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Deathtraps in "Blacklight: Retribution"

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The Laughing Crow is a moniker whose voice I borrow: a rascal who is abrasive but honest, curious, and outgoing.


What Was "Blacklight: Retribution"?

Blacklight: Retribution was a first-person shooter available on PC and Playstation. It was free-to-play, meaning that you could get started and try it out without having to make any investment at all. You could invest real money, if you want, to speed up your progress in unlocking special pieces of gear, but you could also earn whatever you needed with the currency you earned in-game. Sadly, the game has been shut down in 2019, but fans keep hope that the game might be relaunched or remade in the future.

In the most common game modes, Death Match and Team Death Match, you are pitted against other players, and the first person or team to score 90 kills within 10 minutes wins. There are many tactics beyond simply running around and shooting people that will get you a higher kill count.

This article will focus on one particular strategy which I call the Deathtrap Bunker.

The Bunker Deathtrap

The basic idea behind this strategy is to lure people into areas where they will try to ambush you, and then have them die by walking into your traps. This strategy is good for any map in the game to play on, and can be combined very efficiently with either a sniper strategy or a more traditional run-and-gun strategy.

I will now explain the gear types that will support this strategy, after which I will give a number of specific examples from the game to illustrate how you can best put these strategies into play.

It is a heavily gear-dependent setup, so it's recommended to go with armor that has 3 or 4 slots (with HRV blackout being optional), which limits you to somewhat slower-moving builds or sacrifice some HRV capability.


Stun Shuriken

Stun Shuriken are three electrified throwing stars which you can use to hit people in melee with (right mouse button) with high speed. Using left mouse button, you can throw the stars. They will have some spread to them, and will embed in any surface (or player) they hit, and once they do they will remain there for a minute or so, acting like small stun traps.

Any enemy player who walks up to or over one of the shuriken will take some damage and will be slowed significantly. They walk slower, turn slower and some equipment will no longer function (like heal injector) until this wears off. In this time, they will be very vulnerable.

Enemy players also suffer this on a direct hit, and the shuriken can cause headshots.

The best use of Stun Shuriken is when enemies are advancing upon you, preferably in a confined corridor. They don't last long, so you have to act quick on them, and in a confined space they don't spread out as far when you throw them.

If a player trips all three shuriken at once, they are likely to die from the impact, but even if they don't, a small burst of fire from you or your team will finish them off.

Stun Mine

When you select this piece of gear, you can left-click the mouse to drop it a small distance away from you. It will stick to any surface it hits, including walls and ceilings. They will not stick to other players, hardsuits or turrets.

Anyone who gets close to this mine will trigger it, causing an electrified blast in a radius, stunning and damaging targets caught in it. After a second the stun wears off, but they are still slowed and will turn slower as well.

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This leaves enemy players very vulnerable to grenades and attacks from your team, but its slow also means that they remain closer to proximity mines set up nearby, meaning they will not be able to escape their radius!

Be careful when being near these mines yourself, because an enemy can shoot them from a distance to trigger them, and if you are nearby you become a target yourself. If enemies know a mine is nearby they will often throw grenades in to disable them, and you being close means you are a free kill as well.

Proximity Mine

When you want to plant a proximity mine, you can left-click the mouse to drop it a small distance away from you. It will stick to any surface it hits, including walls and ceilings. They will not stick to other players, hardsuits or turrets.

Enemies coming close to it will trigger it, and it will explode after a delay of a second or two. They will deal a large amount of explosive damage to players nearby when they explode.

Enemy players can detect these mines in one of two ways: they show up on Hyper-reality Visor (HRV) and they make beeping noises which can be heard from a short distance. Players will often shoot them or throw grenades when they know these mines are around, so you don't want to remain too close!

Because these mines have a delayed explosion, it is good to combine them with a stun mine or stun shuriken, which will slow enemies.They can't run away in time and will be caught closer to the mine in the blast, resulting in greater damage.

When you plant these mines on opposite walls, or either side of a doorway, enemies cannot shoot them and must throw grenades to disable them, taking away resources.

HRV Blackout

When this gear is placed down, it will create a glowing dome. Anything inside this dome will no longer be visible to HRV. This means that you can hide inside it, or you can set up mines which players can't detect using his method.

However, players can still see the glowing dome, so they will know something is up. They might carefully investigate this, and shoot the mines from a distance, or throw grenades to clear the area.

Because of this, it pays to set this up in a confined space, where the glowing dome isn't so obvious, or to put it right around the corner of a door where it can't be seen.

Another trick is to out if another player has set up an HRV blackout, and then put a dome obviously in sight. That way, you can hide inside one HRV blackout, and snipe other players who've come to investigate the empty dome.

Bunker Opportunities In Blacklight

It would be quite a chore to list each and every individual place you could use to your advantage, so instead I will give you a few pointers on what to look for in an ambush spot.

First off are confined spaces. Indoors areas, bridges and walkways, and stairs. Those are great because people are often nervous or under attack, meaning they will pay less attention.

Second is to look for a place where people need to change direction or speed. At the top of a ladder, around a corner, or on each side of a doorway. Those are places where people are "committed" to making a move, and have difficulty dodging mines.

Another thing to consider is enemy movement. If their entire team is moving towards a location, place some mines and blackouts in their path to slow them down. Even if you don't kill anyone, you will allow your team to get wise to their movements and ambush them.

Big No: Spawnmines and Depotmines

Normally I am a big proponent of using whatever tools the game hands you. People might say the Assault Rifle is overpowered, that using Hardsuits is cheating, or that having high health is playing unfair. In those cases, I usually think to myself that they are too weak to come up with good counter-strategies, so they resort to ad hominem attacks.

The idea is, that if everyone says loudly that these things are true, a lot of players will follow along because they want to fit in, or are afraid of being votekicked from the match. But the game has these things for players to use, so they are legal, allowed and not in any way a problem.

However, there are two things I do agree with, with regards to mines. Don't place mines in spawn locations (you will learn them quick enough). Because people spawn here and have no control over their character, they die immediately upon spawning as the mines explode. While this is possible in-game, and a valid tactic by itself, I consider it to be rather unfair because there's nothing a player can do to avoid it, and it's not particularly good advertising for your skill as a player.

A second thing, which I would avoid but which I don't consider very bad is placing a mine on a supply depot. While it can be avoided and thus players should learn to check twice, it preys on the fact that most people who go there are trying to heal up - thus, they are in a panic and already pressed. You're taking advantage of their panic to kill them by inattention. Not as unfair as a spawnmine, but it takes some enjoyment away from the game for others.

Blacklight:Retribution is a game that relies on players to stay alive. New players who are subjected to spawn- and depot mining might quit the game in frustration. Rather than growing in level and skill, you've now robbed the game of a potential long-term player and likely contributed to shortening its lifespan.

All tactics are viable, and it's fair to use them - but keep an eye on whether or not you are ruining the game's enjoyment for new players. Without other players, it's just you and some veterans against bots, which becomes boring very quick.

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