previews\ Oct 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Rekoil Preview: Nonstop running and gunning


Sometimes all you need is straightforward, nonstop shooting action. That's the mentality that developer Plastic Piranha seems to have with its upcoming FPS Rekoil. This isn't a game where you increase your stats, level up, and earn perks. No, this is pure, unbridled FPS gameplay geared toward people who want something that's accessible and easy to pick up and play without any restrictions right from the get-go. For some, that may not be enough, but for those who just want to jump right in and start going gun crazy, Rekoil could potentially offer something worthwhile.

I played a few matches of Rekoil during a recent preview tour in Los Angeles, and I actually had quite a bit of fun. There's nothing really tactical about the game, with gameplay going in a more fast-paced, almost arcade-like direction. There's no regenerating health, so you can't just hide for a few seconds after being shot at for a while. If you get gunned down, you respawn a few seconds later. Should you meet your demise, you can switch weapon loadouts at will if you so desire, allowing you to use different weapons throughout the course of a match.

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Plastic Piranha President Jason Brice informed me that there would be a total of seven modes (or possibly eight) at launch. These include your expected Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch options, as well as Hold the Briefcase, Team Hold the Briefcase, Domination, and Search and Destroy. In addition to the modes, there will be 10 or 11 maps playable right from the start. As previously mentioned, everything is unlocked once you load up the game, so you don't need to worry about completing certain tasks to obtain new maps or modes.

One really entertaining mode I got to play for myself was Rekondite, which is based on the Half-Life 2 mod The Hidden. Basically, every player is hunting down a somewhat invisible player, who's armed with only a knife and has faster movement speed. Whoever manages to kill the invisible player will then take on that role, and the rest of the players will then begin to hunt him or her. It should be noted that you're not just blindly looking for the translucent player. As you get near, the screen begins to change color. The less saturated your surroundings become, the closer you are to the invisible player.

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It's clear that Plastic Piranha wants Rekoil to be a game that people have a total blast with. This is evidenced by the fact that there will be mod tools available beginning on day one. Players will be able to create their very own maps and share them on Steam Workshop for others to download and enjoy. Individuals playing Rekoil on Xbox Live Arcade may have the option of paying a fee for a content pack featuring the best user-generated content, though this is something that's still being discussed at Plastic Piranha.

Another aspect that some players are likely to dig is the Twitch integration. The popular streaming service is built right into the game, so fans will be able to broadcast their matches as they see fit. Additionally, folks who like to watch the action will be able to spectate different battles across the Internet. It's a nice addition to the game, especially if you're the kind of player who likes to see the action from a distance at times.

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Currently, Plastic Piranha is hoping to launch Rekoil during the first half of November on Xbox Live Arcade and Steam. For FPS fans who get a thrill out of unlocking new content and earning perks, this game may not be too appealing; but if you like your shooters with a low barrier to entry, Rekoil could very well be for you. This isn't a game about character customization and skill unlocks — this is sheer, unadulterated shooting that's focused on giving players balanced, straight-up action the moment they begin playing. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, perhaps you'd do well to keep a lookout for Rekoil.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

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