Unlocked: Loadout Early Access On Steam

By Craig Pearson on May 15th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

That is a sharkgun
The last time Valve updated their list of Steam Early Access games they somehow managed to switch off all the Press accounts. That was the worst hour of my life, let me tell you. This time around, with the addition of free-to-play cartoon shooter Loadout to the raft of in-development games on Steam, I cautiously looked at my library. Everything was there! Though when I downloaded Loadout nothing was actually installed. I just have a DirectX folder, not a game that promises billions of weapon and gloopy violence. Still, baby steps and all that. Having something installed is better than having my livelihood taken away from me. Until Valve fixes this second egregious assault on my Steam library, I’ll just have a stare at this trailer.

It is a very pretty shooter, isn’t it? Third-person action with a huge amount of character and weapon customisation. You can change a gun’s stock, chassi, scope, projectile, trigger, magazine, and barrel, it all has an effect. It sounds like something that can be heavily abused, but I’d like to see it in action. You can either wait for the final release to play it for free, or pay for Early Access and the usual treats. There are three tiers, ranging from £15 to £68. There are obvious rewards in joining in now, but if you can hold out I’ll see if I can get Steam to sort out whatever is keeping me from installing the full game and I’ll tell you if it’s worth it.

So, yeah. It’s kind of out now, but not really. But it is.

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34 Comments »

  1. ZIGS says:

    Looks fun but these indie MP shooters always “die” weeks after they’re released. Although this one seems to be F2P after it’s released so maybe it’ll live a bit longer

    • Flammablezeus says:

      I got a key to the beta last year and I would have not stopped playing if there were more people on in my region. I’m looking forward to this one. It’s really fun in a way that no other game I’ve played captures. I always found myself laughing out loud playing it.

  2. Pryde says:

    Whoa-whoa-whoa. There is such thing as “Steam press account”? And I guess these accounts have ALL THE GAMES OF ALL TIMES FOREVER on them? Shit. Now that’s a thing to desire. Guess I’ll have to start working as a game journo. Fuck this economy shit I’m writing about now!

    • Iamerror says:

      I believe [as in I don't really know, but from what I recall reading] a press account doesn’t feature all games on the service, merely those the developers choose to allow press accounts to access.

      • Crimsoneer says:

        Most of the games, last I checked. A LOT of games. However, they’re very, very hard to get – Valve don’t actually have a HR/press email that they openly distribute, so unless you’re in one of the very big websites, you don’t get one.

    • Dr. Shenanigans says:

      Valve employees’ accounts have all Steam products unlocked on them, see Robin Walker’s for example:

      http://steamcommunity.com/id/robinwalker

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Not all, no. But a healthy chunk.

    • crunchyfrog555 says:

      It’s not a free-for-all most likely. It will merely be “early access” from those developers who are offering their games for review.

      In essence, it’s the digital distribution equivalent of what I used to get (and still do) from working as a walkthrough/tips writer – I get games sent to me a few months before release, some unfinished, some not, to work on.

      With magazines having their cut-off for articles 3 months before they arrive on the shelves, how do you think this happens?

      • Love Albatross says:

        Actually it’s rare for a game to show up on the Steam press accounts before release. Generally they become available the same day as everyone else gets them.

    • oxguy3 says:

      Yep, members of the press have access to all of the games on this list at all times: Press Master on SteamDB

  3. emptee says:

    ummm, why are all these guys filled with raspberry jam?

  4. bit.bat says:

    This does look very well made but I think I am ready for the non-violent cartoony games now.

  5. Stevostin says:

    I was sooo excited by the visual then BAM! TPS!

    Now I am sad. I do hope that the game is a failure so that the talent in got fired and hired in a company where people understand than aiming and 3d person view just is a stupid fit.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      As long as the crosshair is accurate, who cares whether it’s in 3rd person?

    • Dominic White says:

      RPS comments are the only place on the entire internet where I’ve seen this weird ‘third-person = bad’ meme going around. How did it start? It makes no sense!

      More to the point, how do we kill it?

      • Bhazor says:

        Its true though. Have you ever played a third person shooter and thought to yourself “I’m glad this is in third person”.

        • noodlecake says:

          Yes. Pretty often actually. I generally prefer third person games. Not that I shun all first person games.

        • Dominic White says:

          Yes….? It gives you much greater situational awareness and tends to let you use terrain far more intuitively to your advantage. The idea that you somehow can’t shoot straight in third-person games is ridiculous. If you can’t, it’s because someone coded the crosshairs wrong.

        • Paroxysm says:

          Yes. What’s not to like about 3rd person? Same accuracy but with more awareness of your character in the environment.

        • Aardvarkk says:

          In Chivalry MW I almost always switch to third person mode. In Firefall I quite enjoyed the third person mode as well.

        • crunchyfrog555 says:

          Yes, most definitely.

          Some shooters are all the better for it. Red Faction Armageddon being a recent good example, but there have been many examples for about the last 15 years where I’ve thought this.

          I guess the root of this myth is that some people are so hung up on FPS they can’t adapt.

          • Harlander says:

            It’s not a “meme” or a “myth” – it’s an opinion.

            I don’t mind third-person, but I can’t stand celery.

    • Danorz says:

      just as a headsup it is entirely playable in FPS with gun models and everything

  6. Cytrom says:

    I think its time to resurrect quake and unreal tournament…

  7. CrispinFister says:

    Looks cheesier than a pair of knickers thrown at a Barry Manilow concert that missed and landed on a plate of warm milk that got left to fester overnight.

