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Video Game: Blacklight Retribution
Welcome back, Agent.

"Objective : Eliminate All Hostile Agents."
In-game announcer, before starting a Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch round.

Blacklight: Retribution is a free to play sequel to Blacklight: Tango Down. Created by folks at Zombie Studios and published by Perfect World Entertainment, it's a standard First-Person Shooter powered by the Unreal Engine, though it's got some features to set it apart from the pack:

  • Everybody has the HRV (Hyper Reality Visor), which let players see enemies and objectives through walls. This comes with a downside, though—you can't use any weapons while it's in use and you have to wait for it to recharge.
  • The game features weapon depots scattered around the map that lets players restock on ammo and health, and bring heavy weapons like a flamethrower, rocket launcher, or Hardsuit into the fight in exchange for CP they gained from kills, assists or completing objectives.
  • Players receive GP and experience points at the end of a match depending on how well they performed, which you can use to get new gear. Of course, paying for it is much faster.

The game feature classic game modes like Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Domination, and KOTH, alongside new ones like NetWar (A combination of CTF and Domination), Siege and Kill Confirmed. A recent update added Search & Destroy, Last Man Standing, and Onslaught.

Now available on Steam!

And now coming for the PlayStation 4!


This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Electro ammo does less damage to troopers (unless they're Stunned) but extra to Hardsuits and turrets, Toxic ammo obscures your vision and does mild damage over time, Explosive ammo jars the target's vision to throw off their aim and prevents Reviving, and Incendiary ammo sets your enemies on fire, doing more damage in total in exchange for less damage up-front. The former three veer into Awesome, but Impractical territory, though.
  • A.K.A.-47: Several weapon parts can easily be identified as having come from real firearms, or at least are very visibly based off parts from them. Also see the Gun Porn entry further down.
    • For more specific examples, the Heavy Pistol receiver is clearly based off the old Colt M1911, the Burstfire Pistol is some manner of Glock, The heavy Assualt Rifle resembles the FN Carbine and the complete Starter Equipment rifle bears a remarkable resemblance to the SIG 550. One foregrip/barrel segment is highly similar to the MP7, whilst another resembles the FN MAG. The newly introduced Snubnose Revolver is nearly identical to the snub-nosed Chiappa Rhino.
    • Two new assault rifle like receivers don't even try to hide what guns they are based on. Their names are the AK-470 and M4X, and the flavor text states they're modernized versions.
  • Allegedly Free Game: You can still play without ZEN (which is obtained using real money or from surveys/offers), you'll just have access to higher-level equipment slower. However, some decorative items which have no effect on gameplay (like camouflages or taunts) are available with ZEN only, and weapon parts that are ZEN-only tend to have niche advantages.
  • All There in the Manual: Where the heck are the zombies coming from, and who are those guys backing up said zombies? They're holdovers from the co-op mode in the first game, which explained the zombies as victims of SIV, a virus that rots flesh and turns the victim homocidally insane, while the Order are a terrorist group that has ex-US Special Forces in them.
  • An Axe to Grind: The new Exploding Tomahawk.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Hardsuits. They're good to use against regular enemies, but are slow to maneuver, setting them up wide open for flamethrower or rocket ambushes - and they're completely useless in Onslaught, because the game will begin to spawn Order goons with one-hit kill rocket launchers.
    • Anti-Material Rifle. Reload every single shot. Extremely long scope-in time. Not commonly used.
  • Bling Bling Bang: Metallic gold, silver, and bronze 'camo' patterns are available for your weapons. There's also the weapon tags; (gold) dollar signs, pots of gold, and so on.
  • Blown Across the Room: Shotguns and the Anti-Materiel Rifle can throw ragdolls a fair distance, often causing a slightly more conventional Railing Kill.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Wearing heavier armour pieces increases your health; wearing lighter pieces reduces it. Also see Sprint Meter, Fragile Speedster.
