I’m Addicted To UT: Toxikk

Toxikk is a throwback, a self-proclaimed bullshit-free arena shooter that looks back to the days of Unreal Tournament. No regenerating health, no free to play, no classes. Yes! An end to class warfare, an end to something-for-nothing culture, an end to untenable healthcare! The video below is a party political broadcast from Reakktor Studios but it shows the walk as well as the talk. It’s a Back To Basics campaign backed up by a game that’s thankfully quite a bit more colourful than John Major.

Looks good, yeah? Maybe. Statements like the following make me realise how little I know about modern competitive FPS games.

After each death, you respawn with a melee weapon and a basic pistol. All other weapons are to be picked up while you play. Character customization is of cosmetic nature only.

However, unlike the shooter giants from the past, TOXIKK features an XP and a bounty system. The XP system and its associated ranks are used for reputation purposes, for our match-making algorithms and to unlock new skins, but they do NOT change the stats or the abilities of your character. Your rank will show other players how experienced and skilled YOU are (rather than showing the experience level of your game character).

I know that’s not how the majority work anymore but it still seems weird to see developers having to point out that they’re doing simple things in an apparently old-fashioned way. I enjoy unlocks and levelling to an extent, but if I’m going to run around an arena shooting at people, I don’t want anyone to have an in-built advantage because they’ve spent more money or played for longer.

In an alarming development, real life racing competition has taken a step toward introducing pay-to-win buffs of a sort. Creepy.

For those who came here from Twitter, I say this. Never forget.

41 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    I’ve been playing Quake Live a little recently now it’s on Steam – that’s probably enough to be honest to keep me going until we’re a good few builds into the new UT. This does looks good though, and $15 isn’t too bad to get you in.

    • Faxanadu says:

      I don’t know why you would pay to play this when you can play Quakelive for free – from the footage in the trailer I gathered this game doesn’t have much Y-axis shooting – which is the hardest thing by far for most players. I play Quake to get better aim, and if I don’t get practice on the Y-axis it’s no good. Not to mention Y-axis kills are just bloody awesome. Hitting someone soaring above you mid-air with a rocket is very entertaining.

      Oh playing the game for that game itself? Why’d you do that, looks boring as hell. Go play a smart FPS like Natural-Selection 2 and get the same fun but with intelligent gameplay. (As intelligent as FPS gets anyway…)

    • The First Door says:

      I was playing some Quake Live this weekend as well, just to see how the changes altered the game. I used to play loads of Q3 so I was curious. I must admit… the changes just seem odd. They just seem to discourage you from actually trying new weapons. After all, I can set a loadout I like and then just pick up universal ammo, so I’m very rarely actually forced to use a weapon I suck with. On the plus side, it seemed to be a pretty nice community.

      Anyway, as for Toxikk, it does look interesting, mostly because it’s very similar to UT2K4 which I adored, but it looks awfully slow after a weekend of Quake Live!. It will be interesting to see how fun the vehicles are to drive around in the larger maps, though, as that was always what made Onslaught interesting.

  2. Rao Dao Zao says:

    It looks good but I don’t have the stomach for playing against real people. An Unreal-style linear FPS mode or a UT-style ladder-against-bots mode, however…

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Me too, I prefer some good bots. I still fire up the original Unreal Tournament from time to time.

  3. Shar_ds says:

    So, yes, Unreal Tournament then….

  4. qeloqoo says:

    So they stripped FPS of so-called “bullshit” (i’m not arguing that many of those features are indeed unnecessary), didn’t add anything conceptually new and have UT2004 with renewed graphics. The question is – why not play UT2004?

    • simulant says:

      Improved graphics was always enough for me. I hate unlocks in FPS games… There’s always someone uselessly running around trying to get a defibrillator kill so they can acquire some dogtag or whatever….

      • hewhosayszonk says:

        Hey now. In defence of the humble defib kill, people were running around uselessly shock-paddling enemies long before the game provided any incentive for doing so.

      • DeVadder says:

        I spent days playing Rambo in BF1942, trying to knife people at corners or in “woods”. No archievements needed for people to do dumb thinks in games.

