The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Copycats of the newest, hottest thing are always going to be a part of the gaming industry. It’s no surprise that 505 Games is attempting to jump into the multiplayer FPS fray, but the final product isn’t even a poor-man’s version of Call of Duty. Rekoil is more like a poor man’s version of the original Counter-Strike.
If you were to compile a list of the most overused elements of multiplayer FPS from the dawn of the genre to today, Rekoil would be a much crappier version of what you’re imagining. It’s got the standard assortment of modes (Domination, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, etc), the standard assortment of classes (assault, heavy gunner, sniper, etc), and a variety of uninspired maps. It also does away with any kind of progression system, gifting you with every gun right out of the gate. I don’t know if the developers at Plastic Piranha were hoping for a more classic feel with this move, but it essentially strips away any motivation to continue playing.
Every element of Rekoil looks and feels cheap. Visuals are horribly dated. I encountered inexplicably long load times when customizing my loadout. Spawns are broken, and I was frequently gunned down before I could even get my bearings. Graphical glitches abound in almost every round. In the midst of this mess, Rekoil also frequently crashes to the desktop.
All of those problems are frustrating, but there’s a bigger problem that you face if you decide (for some reason) to play Rekoil: No one is playing it. As a multiplayer-only shooter, it’s a fairly big deal if you don’t have anybody to play with. I hopped into several matches that were nothing more than me running around an empty map. When I was able to get into actual matches, the gameplay was so bad that I was constantly checking the score to see how much longer I had to endure. That is, unless a sudden crash gave me a merciful exit.
If you want a multiplayer-only shooter without spending $60, there are plenty of options for cheap or completely free. Normally, this is the part of the review where I’d reiterate that you should not play Rekoil under any circumstance, but from the abundance of deserted maps I saw, it seems that most gamers have already received that memo.