Loadout's focus on customisation and bizarre clothing leaves the actual gameplay lacking some depth.
By Toby McCasker 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:
- 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.
- Totally built for consoles. Control pad laces out.
- Lacks depth. Like, it’s not even kiddie-pool deep out there.
- Only 4v4.