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Blacklight Retribution Box Art
System/s: PC, PS4
Developer: Zombie Studios
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1+
GD Score: 78
Press Scores
Release Date:
N. America: Apr. 3, 2012
Europe: Apr. 3, 2012
Australia: Apr. 3, 2012
Japan: Apr. 3, 2012
ESRB: Teen (Violence, Blood)

"Solid Free Gaming"

REVIEW |

Author: Rando Evans  

The thing about free-to-play FPS games is that they are few and far between, and more often than not, a little bit disappointing. A few years ago, Blacklight: Tango Down was released by Zombie Studios and it was pretty mediocre. Their newest follow up, Backlight: Retribution, has taken vast steps to improve the series.

Blacklight: Retribution Screenshots (Playstation 4, PC)

First and foremost, I know many free-to-play gamers will be wondering if Retribution is the sort of game which turns into a pay-to-win, pay-to-advance sort of deal once you’ve been reeled in. For the most part, Retribution is not pay-to-win. You’ll earn GP by playing the game, and you’ll purchase Zen point with real world cash. They are pretty much the same thing, as both enable you to buy upgrades and additional items and modifications. It seems though, to buy the higher tier items the real money cost is a little too high (we’re talking over 10 bucks here). That is pretty nuts to me, but then again, I am not sure what their strategy here for making money is. Still, it looks like earning the GP to get those high priced weapons will take a huge amount of points too.

Regardless, Blacklight Retribution is fun without having to blow a ton of cash or worry about getting new equipment. This is because Retribution has been designed with the experienced FPS gamer in mind. Maps are perfectly implemented and designed, FPS gameplay is standard but completely solid, and the heads up display which lets you locate other players on the map for a few seconds is really fun to use.

Retribution gears its CP earning towards to FPS gamers who are willing to strategize kill streaks and good playing over cheapness and random luck. Single player mode comes down to basic training missions against AI, because the real heart of Retribution rests within the multiplayer modes. Finding a match to quickly hop into is easy, and there seems to be a great community of FPSers on board. My sessions consisted of a lot of older gamers and serious FPSers rather than foul mouthed kids – though that is sure to change once they tire of their launch titles and find a free FPS on their PS4.

The biggest problems with Retribution is there are a few lag issues here and there, but generally it’s pretty quick. As I said before, Retribution is solid, but it’s also completely predictable in regards to gameplay. It doesn’t quite do something unique like Tribes did, nor does it have the impact you might have felt when playing Unreal Tournament for the first time (for those who can remember that).

Blacklight: Retribution Screenshots (Playstation 4, PC)

For a free-to-play game, Retribution also looks stellar. Things look and ‘feel’ great. The weapons are cool looking, the world has a nice cyber-punk design to it, and nowhere does it feel like a piece of cheaply or quickly released shovelwear. Customization is huge too (as it tends to be in these free-to-play type games).

I would recommend Retribution for anyone who wants a break from Battlefield 4 and CoD:Ghosts and wants to see what a FTP-FPS can do. Especially since you can get the game both on PS4 and PC for free, there’s no reason not to give it a shot if you’re an FPS fan. Hopefully items bought with Zen points will decrease in cost over time. It seems Zombie is getting a lot of input from the community to  improve the game, so we’ll see. Also, if you were disappointed with Tango Down, put those harsh memories aside and give Retribution a chance because it’s a huge improvement.

GameDynamo's Score for Blacklight Retribution (PC)
Graphics
Great visual presentation with a modern sci-fi theme. Some more variance in stage settings would have been welcome, as the "dark, abandoned city section" theme gets a bit tiring after a while.
Sound
Music and ambiance is almost non-existent outside of menu screens, with the majority of sounds you'll hear being gunfire and explosions. Announcer and character voices help fill the void, and you can customize both to your liking, provided you're willing to spend a couple bucks.
Gameplay
The vast levels of customization make Retribution stand out more than anything else, and mechanics such as the visor and supply depot allow players to respond to different situations. Aspects such as damage and respawn locations are random.
Play Value
Fast matches, combined with the F2P model, means that anyone can hop on and get a couple games in on their lunch break.
 
Final Score  78  
A solid arena-style FPS title with fast-paced combat and some interesting gameplay mechanics that keeps players on their toes. While the game is F2P, the payment model for items needs a bit of improving.

Posted on 12/03/2013 | Game Played on: PS4
Rando Evans

Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.

The views of GameDynamo's writers are not necessarily the views of the website as a whole. However, we support freedom of speech and enjoy diverse opinions about video games. Hopefully you do too!

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