  8. Megakoresh says:

    TBH Loadout has SO many combos that no, it’s not “terribly” abused. Ever since I entered beta around half a year ago, it usually had 1 widely known OP combo. And that has remained. Every time they fix the old one they make a new OP combo. Now it’s automatic slug shotguns, next will be something else.

    But really the only truly OP thing in the game has nothing to do with weapons customization. Because it’s an equipment item called Shield.

    The game is a lot of fun, has a great developer and one of the fairest F2P models of all time, where there is NOTHING you can’t get via random drops, just like TF2, but without the trading or crafting systems to break it, like TF2 has. It is also very deep. Almost E-sports level depth is present in the game’s combat and teamwork, despite it’s seemingly casual look and feel.

    Oh wait, did I mention a Soundtrack that can raise a dead person from the grave and make the corpse do retarded dance moves? You can play and download it at loadout dot com.

    • Mabswer says:

      Last time tried this on closed beta, only way to make a weapon was to buy a slot IRL money so the “not P2W” is still out for debate.

      did test it earlier too before they implemented that, the customising the weapon’s and their parts seemed really interesting
      But back then there was about 1-5 players to play at random times, i suspect that will be the end of this game – just not enought players.

  9. Dowr says:

    I played the beta of this games; it was very fun.

  10. ekuurh says:

    I’ve been playing Loadout for the past few months, and let me tell you, it is AWESOME.
    I got in using a closed beta key, for free, and I would definitely pay if I’ll have to. For now, it seems I don’t.
    My most kickass weapon is a remote-controlled scuttle (=travels on ground, not in air) explosive missile, sure to evaporate any unsespecting goon.

  11. Ajsman says:

    Hmm, I did play the beta for some time. But while most of the stuff I liked very much (animations, taunts and character customization especially) the feel of the weapons was IMO just horrendous. Two of my friends had the same issue. So because these kind of things rarely change once the game is already in beta we just stopped playing and never looked back. But maybe I’ll give it another go once it is released.

  12. killmachine says:

    when i started to play the beta, the game was super awsome. a wet dream come true for every shooter player. the weapon customization is just out of this world.

    then you play a little longer and some things start to annoy you. it’s the controls and character movement. it’s not very precise. in fact, it’s rather floaty. for example, when you move your character forward and backwards, it also starts moving slightly to the sides. apparently that’s something to do with how the game handles it’s animations and movement. jumping and firing your gun in the air looks way off, too.

    another thing is it’s random nature. TTK isn’t very high. you get killed, no matter how skilled you are. it’s a lot like cod in that respect.

    generally speaking, if you like cod, gore, cartoons and crazy random stuff, this is the game for you, definetely. it will blow your mind. but if you’re looking for something more serious, gameplay wise, then this may not be the game for you.

  13. Andrews says:

    Loadout is an epic game, recorded roughly 250 hours since January and despite the obvious lack of anything more to it, I don’t see myself dropping it anytime soon. Reasons for this mainly being:

    – The overal movement scheme and flow. Everything is just so freaking dynamic and responsive, allowing you to do some insane juking and dodging. For example, a roll followed by jump makes you go higher, and a lot of places on the maps are specifically designed to take advantage of that, allowing players with better movement and map knowledge to excell. A lot of new players do think the TTK is high, but in reality dodging extends that time a tonne if you do it properly and know how to juke – essentially, the game rewards experience and skill by giving you survivability – you have to earn the right to live;
    – The same fluidity is apparent in mouse movement – I usually don’t play TPS games, but Loadout is just extremely twitchy and precise, there’s nothing in your way stop you from demonstrating your aiming abilities and reflexes in their true form. It’s been a while since I’ve played a game that allows me to play almost exclusively with hip fire and be effective;
    – Obviously you aren’t going to get eleventy billion viable weapons in a modular system, but there’s some silly looking stuff out there that’s actually very much on par with most of the standard weaponry. For example, you can build up a charged beam that can be used both as a sniper and a close ranged semi-auto rifle due to the inherant 100% accuracy of beam chassis. You can effectivelly control an area by building a a launcher with flak and tesla, which doesn’t do insane damage, but persists – something that’s very useful in Blitz (think cap points). Another weapon I saw a guy use the other day to great effect was a launcher that shot extremely slow but high damaging missles and guided them around as an escort with laser sights – just imagine running around the corner and facing a dude with 5 huge missles flying infront of him ready to pin you down. At the end of the day, of course there’s going to be a somewhat limited selection of truly competitive gear, there’s nothing out of the ordinary here compared to any other competitive shooter on the market – I hate it when people try to apply an illusionary standard to games, they will never be pleased;
    – Great map design, old school HP pickups instead of regen. Makes survivability a skill on its own, and the way maps and packs are set up, allow for some grand back and forth juking. This isn’t as apparent when playing with people with no map knowledge or dodging abilities, but when you get evenly matched proficient players, the rush is simply uncomparable.

    Generally, I’d liken Loadout a lot to old school shooters a la Q3 and UT, purely as a shooter. For me personally, the main draw is the fulidity and responsiveness, it’s just unparalleled on the market right now, even by that poor misguided beast Shootmania. The weaponcrafting is a great gimmick, and there’s a lot of rock-paper-scissors dynamics there, but I could very well do with just the 20 or so truly viable guns, no problem.

    Anyway, time for some shameless montage plugs – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6GHwovF_yY

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