Blacklight: Retribution developer Zombie Studios has given Destructoid the first glimpse of Phantom Army, its collaborative effort with SmileGate on a free-to-play, third-person, cover-based shooter.

Before a round in Phantom Army begins, each team will pick an L-shaped portion of the match's map. Once both are locked in, the center is filled with a random square. Zombie Studios head Jared Gerritzen explained that it's meant to stave off boredom and avoid the problem of having players "just run their routes" through the game's maps.

Rushing to a firefight might not just be a street-level sprint through alleyways, either. The game's mechanics will let players vault over obstacles and crawl into holes, diversifying path options and gameplay strategies.

Gerritzen also described his dissatisfaction with the "let's charge the fans for this premium gun" mentality that some free-to-play games fall into, so hopefully Phantom Army stays away from such a pitfall. The game will use the Unreal Engine and is planned to launch on Steam in 2014.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.