We’ve recently had the opportunity to participate in the Closed Beta testing of Loadout, the new wicked free-to-play 3rd person shooter developed by Edge of Reality. And, of course, we want to bring you a full report of our testing. Developed for PC, Loadout functions via Steam. A version for MAC is in planning.
At first glance Loadout looks like a simple game. You’re able to craft your own weapons having recourse to different components in order to build up a decent arsenal, customize your character with cool accessory and several fun taunts in order to mock at your opponents and there you are to head the PvP arenas. That’s all - quite simple, as already mentioned…
However, that’s even the best about Loadout – little expenditure, lots of fun!
The Closed Beta version is still lacking content. Players are able to try out the four available game modes and the crafting system is working at its best, but there are only a few maps to play. In our opinion, this is limiting the player’s testing possibilities quite a bit, but well…
Right at the beginning, your opportunities to customize your character and to craft weapons the way you want and need them are not that big either because of the fact that many options and components have to be purchased with in-game currency. Nevertheless, the range to choose from is sufficient for a good start; you’re able to produce weapons for each play style.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
The visuals are nice and good in any case. Being this a 3rd person shooter, it’s important as well how the characters look like. The developers opted for a “Rambo-meets-comic-style” which is realized in a funny and humorous way. The provocative taunts the toons are able to perform in the direction of opponents are as exaggerated as effective. We’ve burst out laughing for several times.
The game is bloody to the gore level by standard. There are massive carnages all over; limbs are torn off quite often and after explosions, you’re able to observe disconnected torsos crawling painfully over the ground while the entrails clearly become evident. Moreover, it’s possible to watch the characters – all male currently – naked, only wearing pants. This nudity option as well as the gore can also be turned off.
The maps partly share the characters’ comic style, first and foremost because of being full of funny remarks. The Arenas are designed in a relatively compact manner – at least the few available right now that we were able to see and try out.
For this game doesn’t necessarily want to appear realistic, the ambient noise as well as the sound of weapons and explosions are absolutely sufficient. The hard rock music is quite well matched for this game.
CRAFTING SYSTEM & CLASSES/ ROLES
The weapon crafting system is a sort of sandbox element which makes something unique and special out of this game. It really is the heart and soul of Loadout as truly everything within the game revolves around arms, their creation and customization. The wide range of crafting possibilities allows something special you can only see in this title: Players determine roles and classes for their characters by choosing the type of weapons!
All toons are essentially the same and equal – perhaps not regarding their appearance but their capacity. They all have the same number of lives and that’s it. The weapons are the ones that possess different qualities and can be equipped with diverse kinds of capabilities. In short, it’s them that define what the character will do and be. And this exactly is what’s so special about the crafting system of Loadout.
Despite that, the system is quite simple: You have a couple of parts for each component of a weapon at your disposal. Each arm consists of up to five or six different parts (chassis, stock, barrel, magazine, trigger, etc.) granting corresponding qualities (range, damage, rate of fire, etc.) which moreover are affected by several customization options such as dispersal method or weapon dynamics. Altogether, there are over 50 million possible combinations for players to create their perfect arms in order to directly try them out and use them against others in PvP matches.
Having recourse to ammo like healing bombs, players even have the opportunity to act as a healer in Loadout. As you’re able to fire missiles healing team mates via green explosions, they’re protected against almost each and every kind of deadly ammo – quite a cool feature, isn’t it?
Players who have already crafted and tested a small arsenal are immediately allowed to sign up for PvP matches. At the moment, there are merely four standard modes and only a few maps but this will hopefully change in the near future. All modes are played for time and/ or score.
The team game modes are currently designed for two teams of up to four players that compete against each other. These matches are fast-paced and fun. You’ll immediately figure out who’s got the appropriate weapons and who hasn’t. Being newbies, a couple of seconds were enough for us to realize the unevenness: We entered a match with arms that seemed to be quite good during their creation and testing but also could have scrapped them right away because we didn’t have a chance against experienced players. It’s plain to see that you need time in order to find the right balance.
The Blitz-Modus is even more chaotic for being an all-against-all match. In this one, you have to rethink your loadout set (the combinations of two weapons and hand grenades) as healing roles become useless. It’s primary directed at DPS players. We were dying some quick and inevitable deaths there, noticing another interesting fact quite common in PvP arenas: the camera automatically switches to follow the enemy player who’s killed you.
To sum it up, Loadout is a fun and entertaining game in any case and especially suitable for players who want to enjoy PvP matches without any compromise. The crafting system is a great selling point, offering a new way of character development in online games. Though currently being quite small, the game’s arenas are still sufficient for those teams consisting of up to four players and open up many gaming possibilities. We definitely think, you should give it a try!