LOADOUT – Download free from Steam
“Loadout is the fast-paced, free to play multiplayer shooter featuring over-the-top frenetic action, comedic violence, and Weaponcrafting with billions of combinations.” — Quote from the website
(EDIT : This review was prior to 2.0 patch. The patch notes can be found here)
Loadout is a multiplayer free-to-play shooter game developed by Edge of Reality and published by Steam. The developer promised that although this is a free-to-play, but it’s not pay-to-win.
Actually I wanted to review the game that I have been playing for a few months, Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn (I’ll get to it after this one). But because one of my gaming buddy kinda ‘urged’ me to try this one out, I gave it a shot. After I spent a couple hours of gameplay, I found out the uniqueness in the game. Plus, it was fun! Here is why..
Simple to Play yet Hard to Master
First of all, the home screen is pretty clean. It gives you the update about what’s new and future plans for the game. It also shows your character with current loadout and outfits. The menus are placed on the top of screen where you can directly jump to the “Fight”, or start to craft your own weapons (yes you get to craft them), select your loadouts, mix-match the outfits for your character, see your tech tree and visit the Store.
If you feel like the game is really good and wants to support the developer (they need to make money somehow), you may purchase any “Spacebux” option but I really suggest to buy the “Starter Pack” if you haven’t. As it gives you extra items (purely cosmetic), Spacebux and Double XP and Double Blutes earned in-game for a set of duration. So what are Spacebux and Blutes? And what are the bonuses?
- Blutes – The normal in-game currency where you can earn by leveling up your character, playing matches and Daily Bonus. Spent on upgrading tech and purchasing new tech.
- Spacebux – The other currency where you can only obtain via the Store, by purchasing them with real money. Only used for outfits, purely cosmetic.
For the bonuses available in the Starter Pack, check below :
Everything looks pretty normal right? So what’s the ‘hard’ part about? The hard part is that even just a small customization will bring a different approach in how to best play the game. More about this in the next section. So you will need more time to adjust and find out which weapon, which customization best suits you.
The weaponcrafting is where this game will truly shine, combined with tech tree, this game has a lot more to offer!
I named my rifle with “Shit-Spitter” (I know right!?), but you may rename it whenever you want it. The weaponcrafting offers a lot of customization, for example
Chassis : Where you choose your main weapon type. You may choose from Rifle, Launcher, Pulse or Beam.
Different type of main weapon will give you different payload. Beam will give you constant damage output without magazine restriction but may overheat, also provides ‘chain’ damage where it will hit multiple enemies when they get too close to each other. While Launcher is the Bazooka where you can kill yourself if you shoot from a very close range (ouch!), so choose your weapon wisely!
There are also other options from each type of main weapon that you get to customize, like magazine, scope, barrel, and others. Different customization will determine the attributes of your weapon. You may aim for a very high damage weapon, but it will be compensated by low rate of fire, longer reload time and hard to aim due to stability is poor. Or you may go for a very high rate of fire and moderate reload time, but compensated by low damage and low accuracy. This is where you get to build the type of weapon which suits your play-style.
Tech tree is where you unlock the ‘potential’ of the weapon and upgrade the attributes of each ‘tech’. For example, while it’s fun to rain your bullets to everything that moves, it will also give you an extra mile if you equipped yourself with a healing weapon (yes it does exist!).
Not only that, you may also deploy a turret, set your launcher to deliver a timed-bomb, or pre-load three nukes then deliver them all at once at the face of your hopeless enemy!
It takes a lot of time just to upgrade one tech, but you may level all other tech available to you at once as long as they are equipped on different customizations. You may also unlock the next tech with a sum of Blutes.
Although it says fast-paced, actually it’s not as fast as my expectation. If you have ever played Unreal Tournament series, you will know what I mean. In Unreal Tournament, everything moves so fast, sometimes you don’t even know what hit you.
But in Unreal Tournament, you can’t blow up one’s head, tear a limb and everyone looks boneless. However, in Loadout, there will be tons of blood, profanity (although there is a filter for it, but what’s the fun in it, right?), jumping, falling, and if you are lucky you might find someone with a hanging wee-wee shooting at you (if you want it, you can buy it!). I find that when the characters and the world are designed a little bit of comic-ish style, it really makes the game feel less serious and more fun.
Loadout offers 2 modes of gameplay at the moment, with the third one being “Coming Soon”.
Casual is where you will throw your first few hours in and I really suggest in doing so. You may choose to play with your friends by creating your own party vs bots, or just join in random matches.
Competitive is supposed to offer more modes than the Casual part. But currently it only offers the “Un-ranked Match”, more like your typical CoD shooter mode, it’s 4vs4 where you just point and shoot anyone with a red name on top of his head.
Although there are many maps to choose from, there are certain map with certain mode preset, like the screen you see below. It’s one of the other mode, where not only you have to kill your opponents, but you also need to collect the blue stuff and throw it into the cart. The team who reached 3,000 points first wins.
I said that this game brings a little comedy, meaning that you will find some ‘funny’ scenes that might happen in game. There will be times when your character is killed, he will point his middle finger to the opponent who killed him, or the legs will keep running for a few steps without the upper body before finally falls down. But my favorite part is where you get to taunt your opponent with many different moves, from gangnam style (don’t ask me!) to Cabbage Path.
What I say
As a fan of a shooter games, I actually prefer the first-person mode rather than third-person mode, it’s purely preference but I find the total immersion in first-person rather than third-person. Being said that, this game is actually worth a try if you like shooting games. The costumes are well-designed (in a very funny way), the worlds are carefully thought, and many many customization for you to try them all out. It will surely be more fun if you have friends to play 4vs4, playing with some random people might not really appeal the ‘comedy’ part.
There are also a few hiccups while playing this game which really makes me think that I won’t progress further to unlock everything. It crashes a lot, and the worst part is that I couldn’t get into weaponcrafting for more than 1 min with maximum graphic settings. There are others experiencing the same problem as I do, but the developer is helping the community as I type this. I hope this problem will get fixed soon.
Loadout is not your typical multiplayer shooter game with the main attractions are weaponcrafting and tech tree. For a free-to-play game, it’s really worth a shot!
Have you tried it out? Share your thoughts below!