Loadout reviewed: A fast, frantic, incredibly bloody free-to-play shooter

Loadout

By on February 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm

As life goes on, you get bored with the surface of things. Things that are pure aesthetic, like Michael Bay movies, lose their luster. Immediacy is not that fun anymore. There is no realisation to divine here, only a headstone to spitfire youth and choices made under the duress of $5 jugs. The depths of things are where your mind goes now. You start to see the subtext in great art – in movies, books, graphic novels with assassin nuns – where before it was something that stretched you, required your head to hurt. Now it is just plainly there: “This is actually about Ronald Reagan’s hair.” It is one of the joys of aging past the 24/7 boner stage. Then you play a game like Loadout.

And Loadout is the kind of game Michael Bay would make, except he wouldn’t make it free-to-play. He’d make it pay-heaps-to-play and up the in-game currency to Disney On Ice standards ($14 for a bucket of popcorn and a Cinderella hat, guys. $14). Said in-game currency is space bux. It is how Loadout wants to make its fortune, and it is weird because it applies heavily to the stupid crap you can dress your soldier up in like a big gamer sissy playing with your dolls. That’s real money they’re asking. I did find some pants I liked almost immediately.

After the chaps go on, the boomstick is crafted. You can pick bullets or shells or energy balls or energy beams, and from there you clamp all kinds of bonus murder-widgets onto the stock, barrel, et al. You can’t afford any of that yet because you’re a loser and no one sits with you, but don’t stress. Take to the killing fields and cut sick and you’ll come back with atomy point things called Blutes to spend on pimping your WMD. Interestingly, all the different parts of it gain experience with you, and you can pump them up as well as score weirder and more wonderful extras with a little help from your Blutes too.

It’s the one part of Loadout that isn’t full retard. While you should never go full retard, it is a requirement here. The four-a-side matches are fast and loud and most of all splattery. Serious. Edge of Reality have lavished a lot of attention on your final moments (and there are many, and they are all hilarious… crawling away helplessly with half a torso reaching for the family flashing before your eyes as everything goes black, classic guys). A lot. Loadout is pure surface, pure Bay. It’s almost good enough to keep you coming back to what’s essentially a dodge-roll-a-thon where a Sly-a-like and his visible organs might lose his head completely and still emerge victorious by the skin of a wild grenade. A tactician’s dream this is not; a sociopath’s more so (hi there!).

It’s a short-lived thrill, a summer of fun that costs nothing. That is, unless, you are me and you keep scrolling and scrolling until you discover the precious:

Good:

  • The hysterical meat puppetry that ensues after an ill-advised bullet binge.
  • When you win you can do not one, not two, but up to three variations of the Gangnam Style dance spectacular.
  • You can take off your pants.

Bad:

  • Totally built for consoles. Control pad laces out.
  • Lacks depth. Like, it’s not even kiddie-pool deep out there.
  • Only 4v4.

Loadout is free to play on Steam.

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11 comments (Leave your own)

To be completely honest, I loved the game in its entirety. The game works fantastic as both a casual shooter alike Team Fortress 2, whilst still providing the competitive road that some fans will choose to venture. Two things I heavily disagree with this review is that it is completely built for consoles, which I cannot find any examples that justify this statement. I could never imagine playing this game on the coach from 5 metres away with a game-pad – key point the use of a game-pad. Whilst the game may appear to be aimed towards the platforms with its friendly cartoon-like graphics scheme and its easy to learn game-play controls, I believe it to be the most fun for general population of PC gamers. Furthermore I don’t understand how the game lacks depth? The customization of the guns is unreal, I couldn’t have asked for more – finally I can build and use the gun I have always dreamed of, and there’s nothing more satisfying then going on a rampage with your very own personalized killing machine. The only other reference I can link to a lack of depth would be towards the core gameplay, as there is nothing much to be seen in terms of killstreaks, perks or rewards other than pure, endless slaughter – which I find very entertaining!

I love GamesOnNet, and please don’t take it I’m hugely criticizing the reviewer for this article, I just think that they took the wrong approach to the casual F2P shooter Loadout…

My recommendation? If it isn’t apparent already, and you’re a huge fan of F2P, or Battlefield Heros, or Team Fortress 2, or heck… any casual laid-back game then Loadout is definitely worth a try! What have you got to lose, a couple of gigabytes of bandwidth? Maybe you could find your favorite game of the summer without having to pay a cent!

 

Good: its free!

 

I almost want to throw money at them just for using a free to play model that isn’t total BS

 

The guns don’t do much damage, so I find that leads to a really +fwd playstyle, especially in CTF. It’s all part of the fun though.

Popman, customisation != depth. There are lots of different things happening at once but at the end of the day there’s not a lot of strategy and organisation needed to win. I joined a game midway through yesterday on a team that was a total mess, and managed to turn it around to win. Most games have the potential to swing around really easily. I want to try pub-stomping with a group of 4 in voice chat to see just how much of a difference it makes, though.

Seriously though everyone should be using beam + sniper until the devs realise how op it is and patch it. Increasing damage AND range by so much works for rifle and plasma, but it just doesn’t make sense for beam.

 

Been having tons of fun with this so far. It’s heaps entertaining the adult humor and crazy fights. Customizing guns is pretty cool too though balancing will of course be needed. So far my friend made a sniper rifle that shoots fire, painfully OP that damage over time and I feel like electricity bullets are useless.

 

Electricity is theoretically good at CC, but in practice fire almost always seems to win in fights.

Being 4v4, you get a lot of 1v1 and 2v2 fights, so I think they really need to think about how the arc damage works if they want it to be useful.

 

From what I played in the beta, it seemed really fun! Definitely giving off a TF2 vibe. The only thing that put me off was the lack of local servers. Has that been fixed at all?

 

There are indeed Australian servers!

 

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Could have done without those pics though…hard to read when I’m trying to squint and not look at old mate’s arse!

 
NoobyMcNoobnoob

brilliant fun love playing it

 

Wait this game was built for a controller?

Ive been playing it no issue with my keyboard and mouse…I cant even imagine how a padder would compete in a game like this…

Oh and the depth is in the load out customization. Gameplay is shallow, move shoot kill do objective. Gun customization is where the depth is.

Its got a great look, great gameplay, and a decent sense of humor. I like it thus far.

I kinda wish there were some larger fights…beta people said they had 6v6…maybe they made it smaller for faster game queues, or were waiting for larger maps or something.

Not a bad game at all if you are looking for arcade type FPS fun.

The only thing you can buy in this game are cosmetics btw…so its cash shop system is good.

 
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