  • Broken Faceplate: Battle-damaged variants of the Hunter and R5X Ghost were given out as awards somewhat recently - though in this case the damage is purely cosmetic and they have the same stats as the undamaged models. Whether or not they make your Agent look Badass is up for you to decide.
  • Call Back: After killing an enemy agent, agents will sometimes say, "Tango down! Heh. That's appropriate."
  • Color-Coded Elements: The 'elemental' ammo above tends to have unique impact effects, and each elemental magazine has a color-coded warning notice to indicate the type of ammo in it. Explosive is orange-yellow, Electro is blue, Toxic is green, and Incendiary is red. Equipment that protects against these types of damage are also color-coded to indicate what type of damage they protect against. Oh, and there's also 'Magnum' ammo, which is purple and does more damage at the cost of increased recoil and reduced range.
  • Cherry Tapping: Jumping on another player directly from above will cause 1 HP damage to him/her, likewise hitting them with a thrown grenade will also do exactly 1 HP damage. It's rare but possible to kill a player like that.
  • Cyber Punk: Between the Blade Runner scenery, the armor designs, and the electronic warfare, it's definitely fitting.
  • Death from Above: Airstrikes, of course.
    • Let's just say you don't want to be standing where a hardsuit is going to land - whether from the initial drop-in, or if it just decides to drop off a ledge.
  • Difficult but Awesome :
    • The Combat Rifle. It is a semi-automatic rifle, making it quite nice to use at mid to long range. Problem is, at any range there's a receiver that does its job better. Low ammo count tends to cause problem too. But in the right hands they're capable of downing ANYONE in quick 2-4 shots assuming the user is careful of the spread.
    • Light Machine Gun. Even before Recoil Update it is highly inaccurate against other automatics at range, lending itself toward defensive or ambush situation. However, it boast highest damage per shot of all automatic receivers.
  • Faceless Goons: Almost everyone. But the helmets are awesome looking, so it's forgiven. Most hero characters, however, have an option to go helmet-less, or at least have some form of skin exposure (Viper only shows off his arm, and MARS is all-robot).
  • For Massive Damage: If you're skilled/crazy/stupid enough, you can hit the weak points on a Hardsuit for ten times the damage. Especially true if you manage to hit it with the Breach Hammer or Katana. Also, a direct Stinger hit will do around 7500 damage to a Hardsuit (consider it has 15000 health 'new') regardless of where it hits.
  • Flare Gun: The Breech-Loaded Pistol works like this. One ammo type is even named flare. Fairly accurate, and the flares explode shortly after striking a target. The other alternate ammo type converts it into a Short Range Shotgun.
  • Fragile Speedster: Speed-oriented builds, as you have to sacrifice maximum health for your increased speed. Pure speed builds are uncommon, as most feel they sacrifice too much to gain too little. This is Viper's gimmick - he's extremely fast, but one good hit from even an SMG will kill him dead.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Although you can shoot enemy mines, setting them off next to their friends. Unoccupied hardsuits can be damaged by both teams, too.
    • This leads to nasty schmuck like sticking Airstrike Beacon or Explosive Tomahawk on teammates.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Since the anti-materiel rifle is too heavy and large to use it as makeshift club in melee, the player character will simply punch the enemy in melee.
  • Grenade Spam: Mostly averted, as you can only carry a single grenade of any given type at a time, though with the right kit setup and a lot of GP and/or Zen you could feasibly carry up to four different kinds. Of course that all goes out the window if someone gets their hands on the "Bear Claw" revolver-mechanism grenade launcher...
  • Gun Porn: Players praised the game's customization feature. Metallic pink automatic death spewing machine with attached 1.8x holographic scope, short damage-enhancing barrel complete with foregrip and silencer, anyone?
  • Have a Nice Death: Leaping off of Vertigo (or quitting a match):
    [Player name] thought they could fly.
  • Hazmat Suit: The new Prex Chemical/Hazmat Respirator helmet, added in the Evacuation Update. It claims to reduce damage taken from explosive attacks, however, not chemical weapons. The bright yellow-orange visor also makes your head very visible.
