"Lock, Load, Charge, Explode."
Imagine, if you would, a game that combines the best aspects of Team Fortress 2 with Gears of War, sprinkling in liberal amounts of violence, gore, partial nudity, obscenity, and general absurdity. That’s basically Loadout in a nutshell: a frantic, platforming fragfest in which everyone and everything involved is larger than life. From the over-the-top character design to the ridiculous (albeit gruesome) death animations, it’s pretty clear Loadout hardly takes itself seriously…and that’s just one of many things that make it a bloody amazing game.
The first thing that struck me about Loadout was the sheer volume of customization options available to the player. Although your options are somewhat limited at first, as you level up and gain Blutes (the in-game currency used to purchase pretty much everything that’s important), you’ll gain access to a positively staggering array of weapon customization options, special abilities, and ammunition types. The way the customization menus are built allows for a great deal of experimentation, and it always feels like there’s a new combo or powerful loadout just waiting around the corner.
Equally impressive is how the game itself plays. Controls are as fluid and responsive as the animations, and in all my time spent with the title, I never once felt as though I had to fight to get my character to do what I wanted. The platforming elements are fast, exciting, and incredibly satisfying; matches are always filled with quick-moving mayhem regardless of game type. My one and only gripe with the gameplay is the player counts: matches are limited to four players on each team; it feels like there’s ever so much untapped mayhem that would be accessible if only they’d add one or two more.
Now, at this point, it bears mentioning that Loadout represents developer Edge of Reality’s first real foray into the world of Free to Play. In all honesty, they tackle the model with more panache than many developer’s who’ve been at it since freemium was a thing. All of the items in the cash shop – save for the experience and Blute boosts – are purely cosmetic. If you’re shelling out money for Loadout, you’re doing so to make your character look spiffy, not to dominate your enemies. In other words, it’s just how it should be.
There's just one problem worth noting with Loadout, and that's the servers. They're still a bit finicky at the moment, and tend to glitch out a bit in the lobby. That's something I'd expect to be fixed in the near future, though; it's hardly a huge problem.
When I first set out to review Loadout, I hadn’t actually heard of it before. Now that I’ve played it, I’m not quite sure how. 2014’s just begun, and already we’ve a contender for the title of best shooter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a bit more fragging to do.
GameDynamo's Score for Loadout (PC)
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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