A not so Good tactical shooter that looks great on paper, but is cursed by pay2win!
Piercing Blow, or Project Blackout, or Point Blank – whatever you want to call it – is a 3D lobby based shooter published by Zepetto, following along the lines of games like Counter Strike. And we’re talking old school Counter Strike here, not Global Offensive. You have the two opposing teams or factions, the CT-Force – short for Counter Terrorists we’re assuming – and the Free Rebels. This isn’t exactly a new game, it’s been around for a while. They just slapped on a different name and put it on Steam. While it’s now being called Piercing Blow, the North American and European version used to be called Project Blackout , however, it’s still called Point Blank in Asia.
What is it?
Piercing Blow is a “tactical shooter”, and one of the many developed in Korea, such as Blackshot or Combat Arms. The way the game works is simple enough, winning games earns you points, and these points can be used to purchase weapons and equipment within the game’s store. Additionally, it’s got a quest system within the game, wherein you’re asked to fulfil certain objectives or tasks within the game. Completing these gives you extra points and rewards you for playing regularly.
Piercing Blow is a game that had a lot going for it but the cons that came along with it were to big a deterrent for us to continue playing the game. When you start playing, you of course have the option of going through the tutorials but honestly, you don’t really have to go through the tutorial, if you’ve played any MMOFPS’s in the past 15 years.
There’s four starting characters to choose from, with additional unlockable characters. Some of the character avatars are obviously not meant to be in a shooter game and are catered towards teenage boys but that’s ok, it’s not something only this game does. Character choices are purely cosmetic, so you can pick whichever one you fancy most. Every character can use all the weapons and there aren’t any character restricted weapons or any other such limitations. Your characters can be customized as well, so you can equip additional stuff that boosts your stats and such. Unfortunately, most of the good stuff involves you spending real money to get it.
Now the game is lobby based, there’s no matchmaking so you’re just going to have to join a lobby which is currently playing the game mode you’re looking for and hope that your opponents are not aim botters, hackers, or decked out with the best gear money can buy. To add to that, since there’s no matchmaking, it’s very likely that you will encounter players who are much higher leveled and experienced than you are. Normally this is still fine, but because of the way the game works, wherein you unlock better weapons and gear as you level up, it’s not a level playing field at all. Sure you can manage if you’re incredibly skilled, but if you’re evenly matched in the skill department, you can be sure that the guy who paid real money for his gear will come out on top.
The way gear functions is also different here. Other than the permanent weapons which are always accessible to you (and are also the weakest), weapons you purchase from the shop have a number of uses or quantity. So after you’ve used that particular weapon that many times, you can no longer use it; you have to buy it again. The weapons you can buy with real money are far more superior to any of the weapons you can buy with the points acquired ingame. This applies to other gear as well, such as helmets and outfits. Such pay2win, very disappoint.
|Developer: Zepetto Co.
Publisher: Zepetto U.S.A. inc.
Tested on: Intel Core i7 2600k, GTX 680, 16GB RAM, 56GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Price: Free To Play
Piercing Blow Gameplay
There are five modes to choose from, four of which are staple in most MMOFPS’s, and one of which is rather interesting. We’ve got Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Bomb Plant, Search and Destroy, and Escape. The first four game modes are standard in games like this one, but the fifth game mode, Escape is different. In this game mode one team is transformed into dinosaurs and has to hunt down the members of the opposing team, who are all human. The human team has to avoid or ‘escape’ from these dinosaurs. However, despite how fun that mode sounds, it didn’t look like anyone wanted to play the Escape game mode considering how there were little to no rooms in the lobby for that particular game mode.
Combat is fast-paced and what you’d expect of an FPS game of this kind. Nothing new in terms of mechanics or playstyle. There’s nothing wrong with that though, why fix what isn’t broken, right?
Again, the amount of money you’re willing to pay in this game and your luck when picking a lobby can greatly affect how much fun you ultimately derive from this game, since there is no matchmaking, so be prepared for some one-sided match-ups.
If you do actually get into a friendly lobby, which can be pretty rare on this game, it can be pretty fun. So if you’re going to start playing this exclusively with a group of friends, it might not be such a bad idea. It’s got a ranking system, similar to most other games in this genre ranging from the lowly recruit to the Command General.
Now one of the positives this game has going for it are the maps. There’s 47, which is a lot for a game of this kind. So you can have some variety in your game, break away from the monotony of the same old map every single time. However, many maps are locked to certain game modes so you probably won’t be seeing some of the maps if you’re not fond of a particular mode.
As we mentioned earlier, it looks similar to Counter Strike, the pre-2000 variant, so that’s 90s graphics for you. We advise you avoid this game if you’re in it only for the graphics. However, if you’re ok with the old-school Counter Strike look and feel, then by all means, feel free to try Piercing Blow out, it’s free.
Piercing Blow has many maps, a classic/retro feel (that some might go for), character customisations, and many game modes. It all sounds great on paper but the fact that it’s so pay2win driven really ruins whatever enjoyment could have been derived from it, and this is without mentioning the bugs and crashes that a lot of people have complained about when picking it up. Also hackers, gawd so many hackers. Spare yourself the anger and frustration and stick to good ol’ CSGO!
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.