At PAX East 2014, we happened to pass by the Loadout guys from Edge of Reality at the Indie Megabooth several times throughout our trip to Boston. And when we did, there was always a crowd of players huddled around the wacky, no holds barred shooter, and their excited shouts of victory were only muffled by their louder laughs that came from playing as an obese woman named Helga in a string bikini while toting a massive gun around the battlefield. This, in a nutshell, is Loadout, and it’s a more than refreshing new entry in the world of competitive online shooters.
But don’t just take my word for it. In the first two weeks after the game was released for PC on January 31, over 2 million players signed up to try their hand at the customizable chaos, quickly skyrocketing the game towards the top of Steam’s free-to-play charts. So many people were biting for a chance to play, that the servers even had a hard time keeping up with them at first. But now the hilariously violent game is running smoother than ever, and that’s not the only thing that’s changed in the few months since it hit the streets. So why should you be playing Loadout if you aren’t already?
Well for one thing, the game holds nothing back when it comes to the gross-out humor that’s instilled within its characters and the laws of their world. While most games choose to stop at that proverbial line in the sand between what’s right and what’s wrong, Loadout proudly marches across it at every turn, and as a result you’ll see everything from severed body parts mangled and gushing with blood, to very deliberate renderings of obese camel toe in the skimpiest of outfits (don’t say we didn’t warn you!). Also, victory twerking.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, I mentioned in my review that it plays like the weird and sticky lovechild of Borderlands and Team Fortress 2, and I still stand by that comparison. The zany battlefields themselves are home to exhilarating third-person PvP gunfights, while the emphasis on mixing and matching different weapon parts for billions of potential combinations just screams of Gearbox’s wildly successful lootin’ and shootin’ franchise. And when you inevitably get got by another player, you’re going to know about it – squirting blood is one resource that Edge of Reality did not want to skimp out on when creating this game.
But the biggest reason why you should hop on the bandwagon today? The game already has a very dedicated and consistently growing fan community, and the developers themselves are extremely hands-on when it comes to interacting with each and every one of them. Players regularly hit up the official forums with suggestions for new content or fixes, and then like all the best examples of constantly-updated games, the developers take everything into careful consideration before deciding what features would make the most sense for the latest game version.
In fact, Edge of Reality recently rolled out the biggest update to Loadout so far, which saw the addition of a brand new game mode called Domination, a frantic twist on capturing control points, as well as a new map, better weapon balancing and bug fixes, and of course, even more weapon parts, equipment, and character customization pieces. But the latest Domination update is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the game is concerned. The developers have already outlined their plans for future updates, based on pages of player feedback. Among the many exciting things on tap for the game, we can look forward to seeing Ranked Playlists, private game modes, a new PvE game mode, and consistently new weapon parts – because sometimes billions of combinations just aren’t enough.
I’m personally waiting to see a few more characters get thrown into the fray, besides the three initial default ones. If you’re still on the fence, you can stroll right over to the game’s official website, where the developers broadcast live gameplay streams on a regular basis. And if you’re REALLY still on the fence, well the game IS free-to-play after all, so what do you have to lose? In either case, be sure to hit the comments when you’re done twerking and help to share the Loadout love!