Loadout Hands-On Preview

Let’s face it; the Free-To-Play market is nearing saturation if we haven’t sprinted past that already. It seems every developer has rushed to throw something up to capitalize on this revolutionary market. Granted, most of these are something less than outstanding, but we have seen some incredible titles such as Tribes: Ascend and Team Fortress 2 (can we really call that a F2P since it started out as retail release?).

The point I’m driving at is that it’s hard for a title to truly separate itself from the pack, but after my limited time getting my hands on Loadout, I’m ready to be wow’d again.

As the name would imply, Loadout is about guns. Lots of guns. Players will be able to completely customize their own weapon ensuring that no one else will ever have anything quite like it. By switching out ammunition, triggers, stocks, scopes, and battles you’re presented with an outstanding level of customization. The guys from Edge of Reality told me that even in this early build left over from March, there are over 100,000 thousand different possibilities and we should expected over a million in the final product.

Half of the fun was seeing what players would come up with while testing out their new builds. Most people seemed to start off building the weapons they’ve been most comfortable with in other games, your more standard assault rifles and rocket launchers, but after a bit of prodding by Edge of Reality and a few clicks of the randomize button, Loadout got its chance to shine. The arena was filled with automatic shotguns which shot balls of fire, a laser rifle eerily similar to something straight out of Ghostbusters, and my personal contribution, a semi-automatic rocket launcher releasing a spreadshot of tesla mines capable of bouncing off walls.

The cartoony appearance is sure to harken some comparisons to Team Fortress 2 and Super Monday Night Combat, however even at this early stage it manages to separate itself from the pack. Players routinely lost chunks of flesh from their legs and arms while a good headshot leaves nothing but a pair of eyes behind. The entire thing reminds me of what Looney Toons would be like if Quentin Tarantino was in charge.

It’s too early to tell if Edge of Reality will be able to avoid the caveats that come along with a FTP title, but they’re undeniably aware of the issues that could crop up.

We’ll know more when Loadout leaves its closed beta and opens up for business later this summer.