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Blackshot

Blackshot is a 3D tactical MMO FPS set in the distant future where mercenary groups are at war. The game features 40+ maps, 5+ game modes, and a unique tactics and mastery system.

Publisher: Vertigo Games
Playerbase: Low
Type: MMO Shooter
Release Date: May 11, 2010 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Cosmetics available to non-paying users. +Tactics system. +Unique game modes (Protect the Commander).
Cons:  -Graphical glitches. -Weapons are rented by the hour.

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Overview

Blackshot Overview

Blackshot is a realistic lobby-based modern day tactical FPS that's similar to games like Combat Arms, CrossFire, and Sudden Attack. The game was originally licensed in the US back in 2008, but was never released. The European version launched in 2010 and evolved to become the global version of Blackshot. The game is currently self-published by the developer, Vertigo Games. Despite its age, Blackshot remains popular in Southeast Asia and has maintained a core audience in its global version.

Blackshot Key Features:

  • Variety of Weapons – over 30 weapons available. Find the weapons that match your needs and playstyle.
  • Tons of Maps and Game Modes – 40+ maps and 5+ game modes (Protect the Commander, Team deathmatch, Team Flag Match, Search & Destroy, and Bunker Defense).
  • Climb the Ranks – ranking system where players can climb from "Beginner" all the way up to "Commander in Chief."
  • Weapon Mastery System – mastery system that rewards players for using a specific weapon type (Rifles, Snipers, Shotguns, SMGs, Pistol, Melee, and Grenades).
  • Unique "Partner" System  allows paired players to see each other's view.

Blackshot Screenshots

Blackshot Featured Video

Full Review

Blackshot Review

By Omer Altay

Blackshot is a 3D lobby-based tactical MMO shooter developed and published by Vertigo Games. It had a bit of an odd history, originally launching in South Korea back in 2008 and being licensed for the US through Outspark. The Outspark version of the game never made it past closed beta, but the TwoWar European version launched on May 12, 2010, which later evolved to become the same global version of Blackshot that Vertigo Games publishes. Since its original release in South Korea, the game has grown surprisingly successful in Southeast Asia through Garena, while the global version has fallen a bit behind, but is still around and kicking. Story-wise, Blackshot is set in the distant future that has cloning where powerful mega corporations employ mercenaries to kill each other. “Blackshot” happens to the most feared and brutal mercenary organization in the world. Beyond the little bit of story available on the official site, the lore plays no role in the game.

Welcome to Blackshot – Choose a Character

Players have two character slots and can choose from one of four playable characters – the young and slick Travis, the cute Vanessa, the Solid-Snake-esque Adam, and the overly obese Cathy. Not sure why the elite mercenary groups in the future are employing obese women, but they must know something I don't. Travis and Vanessa's primary attribute is speed while Adam and Cathy specialize in defense. Speed characters start with M16A1s while defensive ones start with MP5s. Starting weapons are permanent while others can only be rented. Players are also given a free weapon for logging in for the first time, which lasts a couple of days. Blackshot has a small military police character dancing in the bottom of the screen outside of actual matches. Simply click on him to access the game's help menu or to change the background music.

Gameplay

Gameplay in Blackshot is similar to other tactical shooters, where a single head shot is always enough to kill an enemy. Without landing a headshot, it does feel like it takes quite a few more hits to kill an enemy compared to other tactical shooters. The recoil in Blackshot is also much more less than Combat Arms or Alliance of Valiant Arms, making aiming from a distance a lot easier. Holding the fire button down is never a good idea outside of melee range, even with less recoil than most games, just as trying to hit an enemy from a medium distance by spraying isn't a good idea. There's also no sprinting in Blackshot, but players can move quicker with a knife equipped.

With over 40 maps and 5+ game modes, Blackshot has a decent amount of variety. Not nearly as much as more established titles like Combat Arms, but still enough to keep things interesting. Besides, like in most FPS games, despite the huge variety of maps, most people only ever play a handful of them. In Blackshot's case, the popular maps are the Hunting, Rooftop, Lost Temple, and Sand Storm. The maximum number of players in any single game is 16 (8v8).

Protect the Commander Game Mode

Game modes in Blackshot are similar to other free-to-play shooters. The game has Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy (Plant the bomb/defuse the bomb), bunker defense (PvE), and Protect the Commander. The last one I found particularly interesting and unique to Blackshot. In Protect the Commander mode, two teams face off against each other with the goal of eliminating the other team's commander. Players don't respawn until the round is over and win by killing the other team's commander. Other kills don't even matter. A team that's down to 1 player against 5 can still win if he takes out the enemy commander. A commander is randomly chosen at the start of each round, so everyone gets a chance at it.

