INTRODUCTION As you read through the thread I've tried to loosely label each section for an easier read. If you notice any typos or errors, please let me know so I can correct them. This is sort of an introduction of BLR to the GC community and a personal review of the game by myself. So I hope you all are in for a wall of text that I've made mentally appealing as I can. So if any of you haven't jumped onto the new F2P FPS Blacklight Retribution and are tired of the same ol' same ol' when it comes to CoD and BF then BLR might just be the game you're looking for. Imagine if CoD, CS:S, Halo and Battle Tech had a big sexy baby, this would be the result. For a free to play FPS, Blacklight Retribution covers all the bases. Out of any FPS I've played this is easily the most customizable when it comes to your character and the way you like to play. If you like to sit in the back and pick up a few head shots then there's an entire arsenal of toys for you to choose from, the same goes if you like to toss on a heavy weapon and some beefy armor and stand on the front line gunning down each and every foe who's foolish enough to cross your line of fire. CUSTOMIZATION This game will literally allow you to customize your character and your gun down to how much recoil your gun has to how fast it fires, to minimizing your bullet spread to next to nothing if aiming down the sites isn't your deal. And if you're more of a run and gun, speedster type, well... there's a hat for that (Pardon the cheesy pun.) But in all seriousness with multitudes of armor types ranging from heavy to light armor you can't go wrong when it comes to making your character do what you WANT it to do. BALANCED GAME PLAY Once you get into your first match, it can be intimidating seeing the tools other people have at their disposal for dispatching as many human meat bags as possible, but after you start leveling and getting a feel to how the game works, the blood starts to pour. You'll start noticing simple touches that make the game possibly one of the most balanced first person shooters since CS 1.6. If you've played Call of Duty since it's inception, you're without a doubt more than likely fed up with one hit knife kills. The smart fellas at Zombie Studios decided to go retro and make melee weapons an equippable tool, just like it was in Counter Strike. This makes your knife a powerful tool to quickly dispatch of people from the shadows, but makes you add in that extra bit of thought before unsheathing your blade in the face of an opponent instead of relying on a twitch reaction that Call of Duty has so well trained us to have with our E key's (The standard melee button in CoD for PC.) When I play this game and I unlock more and more weaponry, I can tell without a doubt that people at Zombie studios KNOW what they are doing and actually PLAY the game they put on the market. For instance, there are 4 different melee weapons. The Combat Knives MK 1 and 2, the Machete, and the Breech Hammer. Each of them have pros and cons, are all usable in their own situations. For instance, the Combat Knives have quick switch times, but lower damage. The Machete has a slower switch animation, but a longer range and more damage. The Breech Hammer is a one hit kill, but it has the slowest switch speed and slightly lowers your characters movement speed. MAKING SACRIFICES Each and every weapon/attachment/armor piece has positive attributes and negative attributes to contribute to more balanced game play. The whole ideal is to improve in one area you must sacrifice in another. So if you want to be the fastest moving player on the server, you better expect to give up some health points in return. Or if you want to be big and beefy with your Light Machine Gun and supped up armor, you better not be hoping to be a speed demon at the same time. SUPPLY DEPOTS With an in match currency that's earned by mowing down enemies aplenty you can use it to purchase items from your supply depot. Ranging from health and ammo resupplies to a Sub Orbital Air Strike to a Mech Suit you can choose from a devastating list of weaponry to add to your arsenal once you've earned enough credits to purchase them from one of the many depots around the maps. Think of these as your "Kill Streaks," but instead of being earned by sitting in a corner like you're forced to do in Call of Duty, you earn credits to purchase your Kill Streaks by doing objectives, killing other agents or just by plain being good at the game. But beware, with each of the depot items, they each have their pros and their cons and have counters so that people don't get out of hand. For instance, the Mech Suit is countered by 3 different anti-armor weapons that are purchasable from the depot. If you want to smoke the pilot out of their Hardsuit to leave it ripe for the picking, use the FT118 Flamethrower. Or if you just want to blow the limey bastard up, use the Stinger Missile to punch a giant hole in that hunk of metal and take out the pilot while you're at it. NO CAMPERS HERE! One touch of finesse that I really feel escalates the game play is the HRV visor. HRV stands for Hyper Reality Vision. This little toy makes camping in this game a non-issue. The HRV allows you to see other players on the map, but it makes your surroundings a monotone purple so you can only get a bearing on their general position and not know exactly where they are. This means, if you're sitting in a corner somewhere, someone probably knows, and they are probably telling their buddies to come gang rape you. If you stay on the move and use your HRV well, then you won't have an issue. But if you want to hide in a corner, you might get a little peeved. THE CATCH Now after all this hype, you're probably wondering where the catch is going to come in. And here's the hook, line, and sinker. While the game is completely free to download, register with and play there are two currencies used for purchasing upgrades for your agent. You can either choose to use GP to buy your gear, which is earned by playing matches or you can choose to buy ZEN with real money. While most people would equate this to "Pay2Win" you'd be pleasantly surprised to know that gear and weapons aren't all you need to come out on top. So if you think you're going to drop a hundred bucks on this game and start PWNIN' SOME NUBS, then you're out of your league here. That's just how fine tuned they've made each aspect of this game. Besides, each and every item on the market place is purchasable with GP or ZEN. If you're the impatient type, the only benefit you gain from using ZEN is the ability to access items sooner. FINAL THOUGHTS I'm sorry if you all feel like this is a lot of rambling but you can't really experience the balanced, yet stimulating, adrenaline pumping game play that BLR has to offer. I've been a long time FPS player and have never played a game that is so balanced and exhilarating at the same time. One on one gun fights that rely on nothing but clutch reaction are some of the most intense out of any shooter I've played to date. If any of you think that this is the game for you, please feel free to register to their website and add me as a friend. I'll be there to answer any questions and you can play with me too! My characters name is Hips and I hope to see you in one of my matches in the near future. I'll also be streaming my game play of BLR in the near future. Once I start doing that, I'll post the link to where I'll be streaming at and then you can watch me play and hopefully you'll get a good first hand look at the game from an slightly advanced players perspective.