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Blacklight Retribution review

Blacklight Retribution review

First Person Shooter online game

 Genre: Free to play MMOFPS
 Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment

Blacklight Retribution

My having a history in console gaming means one thing and one thing only: I’m an expert when it comes to first person shooters. I might not be able to shoot as accurately or react to things as quickly, but we’ve got quantity, if it can be done in first person mode – whether it’s done really well or really badly – it’s been done and I’ve played it.

Blacklight Retribution trailer

Seemingly with one exception: Blacklight: Tango Down. What sounded like an excellent multiplayer shooter came out at a time during which I couldn’t get away from working for reviews and it came and went without too much attention being paid to it. So it feels great to be able to play its sequel, Blacklight Retribution, and to see that the developers have chosen to deliver it through the free-to-play model, offering new items and weapons in return for real cash (but offering the game itself for absolutely nothing). And, in cooperation with Perfect World, they’ve managed to deliver an excellent shooter that’ll keep you busy for hours.

Blacklight Retribution review



Retribution is easy to download and install. Like other Perfect World games, you have the option of downloading via direct download or torrent. I vied for the latter and the full installation package (of about three and a half gigabytes) downloaded in about an hour. Installation is similarly simple, although it’s worth noting that you’ll need to download a patch of about a GB before you can actually play. Once you’re sorted, it’s easy to start playing and, from the little experience I have had, it seems the game even picks the idea settings for your graphics card and monitor set-up (although, as I say, I can only speak for myself). TO bring you up to speed, and before letting you online against real-life enemies, you’ll be forced into playing a tutorial which, if you haven’t playing a PC FPS before, will teach you the basics of movement and shooting.


Blacklight Retribution review

Different shades of grey

Retribution looks pretty fantastic and shows, in part, why so many developers are still working with the Unreal Engine 3. Textures look pretty good, colours and light are clear and neat. It’s fair to say that they certainly fall into the trap of having far too many dull browns and greys, but it’s a trap anybody used to playing with games built in the Unreal Engine will be used to. With that said, colour variety isn’t the only thing to look at when it comes to graphical quality and Retribution looks just great. It’s probably also worth mentioning that there are lots of graphical options; if you’re having problems with frame rate, you don’t necessarily have to drop the resolution or quality of the textures. It’s nice to be able to fiddle with things to get the game looking as good as it possibly can on your system, without being limited by only a few vague sliders.


Blacklight Retribution review

Run and Gun

With Black Ops 2 now officially announced, people will be looking for excuses to go back to Modern Warfare 3 (and the original Black Ops). If you’ve long traded them in - and if the stock at my local Gamestation is anything to go by, you probably have – Retribution offers a nice alternative. It is definitely influenced by games like Call of Duty, arcade shooters where the main goal is to have fun, rather than constantly win. As a result, there’s something about Retribution that feels very familiar, and, if you’ve played any sort of arcade shooter extensively in the past, you’ll probably find yourself getting positive K/D almost straight away. The one major positive that the Blacklight series now has over those other shooters is that it’s entirely free, an advantage that at least warrants the time it would take to check it out. There are other positives as well, of course, and Retribution manages to be better than quite a few shooters on the market, but the main comparison will always be towards Call of Duty.


Blacklight Retribution review

Gameplay is simple, move your character’s feet with WASD and move their view with the mouse. You can shoot your gun with the left mouse button and aim down the scope with the right mouse button. Shooting an enemy or completing an objective gives you points, points which decide your place on the leader board. While you’re vying for a high place on your team (and trying to get as much experience as possible) you’ll also be trying to complete objectives in order to beat the opposition. At the end of the game, whichever team scored best towards their objective will win and experience points will be given out (and a good time will be had by all). In short: it’s exactly like almost every shooter released on PC and consoles for the last twenty years and, as any shooter fan will quite happily attest, that’s not a bad thing.

Playing games

There are several different sorts of match to play, although your best bet is just to select quick game and join the best server. If you choose to, you can specifically look for capture the flag, king of the hill or team deathmatch games. It would very much surprise me if you didn’t know how to play all of those games already, but for the sake of argument I’ll give a quick rundown of each. Capture the flag has you venturing into enemy territory, taking a flag and running back to your own territory. The enemy is trying to stop you, your team is trying to stop the enemy, and it becomes a mixture of teamwork, high quality aiming (if you want to win) and frustration (when you’re within feet of the flag and die). King of the hill has you holding and defending a certain area in return for points. Finally, team deathmatch has your team trying to kill as many of the enemy team as possible, and vice versa. The team with the highest killcount at the end of the game wins.


It’s difficult to out and out say that Blacklight Retribution is an MMO, but that’s in the same way that it’s difficult to say that World of Tanks is an MMO. The gameplay itself certainly doesn’t fall into the massively multiplayer genre and if you love MMORPGs but not shooters, there’s nothing here for you. However, the overall menu system does contain a messaging and friend system, which puts it onto the same level as several MMORTS games. So while by the strict definition, perhaps the hardcore MMOer will scoff at the idea of Retribution being anything but a common shooter, but it has social features and so more than deserves its place on this site, and on the radar of any casual MMO gamer.

Blacklight Retribution MMO review
The Conclusion

Because I’d say this is the ideal game for the more casual gamer. Let me say this flat out as I conclude my Blacklight Retribution review: Blacklight Retribution does hardly anything that hasn’t been done a million times before. It does it to a high quality and the game is a hit as far as I’m concerned, but it’s not exactly the most original game on the market. It’s also free, which negates any hesitation you should have over playing it. It does nothing that you couldn’t do with Call of Duty, using Steam for chat and social features, but, again, it’s free.

Blacklight Retribution Tips

Read our Blacklight: Retributions tips and hints guide if you are struggling to improve your K/D ratio. Read it here->


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