreal Engine and released by Perfect World Entertainment. It was originally released for the PC on April 3rd 2013. Zombie Studios has recently announced that they will be porting the game over to the PS4 upon the release of this next-gen Sony system.

Gameplay is 100% multiplayer.  Blacklight: Retribution has several interesting game modes apart from your standard Team Deathmatch and Capture the flag. It pulled Kill Confirmed from the Call of Duty franchise, a welcome game mode in any FPS, and also Siege Mode, where you advance a tank along the map. While all game modes of course revolve around killing the enemy, objectives are not arbitrary like they are in some other FPS’s these days. A team can still win a match even if they are down in kills by completing the objectives in the objective based game modes. Additionally you can find the Onslaught mode, where hordes of Zombies coming after you and your squad of 4 friends who must run around the map completing objectives and staying alive. While all of these game modes sound pretty standard, the game does have some interesting elements that give it a special spark, and try to help it stand out from the rest of the pack.

One of the biggest features of this game is the HRV or Hyper Reality Visor. This visor lets you look through walls and see all your team mates outlined in blue, enemies in orange, as well as depots and objectives all across the map. Now to those of you who have played Call of Duty or Battlefield might say, that sounds overpowered! But the developers have done an amazing job of keeping the HRV balanced in-game. The animation going in and out of this visor makes it so that you cannot react in combat. You cannot use any weapons or sprint, this brings your combat capabilities down to almost null while utilizing the visor. Which is good, it brings balance to the feature, making it useful for finding the fight, but making it so you can’t really use it in a fight.

Another feature that helps this game stand out is the depot. This depot allows you to get certain upgrades through points earned in game, much like Homefront. The depot is totally customizable in what drops you have, health refills, ammo refills, miniguns, grenade launchers and of course, the Hard Suit. The Hard Suit is a very iconic piece of gear in Blacklight. Fitted with a minigun and a railgun this bad boy has about 15 times the amount of life a normal soldier. However it is also balanced, weak points on it can be revealed by using the HRV as well as anti-tank rockets that can be obtained from a depot. The game has great balance in these aspects.It’s when you get to the games cash shop that you seem to find the most imbalance. Players earn a currency called GP through normal play, this GP can purchase various guns, scopes, and other items for player use. However players can also put cash into this game to buy things for a currency called Zen. The features that Zen players can unlock are extremely imbalanced. For about $5.00 USD you can put yourself well above every single free to play user in your game. Buffs for players who pay cash can include things like self heals, more ammo, and other things that, while they might not seem to effect game play, can be game breaking.

Overall, this is a tight shooter with good video & audio quality, good balance in everything except for the Pay-To-Win model that it has unfortunately adapted. The game has high replay value with its many different standard game modes and interesting game play mechanics that make the game very entertaining and definitely worth checking out.

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