Monday, July 16, 2012

Blacklight: Retribution an original FPS? Gasp!

 Here's a title most of you folks haven't heard of! The new f2p FPS by gaming studio Perfect World features an amazingly fleshed out gun creation/customization kit along with fast-paced gameplay to show off your baby to the rest of the community. This fully featured game has loads of gametypes aiming to please, from a CoD-inspired Kill Confirmed game mode to a Battlefield 3-like Capture the Objective game mode.

  Set in a distant future, the guns look appropriately futuristic, from the make of the gun to how the gun handles during a firefight. Though you don't exactly get the same wild spread from hip-firing a LMG in MW3, if you want to hit anything from 30 meters and out, I'd advise you to aim down sights. On the topic of how the gun feels, there is a painstakingly detailed gun customization interface, where you have the choice of modifying and choosing between several different muzzles, barrels, ammo types, scopes, stocks (known as receivers), weapon-tags, and weapon camos. Barring the camos, every different piece of equipment focuses on a different attribute. As you go through the game and unlock equipment, you'll see that these minute differences will add up to game-changing levels. For example, the very first barrel, the Overmatch FB-RX features no stat changes, but the next unlocked barrel, the ArmCom SYS3 has reduced spread, but sacrifices damage as well. Through deciding what kind of equipment you throw into your gun, the game picks up sort of a RPG-like quality of deciding what mix of statistical changes will best suit you for close range to distant combat. 
  But how exactly does Blacklight Retribution separate itself from the oversaturated and tired FPS genre? The convenient setting in the future that BLR was placed in allowed the developers some leeway in thinking of different ways of approaching combat. A plethora of technologically advanced gadgets allow every player the option of approaching a firefight in a number of different ways. One especially integral mechanic, Hyper Reality Vision (HRV for short) allows every single player, from low level to high level, to have a legitimate wallhack. Every player will be able to see every single other agent on the map, far or near. Not only does this force the player to think tactically about entering combat, but also pushes the pace of fighting to a lightening-fast degree. By making camping virtually impossible, Blacklight transforms the nature of FPS gaming by introducing an absolutely fantastic mechanic. Though it seems that the HRV would be totally overpowered, it does hold a charge that withers very, very quickly while denying the player the ability to fire a gun. Introducing these drawbacks balances out the playing field, and you will find yourself killing many an unsuspecting, or over-suspecting for that matter, player in a hopeless situation.
  In BLR there is also a kill-streak feature known as the depot. Multiple depots around every map ensures that every player has the chance to add a tactical upgrade to his kit (a total of 5 player-made choices). These upgrades span from a couple kills to requiring several kills, upgrades including health refills, ammo refills, turrets, orbital strikes, railguns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers,  and the vaunted Hardsuit. The Hardsuit is basically a mech armed with a minigun and a railgun that any player can jump into, preferably by the same player who called it down. Hardsuits are incredibly beefy, and can take an impossible amount of punishment to take down. Along with boosted stats, the Hardsuit can dash forward for a short length, but suffers a downtime when the player is stalled and cannot move. However, Hardsuits are not invulnerable, and suffer massive amounts of damage from Stinger rockets, purchasable at the depot for a fraction of the cost of a Hardsuit. The flamethrower, also purchasable at the depot, allows the player to burn the operator out of the Hardsuit while leaving it undamaged, available to the nearest player to hijack.    To add on top of this, every Hardsuit features several weakpoints where it is particularly vulnerable. The HRV allows players to clearly see these weakpoints, and a single, well-placed magazine would allow a player to disable a Hardsuit. Despite all these drawbacks, the Hardsuit is an incredibly amusing addition. Who wouldn't enjoy stomping about in a massive mech, mowing down tons of hapless enemies?
  Another note-worthy addition that BLR contributes to the FPS scene is its absolutely brilliant marketing scheme. Being a f2p, BLR must have a microtransaction system to support itself, but it goes about it in a very interesting manner. In place of buying a particular item, gun, or equipment outright, BLR offers players the option of renting it for a fraction of the price instead. Using in-game currency gained through playing rounds allows a player  to rent a gun or a particular piece of equipment for a set time ranging from 1 day to an entire month. The prices that BLR demands are incredibly modest, as it costs only 200 in-game currency to rent it for the rest of the day. This amounts to 2 completed games or one very well-played game. What this does is empower every player to face up to a higher-level player, stripping advantages and leveling the playing field. A lower-level player can spend two games using a standard assault rifle, and afterwards rent an incendiary-ammo spewing behemoth for the rest of the day. By doing this, BLR forces gameplay to be strictly skillbased by demolishing hierarchical advantages, a move that I completely stand behind. That being said, its entirely possible for a player to rent all the parts to a gun and build up a desired stat. However there comes a tradeoff where it might be cheaper to buy the gun outright than to refresh the renting fees every single day. In addition, Blacklight Retribution offers a system similar to the crate system in Team Fortress 2. Spending $3 allows you to unlock a Chance Pack, the possibility of scoring a unique Taunt, a temporary stat-boosting Datanode, a random piece of equipment, or even a fully-suited unique Hero character, complete with a suite of competitive weapons and a unique taunt.

  Although BLR does suffer from occasional flaws such as lag and the random hacker, it is absolutely competent when facing up to fully priced FPS games. Through the HRV, everyone is allowed a wallhack, and any fault in the victim purely lies with himself and his own situational awareness. The HRV, along with the sheer amount of unique properties that make up Blacklight Retribution make it a must to play, especially for the fans of the FPS genre. This game took the most successful elements of what made FPS games so addicting, added some of its own spices, and brought to the table a full-bodied impressive f2p title that stood out from the rest.

Fresh Rating: I stayed a long fucking time.

1 comment:

  1. I like this game very much. I have so many permanent items and all of them were purchased with GP. You don't have to spend real cash with this game unless you absolutely want to.