The days of the old school shooter may be making a return. It's not always about killstreaks or having the highest level with the best equipment. Sometimes it's truly time to focus on getting in the game and just shooting up enemies without having to worry about someone on their third prestige. Rekoil is a FPS in development by Plastic Piranha that seeks to pit all players into the game starting with everything as balanced as possible. You won't have that extra advantage through killstreaks or be stuck with barely any weapons you want in the beginning. This isn't Battlefield where you won't start out with a defibrillator as a medic, cough cough. This is Rekoil where it's all about getting in and having fun.
You may recall hearing about Rekoil when we covered it at Quake Con back in August. This year at PAX Prime I met with Jason Brice, the President and CEO of Plastic Piranha, also the main Level Design guy. Brice is making sure mod support is a huge feature with Rekoil for a primary reason. It's the way he made it into the game industry. Long before Plastic Piranha, Brice was a modder that liked to get hands on and create maps for titles like Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142. After creating an awesome map under the title Operation Shingle for Battlefield 2142, EA and DICE took notice to this and even added it into the game through an update. Marking the first time EA has included a map created by the community. That right there is a heck of an achievement and hey, sometimes all it takes is a lot of hard work in the modding scene and next thing you know, you're making a game.
"It was a little slow to get off the ground especially going from the Battlefield Engine to the Unreal Engine, but it turned out to be the thing that launched my career in the video game space." - Brice stated.
Plastic Piranha plans on having modding tools available on day one for Rekoil allowing for players to make their own maps, levels, weapons, modes, animations, and just about anything you can think of or even imagine. Anything, go crazy. After a few patches down the road they'll also have the Steam Workshop functioning allowing for a smoother organization for getting your ideas and projects out into the public. A neat idea which has been mentioned several times here and there that will likely follow through is a way to get some of the modded projects onto the Xbox 360. With a release scheduled for both PC and Xbox 360, we all know PC gamers get infinite amounts of content through modding alone. Look at Team Fortress 2, look at Garry's Mod, look at Half-Life, look at Grand Theft Auto, the list goes on.
A way to bring some of the content to the Xbox 360 is to release a form of DLC including the best user maps for both Xbox 360 and PC. It's currently undecided whether it will be free or you'll have to pay for it. Which if you have to pay for it opens up a whole new topic in which users can get paid for their modding efforts. Being able to create something and see it in action like that, really getting appreciation from the community and company who created the game you're modding in is incredible.
Aside from modding, Rekoil is supposed to stand out from most shooters today that have leveling systems and so forth. Almost every shooter today except for a few gems around has a leveling system in which you need to unlock weapons, perks, equipment, skills, etc. Rekoil allows for you to choose one of five different classes and customize it with the perfect loadout for you. Which class is for you, the Assault, Recon, Shotgonner, Heavy Gunner, or the Sniper? Every weapon has set statistics such as mobility, range, and reload speed allowing for you to compare each weapon. This allows for a balance and truly focus on the player's skill more than anything. You won't have to go through several matches of grueling defeats to get the loadout you want fortunately.
“Our focus was trying to make a really balanced and level playing field for everybody.” - Brice continued.
By taking this approach, Plastic Piranha hopes to have an impact on the eSports scene for shooters. To be honest it wouldn't hurt to have a shooter really make it big in the scene, as currently the focus is on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Halo 4, and maybe a few other titles trying to inch their way into the spotlight. We need an organized push into the scene and hopefully Rekoil's balanced mindset allows for players to get tactical while succeed in the eSports scene. Brice also assured me that they're building Rekoil with eSports in mind and making it functional for shoutcasters. While shoutcasters likely have their own equipment, Rekoil also has Twitch.tv integration making it easier for players to get their epic matches seen.
At PAX Prime I'll admit I couldn't take my hands off of Rekoil. I'm a pretty good FPS player myself if I may say so and after popping off several headshots I was hooked. I started out with an assault class setup as I'll admit I'm the run and gun type of guy, but I'm smart about it. Not just, screw it, do it live. Soon after finding myself to be an expert with an up close and personal SMG setup in which I tore apart enemies. The majority of my matches took place in a shabby drainage causeway including destroyed structures, storage containers, and a tunnel of piping on the side of the map. It was built perfectly for every player in my opinion, even including the RPG toting tough guy.
While I found myself more skilled at one class over another, it was nice to see that everything was rather balanced while switching from class to class. Everyone has their own specific skillset or loadout they find themselves comfortable with. Fortunately nobody is at more of an advantage than others, granted it all depends on the map and how you play. If you're running around with a sniper rifle, that may not be the best idea. Or trying to kill your enemies with a pistol from a mile away, also not a great idea.
Overall, Rekoil has come a long way, they've been greenlit and have received a tremendous amount of support from players and developers. For the price of $14.99 you'll be able to get your hands on Rekoil hopefully releasing on October 15th on PC and the Xbox Live Arcade, are you ready?