If wild, cartoony violence and deep weapons customization options are two things you just can’t get enough of, then Edge of Reality’s free-to-play fragfest Loadout definitely needs to be on your radar. This third-person, team based multiplayer title—currently on track for a Steam release but perhaps Xbox Live bound as well—delivers the kind of frenetic and goofy fun of a Team Fortress 2 but with the weapon personalization of something like Borderlands.
Before each round, you have the option of mixing and matching every aspect of your primary weapon, from the hilt to the type of gun (rocket launcher vs. machine gun) to the magazine type to the type of ammo (fire vs. electricity, and you can even choose properties like sticky or bouncy). The combinations are endless and can result in some pretty wild outcomes. For my two matches, I built an machine gun that fired fire bullets and a shotgun with an extra spread barrel that packed instant death in electric slug form.
The devs on hand said that one player had, to their amazement, crafted a sniper rifle capable of firing heath-giving cluster grenades, and spent his time in hiding and lobbing health bombs onto wherever his teammates happened to be fighting. During my second match, I chose a rocket launcher that shot green health orbs and used that aid my squadmates as they tried to secure the various control points scattered around the map.
In the mode I played, teams fought for control over randomly assigned flag positions. Once secured, the securing team receives 500 points. The first team to 2,500 points wins. Like similar modes in other multiplayer shooters, securing a position is a tug of war of sorts as teams exchange frenetic gunfire as the capture meter rises and falls with each passing second.
One of the most striking aspects of Loadout is the art style and crazy levels of violence. It’s not at all uncommon to see your character running around with half of his lower leg or upper arm exposed down to the bloody bone, or to watch as your legs are blown off and youd dude reachs out with an exaggerated look of pain and shock before finally dying. Electric bullets send characters into the air in classic cartoon fashion, with their skeletons flashing blue beneath their skin. Fire ammo engulfs dudes and turns them into full body candles. Wild, wild stuff.
Loadout is currently in closed beta, but it’s schedule to reach open beta this summer. It will be free-to-play, with the option to purchase cosmetic items. Everything you’ll be able to buy will be unlockable by playing the game, so if you put in the time, you’ll be rewarded handsomely for it. Over-the-top multiplayer action lovers will definitely want to keep their eyes on Loadout as we move closer to the game’s release.