It’s kind of odd that while in a dance bar, I met with an old schoolmate who was then the event photographer, Art (check out his nightscapes and nightlife photography here), and our talk suddenly took a turn to computer games. Perfect topic to go with some tugs-tugs music, right? Anyway, we talked about Diablo 3, WoW, HoN, blah, blah, blah…then he mentioned Blacklight: Retribution.
Another online first person shooter? Or so I thought. Until he explained the game-changing mechanics that would make it kick-ass: one is the HRV feature, where each player has the ability to toggle his Hyper Reality Visor and see through walls, making EVERYONE on the map visible, even through multiple layers of concrete. Two, is that everyone can buy mechs called Hardsuits and wreak havoc on the battlefield.
Even though I consider myself semi-retired in the world of gaming (I rarely play Diablo 3 nowadays and a bit of HoN, and don’t even touch my PS3 anymore), BLR kind of revived the gamer inside me since the game concept seemed too interesting. Watch this awesome launch trailer!
Let’s get started.
Basically, BLR is a FREE multiplayer online first-person shooter (just like Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc.) developed by Zombie Studios and published by Perfect World Entertainment, utilizing Epic Games’s Unreal Engine 3. You can download the game at their website http://blacklight.perfectworld.com/download. The installer spans up to around 6GB so unless you don’t have an uber-high speed internet connection, better leave your machine doing the dirty work while you eat, sleep, whatever.
Upon installation, you will have to make your own free account at Perfect World, as well as in BLR. You’ll be given your Agent (male or female) and that will be your avatar from now on, which you’ll get to level up, upgrade and customize. How the hell is this game free? They have their ways- you can buy custom skins for your agent, certain limited items, experience boosters and other whatnots. But such products for sale are certainly designed to avoid breaking the game. The same concept applies to other free online multiplayer games, after all.
Here’s a sample of the HRV in action:
How does this change the game? First of all, you can only use it at a very short amount of time, and must be fully refilled before you can use it again. Also, while on HRV mode, you cannot do anything but walk around- making you completely vulnerable should any enemy nearby see you. You’re gonna have to strategize when or when you’ll use your HRV, as well as plan out a carefully devised attack to your enemies after seeing them. But here’s the catch: they can see you too. So how will you go about that? Pretty exciting, huh?
On my first games in BLR, I can’t help but feel completely naked while in the battlefield, ’cause it’s making me paranoid that everyone can see me, and that they can jump me anytime. This games a real stress-maker lol.
And after seeing the screencaps, I don’t even have to tell you the graphics are awesome, right? Almost on par with other top-tier FPS games, even!
Next kick-ass feature would be the Hardsuits, which you’ll get to buy on your base’s Weapon Depots. You get to ride them, and be almost completely invulnerable! But of course, there’s a weapon for normal agents to carry that’s pretty harmful to them suits: the Flamethrower. The concept here is that you heat up the mech so much that the pilot/rider would get out of it.
With regards to game modes, there are plenty to choose from: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Flag, etc. so there’s lesser room to get sick of the game!
Next, while leveling up, you also get to customize not just your Agents, but your weapons as well- everything from the muzzle to the stock is modifiable! To acquire gun parts, GP or ZEN can be spent to unlock them for varying durations, including permanently. So you can either buy them, or play your way to get them. You decide.
So I guess I’ll be playing some more, then. I’m already having a hard time balancing work with games, friends, etc. and this comes along lol. Well, challenge accepted! :D
Download the game now, and add me! My Perfect World account is chadsenga.
Here are a few more screencaps: