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Loadout Review: Frantic, Frenzied, Free

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In my time with Edge of Reality’s newly released, free-to-play shooter, Loadout, I had limbs blown off, smashed my foes with a massive hammer, and had recently deceased opponents give me the finger from beyond the grave – all in the name of fun.

Loadout is a game that is not afraid to shirk the realm of realism in favor of the absurd and overly violent. Where many of the most played and most popular shooters of recent years have steered towards gritty realism, Loadout stands in a camp of its own; one littered with severed limbs, crushed beer cans and weapon combinations that seem to come right off of the pages of any ten year old boy’s secret notebook.

The reckless abandon that Loadout approached the packed shooter market with is one that certainly deserves praise. Edge of Reality has put a noticeable amount of effort into creating a multiplayer experience that truly does stand out from the rest.

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Delving into the world of Loadout is extremely simple. Upon booting the game up for the first time, a quick overview of Loadout’s numerous features are presented to the player. Loadout prides itself on insane combat and a considerable amount of weapon customization, and the initial –and brief – tutorial prompts acclimate the player perfectly.

Upon familiarizing oneself with Loadout’s weapon customization and unlockable tech trees, the player is free to dive right into the game’s multiplayer matches. These matches are best described as frantic, non-stop firefights – the kind that gets you excited to compete.

Hammer time
Hammer time

The game modes found within Loadout will be instantly recognizable to those who have played any number of multiplayer shooters before. Loadout’s five game modes – Death Snatch, Blitz, Hammer and Extraction – are quick to learn at any skill level, allowing the newcomer to play cooperatively with the anointed veteran with relative ease.

While learning and playing Loadout is simple enough, the game opens up upon mastering the game’s nuanced weapon customization options. From the start, Loadout presents players with four different weapon types – Rifle, Launcher, Pulse and Beam – that features different components that can be upgraded with match earnings. With some effort, a normal assault rifle can become a sniper rifle that fires electrically charged rounds that explode upon impact.

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Loadout’s greatest strength lies within the customization that comes from the weaponcrafting section of the game. As a free-to-play title, standing out against the myriad other competitors can be difficult, Loadout however, is able to draw attention to itself by pandering to those who enjoy customization.

Similar to weaponcrafting, Loadout allows players to customize the appearance of their character. In outfitting a character, the fraternity-house humor of Loadout shines. Bandoliers of beer are just as common as camo fatigues in Loadout’s outfitter, allowing for the player to feel that they truly have a unique character.

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As a whole, Loadout plays well. Anyone with experience playing third-person shooters will be able to jump right in and begin blasting away. Loadout’s matches are frenzied and intense, expedited by the ability to jump extremely high and dive quickly out of harm’s way.

Despite being a free-to-play title, Loadout manages to avoid many of the ‘pay to win’ stigmas that often plague similar titles. While Loaout allows cash purchases, these are strictly cosmetic – ensuring that the playing field stays level.

Those who are looking for a free-to-play title that allows for near unparralled customization and plenty of competition would be smart to look towards Loadout. Few games on the market provide as tight of a multiplayer experience as Loadout.

[schema type=”review” name=”Loadout | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Fast-paced, over-the-top action, Deep weapon customization, Humor and violence all rolled into one | The Not so Awesome: A few server issues, matches can get repetitive. ” rev_name=”Loadout” rev_body=”Loadout is a free-to-play shooter that eschews reality in favor of bathroom humor and serious violence. With plenty of customization for both weapons and characters, those who don’t mind only having four match types will have hours of enjoyment.” author=”Ray Porreca” pubdate=”2014-02-10″ user_review=”8″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]

*Reviewer’s Statement: Loadout is a free-to-play title, currently available through the Steam Client.

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Raymond Porreca

The author Raymond Porreca

Raised on classic role-playing games, Ray’s eternal quest for the next great game has led to him playing everything he can get his hands on. With a passion for every facet of the video game industry, Ray aims to keep readers informed and entertained with every word he writes.