    • There's also two other variants, in blue/green and red/orange, for reducing toxic and incendiary damage respectively.
  • Heal Thyself: The Heal Injector Mk.1 tactical gear, which holds 15 'charges' and slowly regenerates them over time. It restores 50 health at the cost of all 15 charges if you use it on yourself, or 100 health at the cost of 3 charges if you use it on allies. Much more team-oriented than it used to be.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Played with. Standard characters can't remove their helmets (the closest one can get is by wearing a face-covering goggle getup, with a balaclava over the rest). However, a few of the hero characters have the option to have their helmet removed, and certain heroes, like Duchess, don't come with one.
    • Apparently the characters have a face beneath the helmet which can be seen through clipping.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Camouflage would work fine if not for all those team-indicating neon highlights on your armor. Also, the fact that your name appears over your head.
    • There's also various "unique" camouflages you can buy with ZEN or get as a reward from chance packs, certain events, or promotions. Purple, red, baby blue, bright pink, metallic gold/silver, solid white... take your pick.
  • Hollywood Silencer: There are four, each (save the highest-level one) reducing damage and having some other minor effects. The quieter audio cue can often give you an extra edge over an unaware enemy; by the time they've figured out where you're shooting from, they're already dead.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: In-universe, nobody knows who - or what - Viper is. Flavor text ranges from rumors that he's undead, a mutant, or not even human.
  • Interface Screw: Digi Grenades act like a smokescreen by creating a cloud of digital interference; entering it will also obscure your view. Shock Grenades and Mines make your display fuzzy and stop you from turning around. Being hit with explosive ammo and nearby explosions will jar your vision as you'd expect. EMP Grenades are the worst, throwing the Blue Screen of Death all over your interface!
    • If you look closely at the HUD when it restarts, you can see your own agent/character name being entered into a login and password bar. These are both carryovers from Tango Down. Also an example of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.
    • The 'new' animation displayed when spawning is considered a very negative use of this by some players as well. Fortunately, it can be disabled.
  • "I Regret Nothiiiiing!": One of the death sounds for SeaNanners' bonus voice pack.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Most need to be purchased with ZEN first, though a couple are free. They can be used in-game, and give a small Combat Point bonus depending on length and type, with longer stationary taunts (during which the taunter is defenseless) providing a greater bonus than one of the quick taunts that allow movement.
  • Invisibility Cloak:
    • Active camouflage tactical gear, though it doesn't hide you from infrared scopes or HRV, and you're still somewhat visible (especially when sprinting).
    • The HRV Blackout item will prevent anything nearby from appearing on HRV, though, to the naked eye, it has a very noticeable distortion field. Often used to hide mines, snipers, turrets, or all of them at once.
    • HRV Cloak Tactical Gear is a backpack that hides its user from HRV. A good way to screw with most players.
    • A lesser form is the Infrared Protection Gear, which allows someone to not be seen well with IR scopes.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Available as depot item. Costs 350 points, and does a lot of damage, plus it has a lunge attack that can kill multiple foes in one swift assault. It also throws a nice diagonal bloodsplatter across the screen.
  • Kill All Humans: It's very easy to miss, but the bots in Practice Mode sometimes say this and other similar phrases.
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower, of course. Effective against Agents and Hardsuits—they cook the pilot alive. However, do not try to steal that Hardsuit you just flamed while it still red-hot.
    • Incendiary ammo, to a lesser degree. Whilst bullets do less damage per-hit, the target takes damage over time as mentioned above.
  • Kukris Are Kool: The so-called Machete has a inward bowed blade resembling a kukri much more than an actual machete.
  • Prox Mine Goes Beep: Now in delicious Frag and Stun flavours! They make a nice little bee-beep noise just before exploding, so sometimes you can at least avoid dying. Keep an eye on your HRV; mines are marked with an exclamation symbol. Also, you can 'safely' detonate enemy mines using gunfire or grenades to earn a few Combat Points, and maybe hurt any enemies standing close to them.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Burst-Fire SMG used to be one of these (or just a Scrappy Weapon depending on who you ask), as its recoil and spread usually had the third and fourth (sometimes even the second!) shots going way off target, essentially wasting them. Then the new spread/recoil system came along, and it's turned deadly all of a sudden, able to put all four rounds on target and the recoil only really kicks in around the end of the burst.
