Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Loads of fun with Loadout

I am a very competitive person.

Some might say that's a bad thing and that I should relax but I enjoy it. It makes games fun for me.

In fact most of the games I'm really into have some sort of competitive component. Dark Souls and World of Warcraft would have to be two games that have totally consumed me.

I PVPed like mad in WoW - in fact my first toon is ranked champion while my last toon, a warlock, spent most of his time poping heads in Athari Basin.And in Dark Souls I love invading peeps and claiming souls. There's something about gearing up and going out of your way to collect stuff which you then use to wreck other players. Now I'm not saying that I'm hot shit at it, in fact I've learned to channel my competitiveness a little, but I do really enjoy playing against other players.

I've never been one for online shooters though until I wrapped my virtual trigger finger around Team Fortress 2. Then I started playing that for hours upon hours. I even got into collecting those damn hats >_<

Well recently I started mucking around on the beta servers for an up coming third person shooter called Loadout, and this thing really has me hooked.

My Loadout home screen
I actually can't remember how I came across this game but I do remember going nuts trying to get my hands on a beta key. It didn't take too long as a simple Facebook message to the games page returned a link to a key for me to grab.

Since then I've been having a blast with Loadout. The best way to describe is that it's like Team Fortress meets Unreal; in that it's very cartoony looking with the action being arcady.

I know these days we judge our online shooters with such games as Call of Duty or Halo, but Loadout is more about casual fun, at least to me.

Rather than trying to be "real and authentic" with its gameplay, Loadout is over the top and frantic.

A typical Loadout match gets very hectic. You might have the occasional sniper with a 10 kill streak but he probably died like 20 times himself. As soon as the countdown timer ends, the screen is splashed with blood and body parts. The death animations are actually a lot of fun to watch and you can't get head shot without letting out a "o shit hahahaha" when it happens.

This is my baby
The biggest pull though is the games loadout system itself. You don't just pick two guns and an item, instead you actually get to craft your choice of weapon right down to what kind of trigger it has to fire. The closest I've come to this would have to be the Free to play shooter Black Light, which has tones of weapon customizing, but Loadout takes that concept and pumps it full of crack - because the results are just insane.

The cool thing is that even though you have people running around with lightening chain guns and 6 barrel rocket launchers that fire like anime mechs, everything is so well balanced. When crafting an item everything has it's pros and cons - so you don't make something that is the best "killer" but rather something that best suits your play style.

Aside from the awesome weapon building you also get to create your toon. Currently the game has two hero characters that you can customize, one of them looks a lot like Rambo and the other Mr T, and the devs have said they'll be releasing a female character as well sometime soon.

The main theme of the game seems to draw very heavily from the action movie culture of the 70s and 80s. Think Terminator, Commando, Cobra or anything else staring the cast of the Expandable and you'll find some reference to it in Loadout. One of the cosmetic options is even the jacket that Arnie takes from the punk in Terminator 1. In fact it's called "stolen punk jacket"

I've got two skins I role with, one being sort of a post apocalyptic theme and the other a rip off of Rick from Splatter House.

I actually cost me game money to take that shirt off.
 Both have the same weapon set up - but I have some other muck around builds as well.

I actually just keep things pretty simple. Yes the weapons with the light shows are fun but nothing beats a slug to the face. But this could change as every time I see someone using an interesting looking weapon I have to try and build it for myself. There's actually an area where you can try out all the guns you've made, but what I would love is a way to share and view other peoples schematics.

There are a few draw backs though as the game currently has a limited number of maps, and in game currency to buy weapon parts and cosmetics are hard to come by. Plus even though there are a huge possible combination of weapons - everyone just uses rockets. Including me :P

At the end of each match you get a wheel to spin, which in turn rewards you with various prizes like weapon parts and "space bucks". So far I've been getting a lot of XP and very little cash. So I went and bought a starter pack.

You're weapons level up as you spend rank points to open up different tiers in the weapons components. The most I've invested in is the Harbinger you can see in the pic up top.

Loadout should be out of closed beta soon and when it hits Steam you should definitely check it out if you're a fan of online play. The community are a pretty cool bunch, but all online groups have the occasional ass, but so far I haven't run into one. The Devs are petty cool to and you can tell they really love what they have and are constantly keeping touch with the fans for ideas and suggestions. You can also catch some live streaming of their games every now and then too.

Now watch this awesome trailer:

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