The lead designer of Blacklight: Tango Down has hit back at critics of the downloadable multiplayer FPS on the eve of the game's belated PlayStation Network release.
The game divided reviewers when it landed on PC and Xbox Live Arcade earlier this year. Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead was less than impressed, awarding it a meagre 5/10, though more favourable write-ups helped it to a Metacritic average of 61.
"I think a lot of reviewers treated it like it was a $60 game," Zombie Games' project lead Jared Gerritzen told Eurogamer. "We got a lot of rave reviews from people that treated it like it was a DLC game."
"We're doing something a little different. We gave gamers a crap-load of content and we gave them a lot of gameplay. Is it the equivalent of a Call of Duty that has a budget 10 times higher than us? No, but is it fun? Is it well worth the money? Absolutely. I think it's worth more than the money you paid for it."
"Y'know," he continued, "a reviewer gets a game, usually for free from the publisher and goes to some crazy party and gets super-drunk and plays the game and gets, y'know, massages and all that and then they go home and write the review.
"That's great. We sent them a demo version of the game, and there were issues with it, and some reviewers aren't multiplayer reviewers. It's like, 'I'm the DLC reviewer and what I love are side-scrollers that take me two hours to beat, are quirky and have some kind of cool physics.
"We don't have that. We're not a side-scroller, we're not quirky – we're a straight shooter. A lot of reviewers didn't like that, or didn't understand it, or only play the big games and they didn't get a massage so we got pinged."
He's right, Dan did not receive a massage. Publishers, take note.
Things are looking up for the PSN version though. Zombie Games has added a new map and a Join-in-Progress option, which allows players to team up with friends and enter matches without having to wait for an intermission.
The game launches on 3rd November priced £9.99.
Back in July, studio boss Mark Long announced that work was already underway on Blacklight 2. Gerritzen was unwilling to divulge further details but said to look for an announcement on the franchise's future in the next few weeks.