Edge of Reality
ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 3.5 stars
Most modern shooters sport serious militaristic combat in realistic environments, so it's refreshing to see a shooter that doesn't take itself seriously. Enter "Loadout," a surrealistic ultra-violent frag fest that features online-only 4v4 arena matches with the coolest weapon mods I've ever seen.
Before I continue, let's get the free-to-play bit out of the way. Players can download and play this game for free or pay $20 to get 20K Steambux (the game's currency), exclusive Steampunk goggles, a hi-tech harness and a magazine rig. These items are mostly timesavers and don't give paying players much of an advantage over non-paying ones.
While this game may look like Team Fortress at first glance, it only takes a few minutes of over-the-top cartoon violence to see that it has its own personality. Watching the unusual characters blow each other up with crazy weaponry reminds me of a cross between "Looney Tunes" and "Mad Max."
Of course, the weapons are the stars of the show, not only because the options are so unusual, but also because the weapons are so customizable. Base weapons refer to the style of weapon players begin with, and that includes Launchers and Rifles as well as Beam and Pulse weapons. Then it's up to players to customize everything from the stock and scope to the barrel and magazine. It's tons of fun to experiment with weapon combos such as fusing flame rounds with the pulse weapon or healing with lightening rounds.
My main complaint is that the matchmaking doesn't work very well. It's frustrating to try to enter a 4v4 match only to be placed in a 1v1. It would also be nice if there were more outfits available by default so I didn't have to pay real money just to look remotely unique.
"Loadout" is a fast-paced, violent, funny shooter that's definitely worth a try.