Loadout is a game developed by Edge of Reality, best known for their Tony Hawk Pro skater series on the N64 or more recently Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect. Loadout seems to be the first foray in this Deathmatch shooter genre for Edge of Reality, with high octane and fast paced shooting and explosions. But is this new stride worth it?
Loadout is very fast paced and feels very similar to Team Fortress 2 in some ways, though swapping out classes for different types of guns. You spawn in the middle of the map, sometimes both teams, in a circle and wait for the countdown to hit 0, when it does just hope you have a quick trigger finger. The main objective is to stay and alive and to kill the other team, as you would expect from a PvP game.
There are several match types on offer, from extraction which is similar to capture the flag where you must collect bluetonium and drop it off at a machine that looks similar to a grinder, Death snatch which is basically kill confirmed for CoD fans where you must pick up a glowing tube from killing an enemy to gain points and an actual capture the flag mission type if a bit unbalanced since the bases aren’t held for long.
Besides the match types there are also the different types of teams you will fight against, Casual, Competitive and Custom. Casual is for new players and allows for battles against an AI team or other players of similar levels. The level balancing seems pretty well done so far, I found myself fighting people of similar level, give or take 1 level. Competitive allows for Ranked, exhibition or practice death matches. Custom games are unavailable at the moment and say they are “coming soon”.
Out of the two leagues on offer, Casual seems the most populated though competitive is a lot more fun. Competitive combines all 3 of the game types, death snatch, blitz and extraction, making the game more abou managing your points and keep track on what your team is winning in. Depending on how well you do in each part of the match you will gain a total score, which when hit allows you to enter the enemy teams base and destroy their power core.
Besides all the bloodshed and item grabbing there isn’t much else to the game, there are health pickups and ramp jumps to be found but other than that you have to make your own fun, with some improvised parkour to rain death from above.
Customisation is one of the key mechanic of this game, which is definitely thrown in your face when you start the game up. With having to customise your weapons and Loadout to accessorising your avatar, you feel as if you are spoilt for choice in the beginning, but this just widens as you continue to play, level up and unlock even more customisation options. Excuse me whilst I finish off my Michael Jackson Persona.
For the guns there is a wide range of Stocks, Scopes, Barrels, Triggers, Magazines, Weapon type and ammo type which all change how the weapon fires, its effects and the damage it does to anyone unfortunate enough to step into your sights. From making your gun automatic, heavy or even shooting healing bullets, you will enjoy the countless amounts of options in your hands. Besides setting the parts of your weapons you can also use Blutes to research new options as well as gaining experience in the parts you have equipped for better stats and more options in those areas in your Tech Tree.
Now let’s talk bullets, not only does this game have slugs, it has bullets, fire, tesla, healing, homing, turbo, mortar, bouncing, sticky and much much more on offer when it comes to what comes out of the death side of your weapon. These are so vast and expanse it can take a long while to come to terms with what is the best one for your pay style, do you want big explosions that hit multiple targets, or a long beam that continuously hits anything in its part or a simple full auto assault rifle because you are boring like that.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
There can be a lot of problems with the servers, though this was expected for the beginning of the launch, but has stabilised with a recent patch. Matchmaking can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes regardless of region. The game does help alleviate some of the boredom and pointless waiting though by allowing you to customize and change your weapons whilst still in the queue for a match.
The level design could use some work in my opinion, where there are a few ways to traverse the maps, with going around, over and below obstacles and walls, it just becomes a routine of flanking and rushing and the landscape doesn’t feel too innovative to warrant a look at the different places you go. Some maps go out of their way to give you choice, whereas others are designed to only make on route viable, with one having platforms that need precise jumping skills to actually traverse. There is a wide range of levels to get spawned in, from the small boxed arenas, to large outside building sites that allow for better capture match types.
When you do get into a game, there is little to be desired with the graphics, even though they are highly detailed and nice to look at they seem commonplace and don’t really stand out against the other games in the genre. The gore is lovely to see, bringing comedy and a nice touch to when you get your head blasted off, or when you leave the enemies legs running off searching for their lost torso.
The music in the game seems to like to hide away, secluding itself to the menu and victory screens, leaving only the explosions and screams to be heard in an actual battle. Although the sounds in the game are professionally done the battleground seems rather empty without high octane music to follow it.
The game follows a play for free model, allowing you to play the majority of the game for free with added purchases for aesthetics like more characters and avatars or even more gun slots, but they also allow boosts to help you level up faster, get more Blutes or both at the same time. These purchases are done with Spacebux which you start off with a bit in the beginning but can buy more with real money.
Picking up the game for the first half hour is pretty fun, but after the 3rd match of the same type is just becomes too samey and loses its appeal quickly. The only mode that seems to hold its entertainment value is the ranked matches, with combining the match types together for a real challenge. The weapon customisation is fun, but with the amount of time between new pieces and upgrades makes it a once in a while activity.
I would give Loadout a 3/5, it succeeds at bringing outlandish themes and countless weapons to a slightly dull genre but that is at most what it brings. The gameplay is repetitive and feels as if it is trying to be different, whilst only looking different and doesn’t innovate too much in the field of Fast paced Shooters. I would suggest trying it since it is free, but I suggest keeping your expectations low.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.