Rekoil Preview: Minimalist Mayhem

One word kept coming up during my half-hour play-and-chat with Plastic Piranha president Jason Brice at PAX Prime: “minimalist.” Of course, he meant it in the most positive way possible, and after being bombarded by wave after wave of samey shooters over the last several years, I definitely welcome his unique approach to the competitive multiplayer FPS genre.

Developer: Plastic Piranha
Platform: PC
Release date: December 2012 (tenative)

Think of Rekoil as a simplified version of your favorite military shooter: no perks, no kill streaks, no vehicles, no regenerative health, and most importantly, no campaign. The point is to drop you into the action and keep you hooked for every second of every match.

Part of that constant connection is due to instant respawns and the freedom to change your class at any moment. When I realized the map I was in was far too large for a shotgunner, I pulled up the menu, selected scout, and within half a second I was respawned, sniper rifle in hand. It’s all very fast and focused.

But don’t mistake simplicity for lack of quality or balance. There are still lots of different customizable loadouts, five different classes, and intricately designed maps of varying sizes. Plastic Piranha has worked with DICE and other leading multiplayer shooter devs, so to say they know a bit about the genre is an extreme understatement. Brice told me Rekoil will allow 32 max players, will offer 10-15 maps at launch, and feature 8-10 game modes at launch. The modes include:

Team Deathmatch
Capture the Briefcase
Cyberpunk (search and destroy)

Probably because of Brice’s background, Plastic Piranha will be fully supporting and encouraging mods (tools available on day one) and eSports integration. Rekoil is meant to appeal to the core gamer, and if it’s priced right and made readily available, I can absolutely see this game not only taking off but evolving far beyond the developer’s original intentions. The build I played was a very early Alpha, so it didn’t feel as tight as it should – but the framework is clearly there.

If this sounds like your bag, you can support Rekoil on Steam Greenlight.

Game Front is on-site at PAX Prime all weekend (Aug 31-Sep 2), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!

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