Rent Weapons by the Hour

The only permanent weapons in Blackshot are the starting ones. Other weapons can be rented in the store for either Bounty Points (BP) or Bounty Cash (BC). Bounty points are the game's traditional currency and are earned simply by playing matches. Bounty Cash on the other hand, is the game's premium currency and can only be bought with real-world money. Most of the weapons in Blackshot can be rented with regular Bounty Points, but oddly, can only be rented by hours at a time, rather than what most free-to-play games do, which is rent by the day, week, or month. Fortunately though, or rather unfortunately if you're a power player, weapons last for a set number of hours of actual USE. Simply having a weapon in your inventory won't drain its available time. Like Combat Arms, players with backpacks can equip two primary weapons at a time.

Cosmetics and Tactics

The store in Blackshot also sells cosmetics and tactics. Cosmetics in most shooters are only available to players with premium currency, but Blackshot has cosmetics available for purchase with the regular in-game currency. Whacky cosmetics like a ridiculous smiley face mask and an absurd unicorn horse mask are just two examples of items available for purchase for bounty points.

Players can also purchase tactics, which are sort of like skills in Alliance of Valiant Arms. They passively increase various attributes like movement speed, HP, and faster reload times. These bonuses are only minor, but allow for an extra layer of customization. Players have access to five tactic slots, which are unlocked at Levels 4, 16, 29, and 39.

Mastery System and Stats

One interesting aspect of Blackshot is its mastery system. The game has 7 mastery categories (Assault Rifles, SMGs, Snipers, Shotguns, Pistols, Melee Weapons, and Grenades). Players gain experience in each category as they use weapons from that category and can level up their mastery rank from Beginner to Grand Master. Players are rewarded items as well as prestige for reaching certain ranks. Even without the rewards, the mastery system gives players a goal to work towards, which keeps players busy. Unlocking mastery rewards is one of the best ways to get free weapons in Blackshot, too!

Like other shooting games, player stats are always recorded in Blackshot. Players can view their kills, deaths, accuracy, ratios, etc. on an overall and per map basis by clicking on the stats page in their profile. Oddly, the stats aren't embedded in the client and the game opens an internet browser to access these stats.

Conclusions

Having played Blackshot on and off for the last few weeks, I can't imagine how the game will compete against more established titles like Combat Arms. Not to say that Combat Arms is just better than Blackshot, but it does have a lot more players and more variety in terms of maps, modes, and weapons. Blackshot isn't bad, but I can't imagine wanting to play it over other FPS games. In addition, some of the cash shop weapons are just objectively better than the free counterparts. Weapons like the HK416N, AWP Ghost, and the Barrett M82A1 are amongst the most powerful and are available for purchase with real-world cash. Another small issue I noticed while playing was the occasional graphical glitch. Players heads would randomly disappear and they'd still be alive walking around. It doesn't happen often, so it's not that big of a deal.

Final Verdict – Good

Despite its age, Blackshot is still surprisingly fun and has several unique game modes. The visuals are definitely a bit dated by modern standards, but the game has managed to retain a small group of regular players. If you've already played the more popular shooters and are looking for something different, give Blackshot a try.

Screenshots

Blackshot Screenshots

Videos

Blackshot Videos

System Requirements

Blackshot System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / 2000 / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 6800 GT / Radeon X800 GT
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: XP / 2000 / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 7800 GT / Radeon HD 5430D
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB

Music

Blackshot Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

Blackshot Additional Information

Developer: Vertigo Games
Game Engine: Gamebryo

Closed Beta: September 30, 2008 (Original OutSpark Version)
Closed Beta:
 Mar 10, 2010 (TwoWar EU Server)
Open Beta:
May 12, 2010 (TwoWar EU Server)
Steam Release Date: June 01, 2016

Foreign Release:

South Korea: April, 2008 (Ntreev)
Southeast Asia: April, 2009 (Garena)
Turkey: August, 2012

Development History / Background:

Blackshot was developed by South Korean game studio Vertigo Games and built using the Gamebryo engine. Development for Blackshot began in 2007 and the game launched in South Korea in April 2008 through Ntreev. The game was then licensed in North America through Outspark, which completed a round of closed beta testing back in September, 2008, but they never released the game. Blackshot really caught on in South East Asia and quickly became one of the most popular FPS games in the region. The SEA version is published by Garena. A European version launched through a publisher called TwoWar on May 12, 2010 and since then, Vertigo Games decided to publish Blackshot themselves globally. Blackshot released through Steam on June 01, 2016.

The game launched on Steam on May 31, 2016.

  • Yet another generic free to play "tactical" shooter. Combat Arms sort of pioneered the genre and since then we've seen so many copycat games. Blackshot unfortunately brings nothing new to the table, so it's a pass IMO.