    • Xocrates says:

      Yeah, while the game does look solid, watching the trailer I just kept thinking that it looked exactly like UT3 – where the improved graphics actually made it worse than UT2k4 (more detail -> less readable environments -> slower reaction time)

      • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

        That was my feeling too. UT3 was a huge mess, visually, and it made the game very hard to read. They reused a lot of Gears of War assets in UT3, but it turns out that a game moving at several times the speed and in more than one plane needs to be clear.

        At least Epic recognizes that, and are working on making the new UT easily readable. We’ll see how that goes.

  5. Ansob says:

    UT99 didn’t have vehicles, but I guess “party like it’s 2003/4” isn’t as catchy a slogan.

    e; also, no flak cannon = no sell, sorry. *crosses arms*

  6. Myrdinn says:

    I enjoy unlocks and levelling to an extent, but if I’m going to run around an arena shooting at people, I don’t want anyone to have an in-built advantage because they’ve spent more money or played for longer. “

    Truest words ever spoken!

  7. Horg says:

    If this gets the post release developer support and mod content that Tribes Ascend never did, I could see myself playing this for a long time.

  8. iyokus says:

    Is there some reason this couldn’t be Toxic, developed by Reactor, or did they just want to take things to the eXXXtr3me?

    • colorlessness says:

      well, being eXXXtreme is also pretty 1999.

      • Geebs says:

        Remember kids – when being xtreme, it’s “two k’s good, three k’s bad”

  9. eightbitrobot says:

    Hmm, this seem to be more about the large scale stuff than the usual UT gameplay.

    But in the end I always preferred Quake, and especially Challenge Promode, which is why I’m looking forward to Reflex more than any other upcoming Arena FPS.

    link to reflexfps.net

    • Hunchback says:

      Reflex looks quite promising.
      Sadly, i doubt they’ll get the money, nowadays everyone’s waiting on the next CoD 15 Black Ghost OPS Death Future: SPEC Origins – Platnium Millenia Edition, The Beginning

      Aaaand arena shooters are lost.
      But who knows, maybe there’s hope and they’ll make a comeback, like point and click adventures did recently, for which i am oh so happy!

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        I think the new Unreal Tournament has definitely piqued peoples interest again, hopefully enough interest for these arena shooters that are being released between now and the release of UT to find a foothold. These games will undoubtedly become better after extended post release development for balance reasons and it needs the community there to make that worthwhile. Also multiplayer FPS games are usually a bit of a mess at first, then the community decides which game modes and which maps it likes and it settles down into a more finely honed experience. None of this can happen if the game never gets off the ground.

    • sberg says:

      | Lan support

      I wish more games would do that. I hope that it will get funded.

    • HKEY_LOVECRAFT says:

      I was about to post that I’d just learned of Reflex earlier today and had backed it, thrilled by what I saw in the Kickstarter video. Although I’d previously backed Toxikk weeks ago, I’m actually more impressed by Reflex’s proposed offerings.

      Here’s hoping one of these scratches that UT/Q3A itch. The inclusion of challenging, intelligent but non-cheating bots in either would be a huge plus.

    • JonnyBase says:

      This looks brilliant!

      Nothing beats the buzz of fast paced quake gameplay.

      I don’t care about fancy graphics!…just give me a tweakable cfg file and I’m yours!

    • zentropy says:

      Yuss! So hype.

  10. Malibu Stacey says:

    Reakktor being the people who previously brought us Black Prophecy. The space MMO which barely made it to 18 months before being shut down?

    I’ll put this in the “wait & see” category. Until then, Warsow & Xonoticare still things which exist.

  11. Megazell says:

    I play games like UT99, UT2k4, Red Eclipse, Nexuiz Classic, Cube 2: Sauerbraten, Xonotic, Quake 3 Arena, Assault Cube, Warsow, Tribes Ascend, TribesNext and HL 2: Deathmatch every week. Every month, I either host or attend a LAN party with friends and family.

    At the LAN parties I attend this game would be hit IF:

    – We can LAN server this bish
    – We can forgo the Match Making service and connect directly with friends on the servers of our choosing
    – (Super Optional) Edit or make maps.
    – It supports multiple OSes

    This game looks great. Going to go learn some more about it but it would be nice in the coverage to at least cover the ways in which a game like this can be played.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Edit – Seems like you have to pay an extra price to LAN. No dice.

