Blacklight: Retribution Review
Blacklight: Retribution Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Zombie Studios
Pub: Perfect World Entertainment
Release: April 3, 2012
Players: 1-16
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

The second was during a round of capture the flag. With thirty seconds left on the clock, the round was still scoreless, but both teams were already holding their opponent's flag at base, waiting for their own to be recovered before a point could be scored. Our opponents launched a full-scale assault against our base, in the middle of which I snuck out and over to the other base where their flag carrier was standing, according to my HRV, unguarded. A grenade to flush him out and a few bullets to the skull allowed me to recover the flag, while my teammates scored with the enemy flag back at base.

Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot

Blacklight: Retribution does have its issues. There are only a handful of game types and maps, and leveling is a slow process without spending money to speed it up. When one levels, only the ability to unlock a customization item is unlocked; it must still be purchased using either some of the (extremely limited) GP one earns from a match or using Zen, which can be bought at any time with real money. Also, its unique features make a single-player campaign an enticing prospect, or at least a mode with some co-op missions that players could tackle together.

Further, while the game is fun enough to play, it exists purely for its own sake. There isn't an overarching meta-game at work; Blacklight: Retribution is a multiplayer shooter in which advancement is met with more shooting of strangers without a greater purpose. With its small, and relatively mundane, selection of game modes, and only a few levels to play them on, I worry that it will have trouble holding players' interest in the long term.

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Still, Blacklight: Retribution is a polished, enjoyable shooter with a fast pace and unique mechanics that are easy to learn and fun to employ. Whatever minor fumbles it may make, the compelling design overrides them to the point where the game is easy to recommend. Plus, it's free. Who doesn't like free?

By
Shelby Reiches
Contributing Writer
@Shelby_Arr
Date: April 9, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
You've seen the Unreal engine before. Save for some blurry textures, though, this is a skillful implementation thereof, and the stylistic decisions manage to make the game pop.
3.5
Control
It's a little annoying having to switch to grenades, rather than having a dedicated button, but this is otherwise a smooth and accurate shooting experience.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The gunshots sound more "precise" than one might be used to, but it somehow fits with the game's aesthetic. Dubstep at the end of each match is just icing on the cake.
3.5
Play Value
This is a game that really has to be played for its own sake. Other than the customization unlocks and nodes, everything's there from day one, meaning that you will most likely see each map and play each mode hundreds of times if you aim to level up and unlock everything. It needs more content as soon as possible, but what's there is attention-grabbing.
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Knowing the location of the enemy is vital to success. Pairing good communication with the extremely useful HRV will lead your team to victory.
  • The weapon depot loadouts are customizable and can be changed in the armory. Buyer beware, while shopping for an upgrade players are prone to being shot down, allowing another player to take the purchase.
  • Armed with a minigun and railgun, the Hardsuit is the ultimate weapon.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge Blacklight: Retribution Screenshot - click to enlarge

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