  • Letters to the Editor: Not exactly. But Zombie Studio will be answering questions through Blacklight Retribution Patch Minutes videos which come out with every game updates. Here's one for 0.964.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Like Black Ops 2, you can use and deploy a shield. SIV infectees can also carry them.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Seriously, don't get in the way of any sort of Railgun.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Hardsuits are combat mecha, and come with a minigun and a railgun. These things are very dangerous from the front and can even run you down with its boost. They do, however, have a randomly generated weakpoint. Hitting it causes your weapon to deal ten times it's normal damage.. Also they have slow turning rates, making teammates backup pretty much mandatory, and making them useless in Onslaught, as Order goons with rocket launchers spawn when you do.
  • More Dakka: Minigun, both on the Hardsuit and handheld.
  • Nerf: Many.
    • There was an era when the Assault Rifle would kill anything it was pointed at.
    • Heavy Assault Rifles made using a Bolt-Action Rifle for sniping useless due to very predictable recoil pattern; it also had ridiculously high damage, so much so that it could beat an SMG in close quarters. Now reduced to a more balanced level with a smaller magazine, lower damage and slightly less range.
    • During the closed beta, by either bug or poor design, the SMG had such a low spread that its 10 points of damage at long range could kill a target was no issue even with full-automatic fire. Pretty impressive for the 9mm round of the future.
    • World's End brought some long-overdue (at least as far as many are concerned) nerfs to the Exploding Tomahawk, Machine Pistol, and maximum-damage oriented Bolt Action Rifle builds. The Health Injector got adjusted around the same time, and people aren't quite sure about the results.
  • Knife Nut: Two types of combat knives, throwing knives and the machete give players enough variation to become this. You could feasibly carry the lot with enough gear slots, if you were feeling redundant.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Played straight and subverted. Players who charge enemies with only their knives will often be quickly shot dead. However played straight when using the right tactics, as players can kill multiple enemies in short time.
  • Noob Cave: New players can choose to play on Proving Ground servers that only allow players level 1-10 to play in. They're a good way to get a handle of the game mechanics without having high-level players stomping you while you're still learning.
    • There's also the new Practice option, which allows the player to go head to head with a mob of robots on one of the most hectic close-quarters maps in the game.
    • Onslaught was intentionally designed as something of a Noob Cave, with decent XP and GP payouts even on Easy Difficulty, so that new players can level up and unlock gear without being hammered by veterans. One should also keep in mind that it goes all the way up to Hardcore Difficulty (which makes only headshots deal any damage to the enemies), so it's not just for rookies.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: It is supposed to be a sequel to Blacklight: Tango Down. But as of yet, the game still doesn't have much in the way of an official storyline.
    • The world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, with no real governments, and the players are the best of the best picked out by Blacklight to help protect the world. A virus of some description is ravaging the civilian population, with automated broadcasts recommending people stay in their homes as much as possible. See the Fridge page! A popular theory is that the 'game' is basically a virtual reality simulation which Blacklight uses to train their recruits.
    • Another popular theory says that after Tango Down, Blacklight failed to maintain peace. Many Blacklight/The Order agents (like you) went rogue, each fighting for their own interest.
    • The Order returns in Onslaught mode, as the soldiers attacking you while you try to fight off zombies.
  • Not Using the Z Word: They're SIVs, not zombie-like-guys!
  • One Bullet Clips
  • Pink Mist: Can be averted with the "Gore" setting with Full (heads are removed with headshots) to Mid (heads remain intact but blood is shown) to None (blood is replaced with splashes of a glowing blue liquid).
  • Pistol-Whipping: Handguns' melee attack.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Played with. With full gore, scoring a full shotgun blast to somebody's face - or landing a headshot with the Bolt Action Rifle - results in a satisfying explosion sound and a red cloud. Other weapons may or may not cause it; it seems random, or based on damage.