    I’m usually very cheap and normally only mess with freeware/f2p games – Recently, I started to look at supporting devs making products exactly how I like them (DRM-Free, Supporting Linux Natively, MP games with LAN options…ETC). Paying for features is not something I am willing to support.

    I wish them luck.

    • dasail says:

      Nope, you pay for “gamemaster” rights on their servers. Lan will be free.

      -Edit

      Lol not even true :P Read the following:

      Sticking to our “NO BULLSHIT” policy, Clan Admin Privileges (CAP) are no longer planned as a purchasable extra feature.

      Instead, the CAP feature package (being able to host dedicated server(s), host online and LAN-games, and access to the game’s Clan Admin Tools) will be available to everyone, with EVERY copy of Toxikk purchased!

      Source: link to toxikk.com

      Hell Yeah!

      • Megazell says:

        Thanks for the clarification. Glad to hear they changed their minds. I don’t know about how I feel about their intentions, though. Like they would have charged if they could have gotten away with it but since forum pressure increased they changed. Still I am going to relook at the game now.

  12. hewhosayszonk says:

    One arena shooter I wish I’d spent more time in was the multiplayer of Prey. That was some disorienting craziness.

  13. SuicideKing says:

    Reminds me more of Halo at Quake speeds.

  14. thelastpointer says:

    I like how this one looks like. But, as always, we’ll have to play the game to see how it holds up to UT99… which makes me a bit conflicted about the “no f2p” part :P

  15. DeVadder says:

    I do not get that “No F2P because no F2P” stuff. Why not try to identify what bothers you about it and try to do it right? I mean i can understand if they figure that they cannot do it right and thus do no F2P but using that as a argument to buy the game?
    I really love the Smite way of F2P: Either buy characters one by one with earned currency or spend 20€ once and have everything forever. Basically a giant demo of sorts. That has the huge advantage that those that want the game can just buy it and be done with the F2P while still profiting from the populated servers (even Titanfall struggles with that), new content and opportunity to play with buddies who did not buy it that F2P entails.
    I just cannot see this retaining a sufficient community with Tribes, Warsow, Quake and others all beeing freely available and UT around the corner. Also it looks annoyingly slow, but i admit, that may very well change or just be my opinion.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      These shooters can do F2P but it must be cosmetic only. Tribes Ascend proved that putting all of the usable equipment behind ridiculous paywalls is a sure fire way to ruin your game. It would be even worse for an arena shooter as part of the gameplay is finding the weapons on the map/learning where they are. Balance cannot be ruined in a game like this. Also cosmetics can also be difficult to pull off given that, at least in team games, people are generally coloured red or blue for ease of recognition. Allowing people to have hundreds of unique visuals could also screw the gameplay up.

      Buy to play is a good model for this genre, the problem is PC gamers now have become too accustomed to getting everything for nothing and getting enough people to throw down $15 for this when they could play any number of free games could be a problem. Hopefully they get enough people buying to hold a community together, from there the game has a chance of growing if it is good.

  16. hotmaildidntwork says:

    All of those things that it doesn’t have, and they still saw fit to include the continuous stream of Statistically Tracked Achievement Points? :\

  17. JustAchaP says:

    Hopefully people will actually play this. Can’t play UT because no one bloody plays it.

  18. Tomo says:

    Looks great this. Please do a Wot I Think when it’s released RPS, or I’ll probably have forgotten about it by then!

  19. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    First of all, who’s your A&R
    A mountain climber who plays an electric guitar
    But he don’t know the meaning of dope
    When he’s looking for a suit and tie rap
    that’s cleaner than a bar of soap

  20. zentropy says:

    So basically this is UT3?

  21. headless97 says:

    They lost me at “Massive Maps and Vehicles.” The Onslaught mode was antithetical to everything UT. Arena shooters need compact maps with varying degrees of space to support the variety of weapons available to use and to make the movement speed feel as fast as it is. Once you open up the environment and add vehicles, traveling on foot is slow and gets you killed, and the weapons aren’t effective against vehicles. It ends up being a bad version of Battlefield.