Blacklight: Tango Down Sequel Will Be Free

OW, SHIT, OW, GOD, OW, boldly exclaimed Robotfighter Rick.

Zombie Studios has announced that their sequel to download-only sci-fi multiplayer shooter Blacklight: Tango Down will stubbornly continue to not feature either blacklights or passionate Latin dances. Instead, it’ll be another FPS, only slightly more futuristic in a couple of ways. Firstly, it’ll feature robot suits. Secondly, it’ll follow a free-to-play business model. Put those two together and what do you get? Free-to-play robots. Or alternatively, business model suits. Which I guess is less good. Stick with the first one.

According to Eurogamer, the sequel, currently entitled “Blacklight”, will feature “new maps, new weapons (as well as some old), new characters, and brand new systems based off of feedback from fans and press reviews.” What does that mean? Who news. Zombie Studios also told Big Download that they’d be making their money selling “premium content”, which by the sounds of things will also extend to player and weapon customisation.

So many games adopting clandestine business models these days. We’ve got games running off subscriptions, micropayments, freemium plans, limited editions, pay-what-you-want, pre-order-for-beta-access. I can’t deal with it!

Remember when games used to simply charge you for a circular piece of plastic covered in countless microscopic indentations, put that piece of plastic in a square piece of plastic, put that in a sort of coffin made from dead tree, and then you’d have to go and collect the package from a building many miles away, and finally you’d use a laser to turn the indentations on the circular bit of plastic into data that your computer could understand? Simpler times.

24 Comments

  1. Dominic White says:

    I seem to be one of the very few people who like F2P stuff. I download it, I play it. If I really like it, I can choose to part with some money (this almost never happens), just tough it out cheap style (more likely), or decide I’ve had my fill and try something else, also for free (most likely).

    • Arathain says:

      I hear you, Dominic. I’m a terrible gaming lightweight, flitting from game to game before I get distracted by something else. More a tourist than anything else. Free to play stuff is great for this, because by the time I would have had to pay to properly continue I’ve gotten bored and wandered off.

      Anyway, that nice Mr D. White in the forums seems to have played them all and will sometimes impart which ones are worth bothering with.

    • Dominic White says:

      I just have a short attention span – if a game keeps me around longer than a few hours, it’s probably pretty good. If I complete it, it’s excellent.

      F2P stuff is gaming junk-food for the most part, but there’s some gems in there. Here’s hoping this one turns out decent, and doesn’t go completely insane with pricing like Battlefield Heroes did.

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      Hear, hear!

      As a perpetually broke student (redundant?), I’ve been able to get a lot of enjoyment for no cost.

    • bill says:

      i guess it’s better than building up a huge pile of games that i bought, but have never gotten around to playing.
      Maybe it’s like my teen years, where i basically spent all my time playing demos, and rarely got a full game.

    • MultiVaC says:

      Yeah, I have no problem with it, I’ll probably play it a bit. As long as they have dedicated servers this time, that is. Otherwise, fuck that.

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t object in principle to free games, or “free” games with things they would like me to pay once for if I am enjoying the game (that is, one-time purchases rather than “if you like this, please subscribe” – I’m not going to subscribe). But I have vast stacks of games (not to mention books and movies and TV series on DVD) which I have already purchased and have not yet gotten around to, and seem to acquire more on a fairly regular basis whenever I poke my nose into Steam, Gamersgate, or Amazon. Or Half-Price Books. So I am simply not hurting for ways to spend my spare time, of which I have much less than I used to have. And so a free game has to be pretty compelling to suck me away from getting value for my money by playing (reading, watching) the stuff I own. Not only are a lot of these games not really particularly compelling to me to begin with – straight up freeware games skew heavily towards genres I have no time for like score-driven arcade games, SHMUPs, and really lo-fi concept pieces; “free-to-play” titles skew heavily towards competitive multiplayer or MMOG and most of the latter offer nothing in particular to pull my attention from the two MMOs that already occupy too much of my time – but the quality involved varies wildly enough that I can’t typically be bothered.

      Still, if I were yet a carefree youth with no income but plenty of spare time, I expect I’d be thrilled with this sort of bounty.

