Wanted to try something new and even though i generally don’t play F2P (Free to play) games, I though, lets give it a try. On paper it looks ok, a sci-fi shooter. No more and no less than that. I mean, how can you make it bad? Well, in case of Blacklight Retribution, you can. Or they have. They did. That. Yes…
First, it’s the installation process. Around 9 GB of data. Fair enough. It’s a modern game. But then the moronic “patching” process takes another hour to download some dumb patch for the game. I nearly downloaded the entire game faster than just that damn patch.
And that’s not the worst part. The worst part is the way how it plays. Graphics are good, but then again you don’t expect any less from Unreal Engine 3. The biggest problem is the games very core. Damage model. In FPS games, damage model is as important as driving model in racing games. If you mess that up you effectively ruin the entire game. I’ve seen many low (lower?) budget games that were struggling with the same issue. For example Chaser, Red Ocean, Chrome and Exodus from the Earth. It’s not that these games are particularly bad, but they aren’t good either, it was the damage model that was very funky. You either dealt one hit kills or you died from shots made by someone 30 million kilometers away hiding behind a rock and 20 bushes and trees. And when that is happening, you certainly have a problem with a game design. But at least the above games had interesting worlds to explore and that was a positive point about those games.
In Blacklight, it’s this damage model that is so awfully annoying and it managed to piss me off in under 20 minutes in which case I’ve left the game and deleted it from Steam instantly. I don’t think it matters much what weapon you have, because I was Agent level 1, meaning I didn’t have ANYTHING attached to my guns. And I could pop people with like 2 bullets. Or was it even just one. And same applied to me as well. And that’s what’s the whole problem. You expect such damage model in combat simulations like Rainbow 6. I still remember it, storming the rooms and killing terrorists with precise headshots. But you clearly don’t expect such stuff in a futuristic arcade shooter with mech suits. And what’s even more funny, they even have health system. Why!? What good is it health in a game where 2 bullets mean a very nearly guaranteed kill? Health is needed in games where damage is gradual and well defined and very rarely instant, unless it’s an accurate headshot with an extra powerful weapon. Like AWP in CS:S or CS:GO. But the rest of the weapons can deal maybe just 40 dmg or even less. Stuff where it makes sense to deduct health points and not go from 100 to 0 in one shot 99% of the time. It makes the game more dynamic, slightly more forgiving and simply playable. But with Blacklight, it was just plain frustrating and annoying. Like they specifically designed it to piss you off.
So, that was it. I didn’t really bother with such game any further. I didn’t like the way of upgrades either. You basically lease all the gadgets for a limited time. Which is also idiotic. It’s so funny how people complain over proper triple A games being expensive and then they spend 20 € on some idiotic Starter Pack for a F2P shooter game that brings you bunch of useless junk. And in this case it’s not even permanent. They expect you to pay for all the crap regularly to keep it. Or grind the game all day long every day to have enough points to repurchase them constantly. I’d rather pay 50 € one time and potentially support extra expansions later than have a supposedly free game which is basically a bottomless hole for money.This game is not fun, isn’t engaging and I wouldn’t ever bother downloading it, if I’d know that damage model is so idiotic. Maybe some of you like it, but I think it’s stupid and very badly designed. I rather (and i did, many times!) pay for normal multiplayer games that are not free as such (F2P), but at least they work. Like good old classic CS:Source or CS:Global Offensive, Killing Floor or even Natural Selection 2. Hell, I even had fun in FEAR Combat and it was a very twitchy shooter. No such thing with Blacklight.