When I first saw Loadout last year, I found it to be a really fun and fast-paced third-person shooter with solid gameplay. With a free-to-play monetization model and massive amount of weapon customization, Loadout is accessible to everyone. I was both equally excited and curious about how the microtransactions system would work.
Edge of Reality brought Loadout back again for GDC 2013 to offer an update on the development of the third-person shooter. The original introduction to Loadout was a preview into the large variety of weapon customizations, but not much with different characters, game modes, and the monetization aspect of buying parts to create a custom weapon.
In the previous demo, gameplay was already solid and while it included a smaller amount of weapons and customizations, the gameplay experience was still great. What they showed during GDC 2013 blew the previous demo away.
The current preview build includes character customizations for superficial add-ons like hats, shirts, pants, and another new addition: taunts. These taunts feature popular dance moves and even includes a Gangnam Style taunt as well as a Tom Jones dance. Weapons still feature customizations for things like the barrel, stock, magazine, and sight. Lead Designer, Ian Villamin, said that the possible combinations previously ranged in the hundreds of millions but now Loadout contains billions of possible weapon combinations.
Experimenting with a build that has everything unlocked, it’s easy to see how you will be able to create specific weapons that cater to your style and the map that you’re playing on. We played in a six player capture-the-flag game, where I crafted a rapid-fire pulse machine gun with bouncing shots and a grenade launcher that caused fire damage.
Action is still fast and crazy. Edge of Reality did mention that they had to balance weapon damage so players can survive longer. Maps in the game are designed well with choke points and open areas, perfect for snipers. The fun of the game is jumping into a big firefight and letting loose with your weapon. Enemies and allies jumping around is a fun sight to see as players using weapons with healing attributes can stay in the rear while others throw grenades and melee each other in the face.
Loadout features more modes like a capture the flag (which becomes capture-the-gigantic-hammer that lets you smash enemies with) and control point domination. Depending on the map, crafting the right weapon helps both the offense and defense. Normally a machine gun can get the job done, but when you have a grenade launcher with Tesla damage, the gameplay can swing into your team’s favor.
Playing through two of the game modes and seeing the expanded customization, Loadout has me very excited for its official launch. The game is still in closed beta as the developers work on balancing and testing the game; but with the crazy amounts of weapon customization and fast-paced action, Loadout could be a must-have free-to-play game for shooter fans.