independent

Sunday 17 December 2017

A great shooter with raw style

WITH CHRIS HAYES

BLACKLIGHT: RETRIBUTION isn't exactly reinventing the First Person Shooter genre, instead it seemingly combines all of the most popular and well thought-out mechanics of today's FPS leviathans and combined it in a brilliantly compact package. Cleverly, Blacklight's development team have implemented a compelling free-to-play structure that pairs excellently with Blacklight's complex character and weapon customisation. What results from this is a great competitive shooter that's so damn fun its flaws are easy to negate.

Blacklight isn't a straight up shoot-em-up. It's solid customisation system makes it almost Rpg-like in gameplay. You can customise absolutely everything about your character. But all of the armour customisation completely pales in comparison to the weapon customisation. You start with a basic framework like an assault rifle or shotgun, and then change its clip, barrel, stock, sight and more. Every piece you add affects a number of stats such stamina, how long it takes to scope-in, and your bullet spread, giving you plenty of room to fine tune your loadout to your needs.

What really puts Blacklight: Retribution over the top is its sense of raw style. Feedback is a big part of the game, with players regularly informed on who the highest threats are, and whether or not they've become the team's "warlord" by scoring the most points. If you're killed, the camera freezes the action and zooms to your murderer with a Matrix-esque effect.

Unlocking new weapons and armour can be one in one of two ways: by purchasing them using CP (credits earned during the game) or by using Zen (credits earned by paying with real money). Obviously Zen is the faster way to go, but in my experience playing the game, you'll never really come across a 'pay wall' where players who have poured a good deal of money in the game completely crush players who haven't. Retribution is, in all, an extremely balanced and well thought out title.

The graphics in Blacklight Retribution are just above average for what you would expect from a game of its calibur. While not exactly stunning, everything looks respectable and should satify all but the most hardened graphics sticklers.

What, ultimately, takes pride of place in Retribution is the absolutely solid gameplay. Weapons shoot like they feel like they should, and your health decreases in just the right increments. Aiming is precise to a tee and most weapons in the game are fairly well balanced. Definitely some of the finest game mechanics experienced since Call of Duty.

Blacklight: Retribution is a definite recommendation for any FPS fan.

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