EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Matt Porter
previewed on PC
Back in time
I was a little too young for Quake, so Unreal Tournament 2004 was the first shooter that I played the hell out of in my youth. Then, in 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came along and made everything so… serious. Of course, it was a fantastic, revolutionary game. But it was so good that just about every developer of shooters tried to emulate it, to the extent that the fast paced FPS games of old fell by the wayside. Toxikk is in Early Access on Steam right now and is hoping to bring back the magic of the arena FPS.
I mean, remember frags? No, not fragmentation grenades you anorak, I’m talking about kills. “Frag like it’s 1999!” is the first thing you’ll see written on Steam’s store page and as soon as you start playing those waves of nostalgia will start flooding back. You play as a futuristic robot lookin’ dude and start jumping around the map, shooting anything that moves with a variety of weapons that spawn at particular locations. You’ll also find health and ammo pickups littered around to help you out. It all becomes very familiar very quickly.
Into the future
What they didn’t have back in the 90s and early 00s was slick graphics. Toxikk looks pretty good right now, although everything is fairly dark and gritty. However, there is only one map available at the moment, a futuristic version of Hong Kong at night, so you’ve got bland concrete mixed with bright neon lights and advertising boards. The developers have said that the game will be in Early Access for around 4-6 months, and over that time many more maps will be implemented.
There are also only two game modes in at the moment, your standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch types. Again, more will be added as time progresses. There are currently tooltips on the loading screens teasing an array of vehicles that will be at the player’s disposal once everything is finally in the game. The various vehicles in UT2004 were a big draw for me, so I’m excited to see them in a modern shooter environment.
Right now, everything feels like you would expect it to. The movement feels fast and responsive. You’re always jumping and dodging around to move out of the way of bullets and rockets or to get in a better position to get the drop on your enemy. The weapon balance does need a little tweaking, but it’s not far off at the moment. Everyone starts with a pistol, but once you’ve learned the maps everyone will be making a beeline for the best weapons from the get go.
Keep your sights trained on this
Each weapon has two modes of fire, bound to each of your mouse clicks. For example, your pistol has a single fire and three round burst fire. The machine gun fires normal bullets or lobs a grenade. The plasma rifle is an automatic weapon that also has a beam shot attached to its alt-fire.
The potential is there to turn Toxikk into a great fast paced shooter when it finally releases. If you’re looking to buy into it early, be warned that maps and game modes are currently very limited. There aren’t a great number of players online at any given moment, but I never found it hard to find an available game and there is a bot mode if you’re so inclined. I would wait for a few more updates before making the purchase, but if developer Reakktor Studios makes good on its promises, Toxikk is certainly one to watch.
The game has potential, but we're not ready to jump in with both feet. If the game interests you, look, but don't touch - yet.