Developer(s) – Edge of Reality
Publisher(s) – Edge of Reality
Distributor(s) – Valve Corporation
An arcade–type third person shooter, Loadout is a free game on both PC and PlayStation 4, which has garnished mixed reviews from critics, but nevertheless has a very dedicated fan base. After playing for a while, I failed to see any kind of lasting appeal; especially after realizing the game is only free to a certain extent.
Graphics – 5/10
In terms of its conceptual design, comparisons can be drawn between this game and Team Fortress 2, as it makes use of cel-shaded visuals and cartoon-like characters, along with some pretty colourful environments to go with it all. But it’s also pretty weak, since the initial characters given to start off with are particularly generic, and its only after paying for new costumes and characters that players are treated to a bit of variety in the graphics. But in all honesty, I don’t believe that this kind of thing should have to be paid for. People should have it in the game to experience from the get-go to be able to more effectively enjoy it for what it is; free to play or not.
Gameplay – 5/10
As well as the game not looking very good, it also doesn’t play out very well in my opinion. There are several multiplayer modes to play through, as well as a campaign mode, but I didn’t find any of them to be entertaining to any great extent. The initial weapon choice is extremely limited, and since there are many more experienced players to compete with from the beginning, more time will probably be spent dying as opposed to killing, taking much of the potential fluency out of the whole experience.
Controls – 9/10
The only gripe I have about the game’s control scheme is that because it isn’t structured in quite the same way as most other third person shooters, it can take a bit of time to get to grips with, and the reason for this is difficult to understand, since there isn’t anything special in terms of controls to differentiate it from other game made in the same vein, such as Uncharted, Gears of War or especially Mass Effect. Otherwise, the control scheme poses no other problems once accustomed to.
Originality – 3/10
Aside from not having anything different about the control scheme, there’s really nothing different about Loadout whatsoever; about the visuals, the gameplay, the conceptual design, the story etc. A lot of these kinds of games have cropped up over the last year or so; being advertised as free to play, but only for players to find that they’re privileged to the full experience. That may be unique, but it’s a trend that I hope doesn’t catch on.
In summation, Loadout is a pretty disappointing title; even if it’s free to play. The there is nothing special in terms of gameplay or visual design, and the only shred of originality about it actually has a pretty negative impact on the game.