Loadout: Team Fortress 2 Minus Hats

It’s been 7 years since Team Fortress started winning our hearts and almost 3 years since the very same title became a free-to-play game. Though, even this honorable age does not influence its popularity in any possible way. Sure, it lost a few position on Steam but still manages to bring Valve millions of dollars ($139, to be exact) every single year by selling hats, keys and tickets in TF2. By all means, this perspective does look tempting and developers from all over the world won’t mind to make a difference by creating a game of their own. We’ve seen already the Gotham City Impostors free-to-play action with the Gotham characters running all over the place instead of charismatic soldier. And it did look fine but not fine enough to beat the TF2. Though, now we have another candidate to earn the first place in the free-to-play charts and it goes by the name Loadout. Let’s find out if it has even the slightest chance to become popular in gamers’ community.

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Loadout Makes its First Steps

Some critics would definitely say that there’s an urgent need to make a big change and offer a decent alternative to the old-fashioned TF2. Sure, it’s been on the internet for more than 7 years but at the same time – it still keeps holding on. For instance, being third in the list, TF2 still gathers 80.000 players simultaneously on their servers and if you call this a bad result, then you know nothing about modern free-to-play games. On the other hand, Loadout has about 24-27 thousands, and trust me – this is not a bad result either taking into consideration a tiny little fact that the game is new and is only making its way towards the popularity. Again, the already mentioned Gotham City Impostors can’t boast with more than 1500 gamers. I do believe that the picture is pretty clear in here. Right now Loadout is on the 10th place and is only 7 positions away from the Team Fortress 2. Sure, Loadout has a long journey ahead and lots of things have to be improved in order to make it a decent competitor. But, let’s hope that its developers won’t let us down and in the future we are going to get something worth our time.

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What is Loadout’s Thing?

Well, from the first glance Loadout does remind the TF2 and while playing it you will definitely get a feeling of déjà vu and some of the characters as well as corridors will look the same. But that won’t be for too long. I can’t say that Loadout units are more charismatic or know better tricks. They have their own style and that is very nice. The first thing that is really worth mentioning is the way the player dies. It’s brutal, even more brutal than in Team Fortress 2. But, for some reason, there is something extraordinary and grotesque in this brutality. Just imagine a good old film where gallons of ketchup were split all over the place to make the scene look more brutal. Keep that picture in your mind but double it with the dismembered legs, arms and other body parts. Trust me – it may sound crazy but it looks just fine. After all – it’s just a game.

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The other thing that some gamers will definitely like and others will hate is the weapon system. You see – the weapon here is limited only by your imagination. You have lots of elements and modes and you can mix them the way you like in order to create your own and very special gun. For instance, you can make a sniper rifle that shoots health bullets and heal your teammates from the distance, or you can create a mini-gun that has bouncing bullets, shoot them from around the corner and take your enemies down by surprise. Sure, if you are not interested in playing the weapon Lego, you can press the “Random Weapon” button and play with the gun the system gives you. They also happen to be great from time to time. But the best thing is that the process of creating never gets boring. Just on the contrary – the more you customize your weapon, the more you want to do that again and again.

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A Bit Less Than a Loadout of Game Modes

Unlike Team Fortress 2, Loadout is pretty limited in game modes. Sure, the game is new and there is a great possibility that the other game modes will be added later. But still – if you want to promote your game and make it popular, it might be a good idea to show the best you can and then make it even better. It is possible to give promises and convince gamers that in the closest future everything will be fine, but, promises are promises and real actions are real actions. Right now you can try out your killing skills in 4 on 4 games with either bots or real players, Death Snatch (a variety of Deathmatch), Jackhammer (capture the flag mode but instead of flag you have a big electric hammer that can take 2 players in one hit), Exctraction (collect as many resources as possible and do not let the other team to do the same) and Blitz (capturing locations on the map). Unfortunately, all that happens on 5 different maps. Sure, they are small enough to make the game dynamic and rich on events but 5 locations is definitely not enough. By all means – more will appear later but when this later is going to happen?

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A Loadout of Thoughts

I can’t say for sure if the game is really good or really bad. Right now it’s somewhere in the middle. It has it good and bad sides but at this very moment balances on the edge and if everything goes well – Loadout will definitely join Team Fortress 2 in the book of games. But, if its developers go the other way, we might forget about it forever. Your move, Edge of Reality!

If you haven’t played Loadout yet, I do recommend giving it a try. You can download it for free from Steam and enjoy the beauty of brutality. And if you are worried about the leveling system – don’t be. The good thing is that game’s donation system does not spoil the fun and you won’t find immortal characters running all over the place and killing players with one shot. Investing real money allows you to customize your character and level it just a bit faster but not fast enough to become Level 100 in one day.

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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