Customize, then kill everyone.
Over the top action never looked so good or so easily changeable. When I started up Loadout on my PS4 the very first time, my initial reaction was “where is the cut scene?” Where is the long opening cinematic that tells me what the point of this game is and what I’m going to have to do to accomplish my goals. After I realized such an opening wasn’t coming I realized this game wasn’t about laying out a complicated story with a myriad of different twists and turns all leading me to a glorious payoff rewarding me for my dedication.
What Loadout does is throw gamers into the action right off the bat and lets them figure out what the heck is going on, as they move down the mission list. There doesn’t appear to be a deep story here, at least not one that is known online. When the game is first booted up, players are greeted with some rather impressively cartoony graphics and a menu that allows you to literally jump into the fight within three minutes of picking up your controller.
"Taking on the appearance of a number of pre rendered characters, you and a team of three other players are tasked with taking out alien soldiers who are guarding various rally points."
Taking on the appearance of a number of pre rendered characters, you and a team of three other players are tasked with taking out alien soldiers who are guarding various rally points. The alien enemy ranges from the Peon (the easiest to kill) to the Grunt (harder to hurt), the Elite Grunt, the Grenadier and the Brawler. The farther players go up the chain of enemies the harder they are to kill and the more damage they do to the human combatants.
There is actually a chain of missions I played through, but almost all the missions seemed like a slightly different map with the same basic agenda. I and my team needed to shoot enough aliens in order to get to the rally point, then hold it for a bit and then head off to the next rally point. While the action, complete with bombs and bullets whizzing over my head was fun, it wasn’t enough to draw me into wanting to play the game for hours on end. 30 minutes at a time, then taking a little break and jumping back in is the way to play this game and when I did that, it turned out to be plenty enjoyable.
Loadout developers also got it right by going with two basic forms of gameplay. When I got tired of teaming up with people to take on aliens, I was able to get into the other multiplayer matches that actually put you on a team of four and set you at the throats of the other four. In this mode, there isn’t any kind of avoidance of dying. I died a ridiculous amount of times. The game seems to understand this, considering Loadout actually gave me a readout on the ratio of my kills versus the number of people I killed. This too, is fun in short bursts, and those who love this kind of multiplayer can find quite a bit of fun but it’s also not a feature that has enough maps or enough stated goals to have the kind of appeal that kept me wanting to play for hours on end.
"Never fear if you start to go broke, Loadout is set up to allow you to purchase more in-game currency with real world money. This is certainly a scheme we’ve seen before though I’ll admit, not being someone who ever spends money on in-game purchases in Free-to-Play games, Edge of Reality found a way to make it more attractive."
If the game stopped with the multiplayer functions, if this was the entirety of Loadout it would be the game developers would have a real problem on their hands. Thankfully, the battles are fun but figuring out how a player wants to go into battle is quite a bit more enjoyable. Loadout is called Loadout because the key feature of the game is players can customize one of four models of guns, as well as decide whether they want their characters to go to war carrying a couple of different kinds of grenades, health packs or other tools like Jump Boots.
This is also where the Free-to-Play game makes Edge of Reality their money. When starting the game, you get a certain amount of coin currency that will allow you to put different kinds of scopes, barrels, gun stocks and ammo cartridges onto a machine gun/rifle hybrid, a sort of grenade launcher, a laser gun or a gun that shoots spiky metal balls. Each change to these weapons costs a certain amount of money and you can blow through what you’ve been given to start the game rather quickly.
Never fear if you start to go broke, Loadout is set up to allow you to purchase more in-game currency with real world money. This is certainly a scheme we’ve seen before though I’ll admit, not being someone who ever spends money on in-game purchases in Free-to-Play games, Edge of Reality found a way to make it more attractive. One of the best parts of Loadout is that once you have decided on a kind upgrade for your gun you can go out on the testing range before purchase and see how it works.
"Loadout is over the top in a number of different ways and Edge of Reality didn’t skimp on the gruesome, cartoony details when it came to showing what a gatling gun can do to the human body."
The testing range serves as a kind of endless shooter mini-game which had me hooked long enough that I suddenly realized I had spent 15 minutes just shooting various characters who were doing nothing more than standing there and taunting me while I shot off their limbs and exposed their brains. Yeah, another great feature of this game that made it so popular on the PC was ported over expertly to the PS4 version.
Loadout is over the top in a number of different ways and Edge of Reality didn’t skimp on the gruesome, cartoony details when it came to showing what a gatling gun can do to the human body. Shoot a character enough times in the right spot and you will suddenly be looking at their innards as they come spilling out. Shoot them in the leg long enough and you will actually shave away skin, exposing a bloody shin bone. Bit your target in the head enough times and all that will be left will be some grey matter and a couple of eyeballs. Despite losing various extremities, your victims will still be able to show you how little they care about you by flipping the bird while you finish them off.
The variations of guns Loadout offers are not limitless but there are enough choices that you might want to also spend some of your hard earned cash buying extra slots so you can save a variety of different weapons. Players can also purchase extra loadout slots and if you make more than two guns you are going to want to extra loadout slots because a gun can only be assigned to one loadout slot at a time. I should point out that not everything you need to buy in the game has to be purchased using real money. There is a way to earn SpaceBux in the game, though you can’t use the earned SpaceBux for everything.
"If it seems like I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time talking about everything you can customize, that is because the game is good because of that customization."
The final bit of customization comes in the form of the playable characters. Loadout offers up a few pre-made characters and then gives the option of building around those models in order to look different from everyone else playing the game. The choices for facial features and clothes is plentiful and if you’re willing to spend a pretty penny on upgrades you can give your character a truly crazy look.
If it seems like I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time talking about everything you can customize, that is because the game is good because of that customization. Whether playing the four player team-up against aliens, or the four player team-up against another team of four players, the gameplay itself doesn’t bring anything we haven’t seen before. What it does do is bring quite a bit of things we’ve seen before and put a new spin on them that makes Loadout playable over and over again.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
The customizations allow you to play the same game over and over with changing experiences every time.
Lack of an established story makes you wonder why you are playing over and over again.
Loadout will take you on a full filled ride along with an in-depth customization system. You won't believe you are getting this for free.