PAX Day 2: Blacklight Retribution
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-In-Chief
Following our Rusty Hearts game time, we were sent to speak with one of the veteran developers from the original Blacklight. Spunkify got to play Blacklight Retribution for the first time in a PvP match versus 9 other attendees at PAX while I got an indepth interview with the dev (look forward to the video!).
Spunk took to the game like a duck to water and was quickly dominating the hapless attendees unfortunate enough to get in his way. After 4 kills in a row he was marked as a priority threat and the rewards for killing him grew. The other team, still licking their wounds, was quick to take advantage of this and set an ambush to wipe him out (though he took 2 of the 3 down in the process).
Meanwhile I discussed customization features with the development team and realized that this game is going all-in and ensuring Blacklight Retribution is going to be one of the most customizable FPS MMOs ever made. For those familiar with the detailed character creator in Perfect World, this analogy will probably make sense to you: Take Perfect World’s detailed character designing system and place it in a near future SciFi setting. Now add in weapon customization in addition to general character looks. And now make said weapon customization actually impact the advantages and disadvantages your character plays with ingame and you are beginning to understand the epicness of Blacklight Retribution’s customization system.
Back ingame, Spunk was busy dominating the other team and was unaware of the depot system. The depot system allows characters to spend points accumulated during a match to access their prebuilt more powerful weaponry. One player in particular was able to call down the mech fighter showcased in the PAX Trailer. This mech fighter seemed nearly unstoppable as it plowed through one member of Spunk’s team after another. However Spunk found it’s weakness- heavy explosives and tight corridors.
Spunkify used flashy grenades to lure the mech warrior into tight corridors with a second layer of grating above. He then went about pelting the mech fighter with grenades from all sides, with constant protection to duck behind whenever the mech warrior caught sight of him. Although this method didn’t destroy the mech warrior, it frustrated him to the point that time ran out before he ever scored another kill.
While this cat and mouse game was going on the developer informed me that the mech suit is nearly indestructable but the VR goggles are capable of not only seeing through walls but also identifying the weak point on the suit. A few well aimed shots with powerful penetrating weaponry on this weakspot can bring down the mech suit. Also the newly introduced flame thrower weaponry can fry the user inside of the mech, ensuring balance with plenty of counter picks to bring down the suit.
Unfriendly Battleground for a Mech
Overall the game seemed much more polished than the E3 demo, with a larger range of customization options and must flashier particle effects for the various weaponry. The priority target and Team Warlord titling added to the epicness of the PvP match even further by placing a target on the MVP’s head. I can’t wait to see the first public tests of this game because it sounds like there are a ton of game modes in development to ensure players have just as many options in ways to play as they have in ways to customize their gunner.