After booting up Blacklight Retribution, my gut reaction was to look into its concept art. I don’t get this instinct often, but when I do it says something special about the game itself. I’m always ecstatic when a game’s art direction influences the overall feel of a product, not distracting from the gameplay, but enhancing the experience in an imaginative way.
It’s always refreshing to see a robust palette in a military shooter. The dark scenery is juxtaposed with energetic colors, transmitted in neon lights and sharp interfaces. Surprisingly vibrant for a modern shooter, Blacklight isn’t afraid to tantalize the player with screen-popping hues. Neon litters the game space, drawing the player’s attention to what matters. It’s a breath of fresh air in a sea of drab shooters.
Aside from the color, the creativity put into the armor design is astounding, making them a pleasure to unlock and admire. Visionary concepts are the backbone to Blacklight’s customizable avatars. Every piece of armor, from the helmets to the individual weapon components, is sexy in its own right. The talent over at Zombie Studios has compiled an arsenal of futuristic gear, each with its own distinct character. Thankfully, sifting through the gear is just as attractive as the equipment itself.
As if it’s something you would witness at a hip design show, the game’s interface lights up the screen. Menus and HUDs aren’t just arbitrary information; they are full of life and slicker than grease. Playing off of the game’s colorful pallet, they are a pleasure to navigate. Between the equipment and the social aspects, the game has an immense amount of information to digest. This visually appealing interface helps combat the game’s cumbersomeness.
I cherish games like these: games with an artistic backbone. Blacklight’s aesthetic design is nothing short of breathtaking. The artists have created an amazing setting that’s embedded with colors that are unique to the shooter genre, the armor design stands far above what other shooters have achieved, and it’s all wrapped up in a gorgeous interface that’s a pleasure to look at. As an illustrator, it’s truly inspiring to admire a game as a compendium of creative ideas and concepts; to see them evolve from art pieces to actual game elements is wonderful. This is why Blacklight’s visuals continue to entice me. I can’t help but admire the creative juices that flow within it.