Promotional artwork for the game
|Publisher(s)||Perfect World Entertainment
|Distributor(s)||Perfect World Entertainment (online)
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
April 3, 2012
July 2, 2012
Blacklight: Retribution is a 2012 cyberpunk-themed first-person shooter video game developed by Zombie Studios and published by Perfect World Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, and developed and published by Hardsuit Labs for PlayStation 4. The game was released as a downloadable title through Perfect World on April 3, 2012, and subsequently distributed through Steam on July 2, 2012 for Microsoft Windows. It was released for PlayStation 4 in North America as a launch title on November 15, 2013, and in Europe on December 4 of the same year. The sequel to Blacklight: Tango Down, it is a free-to-play game.
Blacklight: Retribution takes place in a cyberpunk setting and possesses a number of game types and maps. The game currently has no single player other than a controls tutorial level and a "training" mode pitting players against AI or "bot" enemies on one of the game's levels, Helodeck. The game types are: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Domination (a ticket type of game), King of the Hill (objective capture) and Kill Confirmed (Similar to Team Deathmatch, but players must collect tokens from their dead opponents for the kill to count for the team. They can also be picked up for extra Combat Points. Friendly players may pick up the token of a dead teammate to deny their enemies the kill point and to gain extra Combat Points). Siege Mode, where one team advances a Scorpion Tank through checkpoints into enemy territory, was added in August 2012. In March 2013, Onslaught mode was added, in which players collect tokens to gain XP and GP.
Weapon depots are a new addition to Blacklight: Retribution. By default, they can be used to buy various tools, such as Health or Ammo Refills, Flamethrowers, Rocket Launchers, and Hardsuits, which are pilot-able mechs equipped with a minigun and a railgun. These can be bought using Combat Points which can be earned by doing desired actions in the game such as killing opponents and capturing points.
Like its predecessor, Blacklight Retribution features the Hyper Reality Visor (HRV) which allows the player to locate enemies, mines, weapon depots and Hardsuit weak points through walls and other obstacles for a very short amount of time. In HRV, the player is only able to move around, jump, and sprint, which may increase the chances of a HRV user being easily killed. HRV also has a very limited use time and needs to recharge. There are various in-game items that obscure or hide objects from HRV.
A total of sixteen maps are available, and vary in size and style.
With the Onslaught Patch, the Onslaught mode, the "S&D" mode (search and destroy), the Last Team/Man Standing modes have been added, also with new weapons and armor pieces.
Each weapon can have several different receivers, ranging from assault rifles to shotguns. Players can change the muzzle, barrel, magazine, optic sights, stock, camouflage and weapon tag, which is a key-chain like emblem that hangs off of a lanyard hook. There are some specific attachments for some receivers that cannot be used for other receivers. In addition, there are 'premade' weapons which had a fixed set of attachments. These attachments could not be switched out for different ones, or be used for other weapons. Only the camouflage and weapon tags were interchangeable. Weapon tags grant small bonuses to the weapon or character's stats, while camouflage is only cosmetic.
Players can also customize their character's helmet, leg and body armor, and tactical gear (such as grenades and other tools). Before the "Parity Patch", there existed 'heroes' which had a fixed, unique helmet and leg and body armor. These components could not be switched out for different ones, or be used for other character layouts. After the Parity Patch, heroes no longer had components, and were turned into different cosmetic models for the player's in-game character.
On 14 January 2011, Zombie Studios revealed that it would be developing Blacklight: Retribution with a free-to-play business model. At the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the company announced that Perfect World would publish Blacklight: Retribution. The game went to open beta on February 27, 2012 and went live on April 3, 2012. It was released on Steam on July 2, 2012.
On December 2012, Zombie Studios announced that Blacklight: Retribution would be released for the PlayStation 4, aiming for a Q4 2013 release. It was later confirmed that the game will be part of the PlayStation 4's launch lineup and it was released in North America on November 15, 2013.
As of January 2015, the Blacklight team from Zombie Studios split and created a separate company, Hardsuit Labs, who have taken on development and publishing of the game since the closure of Zombie Studios.
Blacklight: Retribution received positive reviews, generally scoring higher than its predecessor. Review aggregation websites Metacritic and GameRankings gave Blacklight: Retribution 75/100 and 79.42% respectively.
IGN gave Blacklight: Retribution an 8.5 out of 10, praising the game for its graphics, gameplay and deep customization. GameSpot's review was more harsh, giving the game a 6.5 out of 10 ("Fair"). Although they praised the shooting mechanics and item balance, they criticized the game for being too generic and hoped that the planned Siege and Netwar modes will help it stand out.
As of April 30, 2012, Blacklight: Retribution has over 1 million registered players.
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