By: Casey Curran
It’s pretty safe to say that most gamers have their own FPS of choice to play online. Personally, I’ve always been a Counter Strike fan. I prefer its customizable approach so much better than Call of Duty’s, and I love the maps and way the weapons feel. So when I saw that Rekoil Liberator was in many ways trying to mimic the series, I was cautiously optimistic. One match later, that all went away.
Rekoil feels cheap. Both moving and aiming feel very stiff, which takes away much of the fun from shooting. Unless the weapons are radically different, they all feel too similar. Combine this with how the weapons do not feel very powerful, and shooting is not fun and lacks variety. The worst offender, however, is the precision in aiming. Lining up a shot feels horribly imprecise whether firing from the hip or aiming down the sights. All this piled up just results in sloppy, messy controls.
As with how the game feels cheap, it looks cheap as well. Character models are far too blocky, even for a downloadable game with bland environments. The color palette does nothing to make these areas pop out, which combined with the low graphical prowess makes the game look terrible. Sound effects are decent, but not enough to really pop out or let the audio make up for the visuals.
By far the low point, though, are the animations. This game looks horrible in motion, whether it’s your own sprint animation or the other characters’ jump animations. Medal of Honor Heroes 2 on the Wii, a game whose animations were so bad they made me lose interest in the system and get an Xbox 360, still had better animations than this.
Rekoil Liberator’s big feature is that, like Counter Strike, there is class customization without the progression found in Call of Duty. In other words, a player starting up for the first time will have the same weapons as one that has played over 200 matches. While it is still not exactly like Counter Strike, the changes in the setup are not worse, just different.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the execution. The maps are all very basic and bland, often just a giant square with maybe a twist or two to hide in, and maybe a few obstacles in between. There is little variation between maps other than the environments as well, and they seldom employ many ways to distinguish themselves.
Gameplay modes are as standard as they come. Deathmatch, capturing arenas, holding onto or playing capture the flag with a briefcase; if it’s in here, it’s been done better in Call of Duty. The spawning, however, is what really makes the game a pain to play. Spawning with an enemy facing your back was way too common an occurrence, as was having an enemy spawn right in front of you. The other flaws, while serious, manage only to wound the game, but the poor spawning is what kills it.
Even if Rekoil Liberator was a solid shooter, I would find it hard to recommend. In the time since I started playing, I have slowly seen the online community die until the point where I could not find a game during an afternoon. This could just be me logging on at the wrong time, but I just want to give a warning that even if you do enjoy the gameplay, you still may not be able to play it (on 360 at least).