  • Ragdoll Physics: May cause corpses to spin or breakdance on their own. Especially if they get one limb stuck in something.
  • Rare Guns: Along with some gun parts, the new Snub 260 Revolver has its barrel aligned with the bottom chamber, likely drawing inspiration from the Mateba Autorevolver and its kin.
    • The M4 and AK47 are considered this in-universe judging by M4X and AK470's flavor text.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The SIVs have glowing red eyes. As if the fact they're charging at you and basically foaming at the mouth because they think you look tasty or something wasn't enough of a warning.
  • Regenerating Health: If knocked below half health, you regenerate up to half way - but for a full heal, you want to visit the depot or get a teammate to heal you using the Health Injector.
  • Reverse Grip: How characters hold the combat knives.
  • Quick Melee: Pressing the melee key will make you melee with your gun's stock or pistol's grip. However the game also has a number of stronger dedicated melee weapon like combat knives, machetes, and the Breach Hammer - which is a One-Hit Kill on any agent.
  • Robot Girl: M.A.R.S., the second Hero character, who uses a female voice and is referred to as 'she'.
  • Scary Black Man: Grendel, the demolitionist Hero. He has the maximum possible health, and similarly, the maximum quantity of explosives - three grenades and a proximity mine.
  • Sentry Gun: A depot item you can buy. It has a fairly limited firing arc. Used to love shooting at walls but recent patches fixed its targeting behaviour. Savvy players can use Shock and EMP grenades to temporarily disable it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The two Steam achievements related to destroying turrets are "Sapper" and "Are You Still There...?"
    • Now we have the Black Mesa Crowbar available for purchase in celebration of the Steam launch, for a limited time, and a Headcrab Weapon Tag recently became available for playing prior to a certain date. There were also limited-edition Portal Gun weapon tags.
    • One weapon tag you can equip on your gun is a suspiciously familiar red mushroom with white dots.
    • Chain enough headshots together, and your character will yell BOOM, HEADSHOT!
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Currently the pump action and automatic shotgun are around the most popular secondary weapons, especially after the MP was nerfed. They offer good damage over short range and are also ideal for detonating mines.
  • Short Range Shotgun: They start losing damage beyond around 10 meters, and hit minimum damage by around 20. Combine that with the way the shot cloud spreads out, and you might as well use harsh language at longer ranges. On the other hand, they're extremely deadly within their effective range.
  • Skull for a Head: The Bonebreaker helmet has a stylized faceplate that resembles the upper half of a skull.
  • Sniper Pistol: You could, with the plethora of customization options... but it's not very effective. Damage falloff kicks in pretty quick for pistols. Even the Revolver has an optimal range of 40 meters and effective maximum range of 60 meters.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: Sometimes, throwing out an HRV Blackout with the bonus voice pack results in this gem;
    Agent: "Jammer is live...! [BLEEP!]"
  • Sprint Meter: Wearing heavy armour to increase your health decreases the sprint speed and the amount of time you can sprint, wearing light armour (thus decreasing your health) increases your sprint speed and time. It's a balancing act.
  • Starter Equipment: Everyone is given a set of basic armor, a light pistol, and a basic assault rifle with iron sights. They are pretty reliable, mind you. It's not unusual to see BLR newcomers kicking the snot out of multiple level 30+ veterans using these things, and some vets like to go back to them just for the fun of it.
    • In Onslaught, the game will drop "Grasshopper" assault rifles, in case anyone runs out of ammo, or has inferior equipment.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Though it should be noted that the role of the primary weapon mostly depends on how you configure it and which parts you use. You can have a compact AR that's good at close combat, or one with a powerful scope better suited to mid/long range combat. A bolt-action rifle ideal for high-damage long-range shots, or shorter-range engagements and quickly moving between vantage points. And so on.
    • Assault Rifle. Jack of all trades, can be customized and tuned to suit almost any role - though a more specialized weapon will do the job better.
