Rollin' Out with LOADOUT!A column article by: Dylan Tano
Sometimes, we manage to play a bit of a game before its release, whether at a convention/trade show, gaining access to an alpha or beta release or merely downloading a publically released demo. Being the unfiltered and unsilenced lot that we are, we choose to share our thoughts on these games with whomever cares to read.
We call these thoughts a First Shot.
Got your gun ready? Sweet! Did you choose the spooling trigger and the gatling barrel? What ammo did you choose, pulse with incendiary effect? There are a lot choices presented with your err... LOADOUT. This is Edge of Reality’s first foray into shooters and it was on display at Austin’s South By Southwest Interactive Festival 2013. Edge of Reality, known primarily for porting games across systems (most notably bringing Mass Effect to the PlayStation 3), has decided to bring this highly customizable third-person shooter to Steam and PC as a free-to-play title coming out in the next month or so. But enough of that stuff! This game is about GUNS!!!
Game Developer: Edge of Reality
I got a chance to play the game with a team of three complete strangers after watching some others play on the display monitors that peppered the booth. It’s a gory lovefest of shooters. Rife with heavy influences from the ‘80s, you’ll play as a Sly Stallone or a Mr. T clone. Regardless of who you’ll choose, the true star of the game is your own creativity. I was given about 2 minutes to craft my own weapon before jumping into the aforementioned team of three for a little bit of team deathmatch. In the time allotted I managed to craft a machine gun that’d burn my enemies into a crispy toast. If I only had a gun that shot butter... You’ll get two guns to carry with you, though: one falling into the “assault” category and the other falling into the “grenade launcher” family. I didn’t spend too much time with the grenade launcher because the game was fast-paced and I didn’t know how to switch weapons (move the mouse wheel up and down).
Loadout is beautifully animated and ran incredibly smooth, even in closed beta. The game follows the Team Fortress 2 art style pretty closely. Having played it, the art style fits the fast paced and frantic gameplay. The look fits the feel of the game. It played a lot like the early Quake games and I was not alone in feeling that way. Several seasoned gamers (i.e. those of us old enough to remember Quake) remarked aloud that it reminded them of that game series. For others who haven’t played Quake, it is a fast paced shooter with the focus more on pouring bullets into your enemy while you hop and jump and round the map as quick as you possibly can. To accommodate the speed of the game, there is no respawn timer. All I had to do was simply click the left mouse button and I was spawned anew, ready for action.
You can do more than just customize your gun of course, you can also add a lot of clothing items to your character. I ran around with a beer cap, tighty whities and jump boots (one of the few clothing items that affect your character). I didn’t get to spend too much time in the character editor, but everyone was dressed differently during the play session. It allows you to control how you look, letting you differentiate yourself from the masses a step further than most shooters.
The game developers mentioned that there were a few other game modes such as Capture the Flag and Deathmatch. I love a good game of Capture the Flag and Edge of Reality assured me they added their own little twist to this particular game mode. They handed me a closed beta key as I was leaving so expect to hear more about Loadout as it nears release. Based on what I played at the expo, I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.
To learn more about Loadout (and see if you can get access to their beta) head over to the game's website. And don't forget to like the game on Facebook and follow it on Twitter to stay up-to-date with the game's progress!
Be sure to check out some more games from Austin's own Edge of Reality!
When Dylan Tano isn't floating amongst the clouds in his beautiful balloon you can find him up to his ears in work at Comics Bulletin. As a fellow writer once said if he gets paid in the morning then he's drunk in the afternoon. He dwells in the realms of video games and comic books, writing about both till he is either drunk or delirious. He has yet to confuse the two but his editors are working on it. If he had it his way, all robots would have pain receptors.
You can follow him on Twitter as @BroSpider. You can join him on PSN at Blues_Doc and Steam at Frostbite21251. You can read some of his musings on Blogger and he keeps a list of short stories on his Tumblr.