I won’t lie; I found Blacklight Retribution to be a fun game at it’s best, but it’s much less than that at anything less than its best. The game is fast paced, graphically appealing, and action packe. Unfortunately, that’s about all the good I can say. Retribution features loose controls, and the game modes aren’t very inventive. It is a free-to-play game that takes its prices to extreme levels, and it’s expensive to unlock the items you want. As of now, the game is quite laggy (it’s still in Beta, which is why I’m not giving it a legitimate review). Overall, a fun concept is marred by quite a few issues, though all are fixable, and I hope they will be fixed when the finished product is officially released. Read on to see a more detailed overview of Blacklight Retribution.
BR is essentially a sci-fi Call of Duty, minus a campaign mode. It’s online-only, and you pick your loadout to head into multiplayer matches with a variety of different gamemodes. The maps are small (there are only 6), and health is low, so your lives are short and action packed, just like in COD. The gamemodes include Kill Confirmed, Domination, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, and Deathmatch (free-for-all) for a grand total of only 5 gamemodes. A handful of bullets will kill your enemies, and health doesn’t regenerate. None of these are necessarily bad things; rounds are fast paced and fun, and although Retribution does few things, it does them well. Everything is easy to pick up on, especially for one who frequents FPS titles over those in other genres.
As you play, you will gain points which can be used to purchase scorestreaks at designated locations in the map. You can choose which items will be available to you. For one kill, you can refill your ammo or health. Maybe you would rather ditch these prizes and use something better; 6 kills will get you a rocket launcher and 14 will net you a mech (which is amazing, I must say). Luckily, your meter doesn’t reset when you die; it continues to compound until you spend your points on your desired ordnance.
At the end of each match, you earn BR-coins, and the currency format is familiar to anyone who has played a Facebook game. The BR coins are the currency that comes in abuncance through accomplishing tasks in-game, whereas Z-coins must be purchased from the Playstation Store. Therefore, BR-coins are far less valuable than Z-coins. You can then use your BR-coins or Z-coins to purchase weapons and equipment. This is where the issue comes into play concerning the money.
Basically, since the game is still in Beta, the items are half price. You purchase them at full price, but any Z-coins you spend during Beta will be refunded to you afterwards, but you will keep the items you already bought. Essentially, you’re rewarded for sticking around, and you only see the benefit of buying Z-coins now if you keep playing until later when the game comes out of Beta. The problem with this is that the prices are still outrageous. Let’s take a look at some.
Let’s say I want to buy a submachine gun. I can use the BR-coins to unlock the weapon temporarily, whether it be a day, 3, or 7, I think. I cannot use the BR-coins to permanently purchase the weapon; only Z-coins can do that. $3.50 worth of Z-coins will buy me the weapon (but I’d be refunded that money and keep my weapon when the game comes out of Beta.Who knows when that could be). Almost 4 bucks to buy one gun? Are you kidding me? If I want to buy that, a shotgun, a pistol, and maybe a couple pieces of equipment, I’m running up a 15 dollar bill just to buy basic items for a single loadout! Not to mention that you must first unlock said items before you have the option to purchase them. You must pay an extra fee to unlock items early. I find the high prices charged to be far too unrealistic. Sadly, unless I pay these fees (which I will not) I’m stuck with the standard assault rifle. Oh yeah, and did I mention that even the weapon attachments cost money too? So, a single decent loadout will cost me 20 bucks. Wow.
Furthermore, the game is laggy. I’ll play a couple matches with minimal lag, then I’ll randomly start lagging. I’ll shoot people who won’t die, then they magically fall over dead a couple seconds later. I get shot by people who aren’t there, and so on. Respawns take about 10 seconds, which stinks when the matches are only about 5 minutes long. Controls feel a bit loose, and although I have a decent grip on things, I can’t help feeling like I’m swinging too far to the left or right with only a slight movement. Then, when I drop my sensitivity, I move so slowly that I can hardly turn. I guess the controls just don’t feel like they snap enough, if that makes any sense. I don’t know quite how to describe it, but you know what I mean, I hope. It’s tough to aim when you can’t be precise.
There’s a practice mode where you can play against bots, but the AI are terrible at times. At one point, I found 5 bots huddled in a crevice. They weren’t aiming or shooting. They were just looking at each other. Then, when I got too close, they magically knew I was there and they attacked. Weird.
In the end, Blacklight Retribution has its issues. The fast paced formula is fun, and I enjoy a few matches here and there when I’m not looking for the more drawn out format of Battlefield. Unfortunately, weapons cost far too much money, (especially when I finish in the top three with my basic loadout nearly every match anyhow) lag is an issue, it takes too long to spawn, controls are loose, and there are only a half dozen maps and five gamemodes. Seeing that the game is still in Beta, I only hope that developer Zombie games takes note and fixes these problems, as most are easily solved. When the game is polished and ready for a legitimate debut, Blacklight Retribution may be an alternative for those who might enjoy a free-to-play Call of Duty with a sci-fi twist. Until then, the only redeeming qualities of this game are its good graphics and fast paced action.
Hopefully you found this overview helpful! Thanks for reading, and hit the like or follow button if you’ve enjoyed. Check out the LP channels in my “Links” tab, and I’ll see you next time.