✔ Fast Gameplay
✔ Weapon Customization
✔ Solid Multiplayer Community
✔ Player Deformation
✘ More Character Models Needed
✘ Some Features Still Awaiting Implementation
Et tu, Teamfortress 2? Silly shakespearean references aside, no doubt wrong as I was never that great with Shakespeare or latin, Loadout will almost definitely bring up visions of Teamfortress 2 characters dancing through your head. Edge of Reality were no doubt heavily inspired by that games art style to bring us this new, and free, team-based shooter.
Like another game that I recently reviewed, Loadout is a strictly multiplayer affair. When you begin to play you are given the option between choosing 3 character styles. Each character isn’t unique to a class setting like in other shooters, so any that you choose will allow you to mix and match their loadout (clever girl!). Each of the selectable cast has been given a great deal of attention with their over-the-top models going a long way to really sell the entire style of the game. While these characters are fantastic looking, I do hope that they will release new models in the future, whether free (yes please) or through a paid DLC, because playing a game does tend to feel like you’re playing with yourself… err, against yourself.
Another huge selling point for you to play Loadout is with the ability to highly customize your weapons. Right on the menu, which is extremely nice and easy to navigate, is the Weaponcrafting tab where you can purchase upgrades and weapon add-ons either through paid coins, or with points garnered via doing well in-game. Paying for upgrades will of course give you a slight advantage but the game does a great job of rewarding you for playing regularly so that you will fairly quickly be able to purchase upgrades at no real world cost.
Gameplay is done from an over the shoulder perspective which is unusual for a game of this type, especially one on the PC. This doesn’t change much gameplay wise, but it does allow Edge of Reality to incorporate some really interesting and gruesome animations. What I mean is that like near every other game, you will of course take damage and eventually die when your health reaches zero. The difference with Loadout, and what helps it stand out from the crowd, is that many weapons or a variety of well placed shots will actually deform your body. This is more than aesthetic as if you lose all the meat from an extremity, or take a rocket through the chest your character will eventually bleed from the massive exposed wound out if a health pack isn’t quickly acquired. There is nothing quite like watching as you limp around with only a cartoon style bone leg, or racing to find a health pack as a giant hole in your midsection spits out blood and guts. Headshots are more satisfying than ever when the enemy will continue to run around for a time with only their brain and eyes exposed (see the lovely image above).
Weapons take on their own unique qualities here in Loadout. You will almost come to see your chosen weapon as a second character. You can not only create a weapon, but give it a personalized name. I myself had two weapons that I named, The French Tickler and Mr. Pickles respectively. You are by no means limited with the weapons you select as at anytime prior to a match you can choose a new or different loadout depending on how you plan on playing. You can select a weapon that buffs team members health when you shoot them, or one that does more damage in close range, one that creates a plasma beam that can jump from player to player, the list goes on and on. You will be spending a lot of time experimenting in just how you want to dole out the pain and find out what weapon loadout works best for you.
Loadout does lock out many upgrades and enhancements from players depending on their skill level to encourage players to come back and keep playing. So the more that you play with your friends and time you invest in learning the game will be rewarded in not only becoming proficient with the game but with upgrades and enhancements. You can easily jump into a game and go toe-to-toe with players that spent real world money to try to get a leg up on everyone else. If you have any experience with tech trees in real time strategy games like Starcraft 2, you will understand how things work here with regards to weapon upgrades. Certain upgrades follow a certain path via the upgrade tree, but you can at anytime choose to go in another direction.
While Loadout is free to play, with every core feature at your disposal right off the bat, there are a number of things that are locked behind a pay-wall via micro-transactions. I understand that companies need to make money, especially when it comes to free-to-play games like this, but micro-transactions can at times ruin games of this nature pretty quickly. Loadout gets around this by offering the ability to customize your character with paid clothing and accessories that don’t affect the gameplay in any way. You can purchase dozens of clothing items and accessories to make your character unique to you and other players. If you really enjoy the game and intend to play regularly, this is a great idea and a fair way for the developers to earn some money from the game even if many of the outfits and accessories can be a tad overpriced.
The online community is alive and kicking here with it being very fast and easy to find and join a game, with players generally being friendly. We aren’t dealing with gigantic 64 player games here, but we have smaller games played on multi-tiered levels that are easy to maneuver around within. As of this writing there are only four maps available to play, with the developers saying that more are on the way in the near future. There isn’t a great deal of content gameplay wise just yet for Loadout to blow away any hardened shooter fan, but with the game being free-to-play it’s a great choice to add to your Steam catalog.
Loadout offers a fun and humorous take on the typical shooter, taking cues from some great games that came before it. The action is fast and furious and definitely worth the download.
More information on the game can be found at the Loadout website: http://www.loadout.com/
Loadout Let’s Play Review Footage