Rekoil preview: back to basics

Whereas most modern FPS games are all about adding features, Rekoil from indie developer Plastic Piranha is all about simplicity. There's no leveling-up mechanic. There aren't any vehicles to be found. Your character won't display any special abilities or earn any kill streaks. Like many classic multiplayer FPS games before it, Rekoil isn't about realism. It's an arcade shooter through-and-through. Characters can hold shotguns, miniguns, and rocket launchers. The action unfolds quickly, as players die fast and respawn even faster. Stages are kept intentionally small,in order to maintain a frantic pace. I found this out quickly, as I couldn't go more than a few seconds without finding a target to shoot at. However, it becomes too easy to get killed right after spawning. This can feel a bit cheap and could lead to possible spawn camping. There's also the potential for smaller maps to become grenade fests, which typically sucks the fun out of this type of game. Maps pay homage to other shooters. For example, River Side is a marshland map that pays tribute to the classic Bog map from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Meanwhile, a map featuring dual sawmills pays respect to other games that use a similar setting, like Battlefield 1942 and Team Fortress 2.

Stages like the prison are designed to keep the action going

If these maps aren't your cup of tea, Rekoil fully plans to offer mod support. Players will be able to utilize Steam Workshop in order to create their own playing fields, as well as different game modes. While any content created will be downloadable for Steam owners, Xbox 360 owners will see the best content bundled up for download every couple of weeks, though it remains to be seen whether this content can be distributed for free or not. Plastic Piranha CEO Jason Brice notes that the game is also being built with eSports in mind. Brice says that the removal of perks and killstreaks lends to a much more even playing field and creates an ideal competitive environment for pro teams. The competitive atmosphere is part of the reason that Rekoil will release with native Twitch support in the game's options menu. Plastic Piranha is putting the finishing touches on Rekoil and plans to ship it with Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Briefcase, and Hold the Briefcase modes, with a Search & Destroy mode in line for the game's first content patch. The game is aiming to release in early November on PC and Xbox 360.