      • M4X Rifle. Based on the M4 carbine. Increased rate of fire, but reduced damage, range and accuracy. Better for close-up combat.
      • AK470 Rifle. Based on the AK47. Increased damage and accuracy at the cost of increased recoil.
      • Heavy Assault Rifle. Increased damage and accuracy at the cost of increased recoil, a lower rate of fire, and reduced ammo capacity.
    • Burst-Fire Rifle. Bullpup config, three-round bursts. Exceptionally accurate.
    • Bullpup Full Auto. Bullpup config again, more a hybrid of the AR and SMG than a long range gun like the BFR above.
    • Combat Rifle. Semi-automatic rifle. A 'lite' edition of the bolt-action rifle, much better rate of fire and higher ammo capacity, but less damage. Somewhere between the BFR and BAR, in theory.
    • Bolt-Action Rifle. Very small ammo cap and low rate of fire, but high damage and generally pinpoint accurate. Lower damage builds have a higher rate of fire, whilst high damage builds tend to have an even lower rate of fire or reduced accuracy.
      • Anti-Materiel Rifle. Single-shot, very slow reload, very slow scope-in time, but always one-hit kill regardless of where you hit the target.
    • SMG, very good at close quarters but less effective at range; and the Machine Pistol, its smaller, sidearm cousin.
      • Tactical SMG, faster but weaker version of the SMG. Deadly in close quarters. For Even More Dakka. Looks vaguely like a P-90.
      • Burst-fire SMG, exactly what it sounds like. Once thought to be weak and ineffective, now proving to be surprisingly deadly in the right hands.
    • Light Machine Gun, for suppressing enemies and More Dakka. Recoil is high, reducing the effectiveness of short bursts, but decreases during prolonged firing.
      • LMG-Recon. A lower rate of fire than the standard LMG, and exceptionally high accuracy when correctly configured. Works best when you have a significant range advantage.
    • Light Pistol, Heavy Pistol, Burst-Fire Pistol, Breech-Loaded Pistol, Revolver, and Snub-Nose Revolver. All fairly competent secondary weapons.
    • Shotgun, an 'up close and personal' secondary weapon. Straight ouf of the Short Range Shotgun school of thought.
      • SARk Automatic Shotgun, the Shotgun, but with less recoil, fewer pellets, and a massively increased rate of fire. Oh, and a very silly firing noise.
  • Technicolor Blade: The combat knife mk.2, throwing knives, exploding tomahawk and the katana have blue/orange outlines implying a high tech nature, explaining their presence in the futuristic combat.
  • Tournament Play: General community's clan vs clan scrim ruleset ban the use of Hardsuits, elemental ammo and depot weapons. Other weapons may apply depending on their current Game Breaker status.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: It's entirely possible to kill an enemy who just ordered a Hardsuit, then hack into said Hardsuit to use it yourself. Woo, free hardsuit! It's also possible to destroy a hardsuit by deploying your own. You can also abandon badly-damaged hardsuits and use them as bait for unsuspecting enemy players. Mines can also be used to boobytrap depots.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Not exactly. They can kill faster than assault rifles and submachine guns (and have no recoil, either), and can cook enemies out of their Hardsuits (unless they're wearing the Battlesuit upgrade), and in Onslaught, bypass shield-wielding zombies and kill regular Order soldiers and zombies quickly. However, you can't spread fire to deny areas, and enemies don't catch fire.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Of the Counter-Strike kind: equip the pistol or knife to sprint faster.
    • Most weapons can be tuned to increase your sprinting speed as well, at least a little. This usually comes at the cost of low accuracy, high recoil, and low damage.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The whole SIV virus crisis caused by The Order back in Tango Down. Also, the new Onslaught mode pitches you against ten waves of increasingly difficult foes, with four possible difficulty levels, and assorted rewards for collecting special tokens during the match.


    Creator/Zombie StudiosZork Nemesis
Bound by FlamePlay Station 4 Bloodborne
BleedSteamThe Blackwell Series

alternative title(s): Blacklight Retribution
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