BlackLight posts

Exclusive: Blacklight sequel to be free-to-play game; first screenshot released

In 2010 developer Zombie Studios released Blacklight: Tango Down, a downloadable near-future themed first person shooter. Pricing for the game was just $15. At the time of the game's release, Big Download learned from Zombie's CEO Mark Long that a sequel was already in the works. Today Big Download has learned exclusively that the sequel will have an even cheaper price; free.

Yes, the Blacklight: Tango Down sequel (which at the moment is titled "Blacklight" for now) will be released as a free-to-play game. According to what Long told us today, "The full game will be free along with premium content that can be purchased in-game. Blacklight will feature a large number of improvements based on the player feedback we've gotten. And we hope going free-to-play will close that loop so we can respond even faster to player preferences."

So why go with the free-to-play/microtransaction business model? Long told us, "The free-to-play model is something we've been interested in since we first began working with Korean publishers four years ago. Free-to play is the model in Asia. It's exploding in China growing fast in Europe and emerging here in Facebook and iOS games."

The sequel will not reuse any of the content of the original Blacklight: Tango Down, according to Long. It will be an all new game with new weapons, levels, items and more. That includes the previously announced drivable mech vehicles. You can see the mech in the background of the first ever publicly released screenshot above (you can check out a high-res version when you click the above image). Long told us that the sequel will use the latest version of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 tech.

The Blacklight sequel does not yet have a release date and Long would not comment on who might be publishing the sequel (the original Blacklight Tango Down was published by Ignition Entertainment). We hope to have more info on the game in the coming weeks and months.

New Blacklight: Tango Down details and screenshots revealed

Last month, developer Zombie Studios and publisher Ignition Entertainment announced their plans to release the downloadable multiplayer shooter Blacklight: Tango Down. Since the official announcement the publisher has sent over some new screenshots and info about the game. Since the game is set in the near-future players will get to use some exotic weapons such as "Digi-Grenades that distort the optics of enemies" and a "Hyper Reality Visor" that lets players see in different vision modes.

While you can play as a member of the ultra-elite military force Blacklight in the game you can also play as The Order who has a goal of trying to defeat a virus that is ravaging the world's population. Meanwhile a chat with Zombie's lead designer Jared Gerritzen reveals that the PC version won't have any dedicated server support. However he adds, " . . this is not a console-to-PC port. We've taken some major steps to make sure the PC experience is just as good -- if not better -- with a smoking PC."

[Via Blue's News]

Blacklight turns into downloadable first person shooter

Last year developer Zombie Studios announced their plans for Blacklight, a near-future themed first person shooter that they were also trying to develop as a movie and comic book series. Today publisher Iginition Entertainment revealed that they will be publishing Blacklight: Tango Down, a downloadable first person shooter from Zombie sometime this summer.

The game itself, which uses Unreal Engine 3, is still set in the near future but will be multiplayer oriented with character and weapon customization features.Players gain more experience as they play and as such they also gain more access to weapons and items along with new player abilities (akin to Modern Warfare 2). Will this game have enough to stand out from all the other games available in this crowded genre? We should find out later this year.

The Best of Big Download: March 16-22

We are now officially into spring and with GDC starting next week the news front has been buzzing with announcements. Let's look at the highlights for the past seven days:
Exclusive features
  • Blacklight: We get some of the first info on Zombie's upcoming shooter and even more info via a chat with Zombie CEO Mark Long.
  • Marvel MMO: We get a heads-up on plans for the latest attempt to turn the Marvel super hero universe into a massively multiplayer game.
  • Unreal Atlas: We find out about how Epic Games China plans to make Unreal Engine 3 easier for MMO developers to use.
  • Tom Clancy's EndWar review: We give our final verdict on the PC port of Ubisoft's console RTS game.
  • Mac Monday: Our regular weekly column on Mac games takes a look at CrossOver Games which lets PC games play on the Mac.
  • Indie Showcase: Our weekly look at indie games takes a look at few of the better tower defense based games.
  • Big Ideas: Our weekly look at game themes questions whether games can truly be educational.
  • Big Iron: Our weekly hardware column looks at hardware failures.
  • Freeware Friday: Our weekly look at free games takes a gander at the puzzle title Boom Boom Driller.

Interview: Zombie's Mark Long chats more about Blacklight

You have read a lot about Blacklight already but Big Download decided to get even more info from Mark Long, the president of the game's developer at Zombie Studios.

Blacklight sounds like a game that's trying to mix sci-fi elements with more realistic shooters. How hard is it for you guys to keep that balance and make the game feel real while at the same time give it a kind of sci-fi "wow" factor?

We made a major design goal of the game and story to be "science fact", rather than science fiction. So we searched for far out weapons research, like in ultrasonic technology, and take it to its realistic limit - a non-lethal "ultrasonic launcher", for example. Which is cool because they're sound waves, so they can be bounced off of hard surfaces. You can bounce a shot off a wall to knock down an enemy you can't get a line of sight on. Or generate a sonic force field that slows down an enemy in an ambush.

Feature: Zombie Studios on developing Blacklight for games, film and comics

By John Gaudiosi

Independent videogame developer Zombie Studios, which has made PC games like America's Army: Special Forces, Shadow Ops and Delta Force: Task Force Dagger, has an answer to the videogame-to-film problem that has plagued movies from Doom to the recent Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Rather than creating a game and then shopping it around Hollywood, Zombie has created a new tactical first-person shooter PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game franchise and partnered with Union Entertainment and Fox Atomic to create a new movie and comic book series around the military action franchise, Blacklight.

Blacklight revealed

Seattle-based Zombie Studios has been fairly silent for a while. The developer's last announced project was the military shooter Rogue Warrior for Bethesda Softworks but it seems like that project is dead (neither Zombie nor Bethesda Softworks have ever officially commented on what happened). Now it seems Zombie is launching an multi-media project called Blacklight, which is being aimed as game, a movie and a comic book series.

The near-future tactical shooter is being developed by Zombie as a game and they are working with Fox Atomic on a movie version and a comic book series. All three projects will feature the same characters but each will have "unique, intersecting storylines that complement each other." So far there's no word on when Blacklight in any form will be released.

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