    • Xercies says:

      I don’t know, I think the style of the way the companies get there money mean its going to be a lesser game then the ones that pay the money. Sure now that LOTRO and D&D online has gone free that might be changing a little bit, but you look at most Free 2 Play MMOs and it just has the worst of WoW grinding 20x monsters for all eternity. I would rather pay for a game and know I’m getting something that hasn’t been cheaply made(because the companies know there going to get slightly less money)

    • Dominic White says:

      The thing is that with a F2P game, you can download it, try it out, and it it turns out to be a mindless, soul-sucking grind, you can stop without having paid a penny. Nothing wasted but a bit of your time. Hell, most of the retail MMOs have the nerve to ask full price plus a monthly fee for nearly equivalent levels of grind.

      With a game you’ve paid £30 for, with a requirement of an extra £10~ each month for subscription on top of that, a lot of people get stuck in sunk cost fallacy thinking, and feel compelled to spend more time with it, even if they’re not particularly enjoying it.

      It’s not all MMOs, anyway – there’s a lot more semi-persistent action games out there in the F2P scene now.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’ve tried most of the pay MMOs out there of any significance and a handful of free MMOs. The free MMOs were -far- grindier. Essentially, since 2004 and WoW, most significant pay MMOs have been structured around WoW-esque questing, while the free MMOs I’ve tried might have had some level of questing but were fundamentally structured around the same endless killing of the same enemies, like EQ and games of that earlier, worse era. Even Vindictus, the only free MMO I’ve actually liked, largely expects you to run the same missions killing roughly the same enemies several (dozen) times over in order to get crafting materials and obtain the points needed to open up the next mission, something mitigated to an extent by the substantially more entertaining combat but not obviated entirely.

  2. KindredPhantom says:

    The name would be suitable for a Tango set in the blacklight streets of New Orleans.

  3. ZIGS says:

    Most F2P games I played I ended up forking a couple of EUROS for ingame stuff (League of Legends, NFS World for example)

  4. KillahMate says:

    Is this the one where you had EMP grenades that caused a BSOD, and beacons that pixelated the screen? That was a fun piece of design, too bad the rest of the game was uninteresting.

  5. Javier-de-Ass says:

    yeah, it had some problems. like big potential for spawn camping on a lot of the maps. but still it was an ok game. I wish zombie would have implemented the randomised multiplayer maps tech stuff they were working on for rogue warrior into blacklight.

  6. omicron1 says:

    If it’s another multiplayer-only shooter, I shall have scant interest in it. I bought Tango Down when it was a dollar on the MS sale, then realized it was multiplayer-only. I still haven’t even started it, and TBH I feel like I wasted my money.

  7. trooperdx3117 says:

    Off topic but my god wouldnt a tango simulation game be perfect for Kinect, curse you blacklight for taking the name!

  8. mockingbird says:

    Looking forward to this.

  9. TychoCelchuuu says:

    At this point gaming time is as much a commodity for me as money, so this is going to have to be better than Red Orchestra 2 / Brink / Bad Company 2 / Team Fortress 2 / etc. for me to care enough to play. Single player shooters can be worth it even if they’re not the best ever, because they’re a unique experience, but Blacklight: Alpha Tango Whiskey Omega Zulu Foxtrot seems like it won’t bring anything new to the table.

    Shattered Horizon, for instance, I’ll buy, play, and enjoy even if I like other MP shooters more, because it’s unique. Then again, since this is free, might as well give it a spin when it comes out. Plus, robots.

  10. LyskTrevise says:

    I know I for one won’t be downloading this game for free. No blacklights OR tango dancing? Preposterous.

  11. terry says:

    Given the devs dropped support of the first game within days of release, an action that’s pretty much unforgivable for a multiplayer game, maybe this model will enable them to pump more development time into their products.

  12. loshon says:

    Or… how about I pay you $30 for it, give you an extra year or two to develop it, and play the hell out of it? Yeah?

  13. Heliocentric says:

    I’ve been hammering “free 2 play” company of heroes online for months now.

    Not paid a penny, can’t see a reason i ever would but out of thanks, or funny hats.

  14. sprague1980 says:

    Hey guys! Juts wanted to let you know about the Full length interview on Epic Battle Axe with the lead designer on Blacklight F2P, Jared Gerritzen chock full of info. Here is the link:

    link to epicbattleaxe.com

    Check us out on Facebook as we will have periodic updates and info about the game:

    link to facebook.com

    We would love input from the community to make this the best experience possible. So let us know what you think.

    you can also follow us on twitter:

    @BlacklightF2P
    @Gerritzen
    @ZombieSpragUI