Obviously before you should read any first impressions, you should have your own, so watch it:
Alright now let’s take it from the top. The trailer is broken up with big splashy text, so we can respond to that.
It’s about time to take the arena FPS back to its roots
Awesome! I am very excited to hear about this. I am looking forward to more brutal combat in interesting spaces!
No Classes – Okay, I can get that. I mean, Team Fortress for Quake (the good one that Valve didn’t ruin) had classes and that was great, but I can see why you might perceive classes as an obstacle to an “old school” feel.
No Levelling – Nice. Needless progression to string out content and hold a carrot on a stick before the player is just insulting. Get rid of unnecessary grind, the gameplay should be its own reward. Wait, did they just show a vehicle in an “arena FPS”?
No Regenerating Health – No real comment here, this one is actually pure good news. Wait, did they just quickscope someone? How very… console.
No Cover Systems – Good to know… …is this a common thing in FPSes? FEAR3 comes to mind, that is about it… Do they consider lean features like in many tactical games, as well as some CoDs, to be a cover system? And wow there is a whole lot of vehicles. Is this Battlehalofield?
No Iron Sight Aiming – That is a design decision, yeah it isn’t old school, but the design isn’t necessarily just to slow gameplay down, it has to do with trade offs which are usually interesting.
No Reload – Reloading can make for tactical decisions, but it also makes for a lot of frustration. I guess this is a win.
No Bullshit – Oh good, everyone has a ping under 20 now on dedicated servers which rotate every minute the order of players it sends updates to, where the server is also running at the same framerate as the client? Unless you just mean “not horrible balance.”
Frag Like It’s 1999 – You mean frag like it is the decline of good FPSes? 1999 had Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament, which I enjoyed, but those were blips on the radar of a downward trend. I’d much rather party like it was 1997, you know, QuakeWorld was established with the only good form of Team Fortress, Quake 2 was on its way with the 200 player server support, Blood was out showing how to use older tech, Quake mods were thriving, level design still mattered, and gameplay hadn’t slowed down much (well, until Quake 2…).
High Octane Gameplay – Subjective, but I hope so.
Exclusively Designed for PC – How so? What is the minimum and maximum fov? Do I have console access to more quickly do things rather than navigating a menu? Can I set up chat binds and similar? Do the environments utilize the vertical input of a mouse? Because they look rather two dimensional to me, a la Battlefield.
Dodge and Double Jumps – Okay this really conflicts with the 1999 bit. Yeah UT99 had dodge, but double jumps? These can be fun, but what an odd bullet point feature.
Mutators – Sure. Though that looked like more normal gameplay. We need context.
Vehicular Game Modes – Yeah, fragging like 1999. Is this meant to be a Tribes thing? Because it feels more like a Halo thing, and Halo is the antithesis of what this project claims to be.
Lots of Vertical Gameplay – High spaces to fall from isn’t vertical gameplay, vertical gameplay is the three fold overlapping route leading to the water trap in The Wizard’s Manse in Quake. This is just empty space.
Nine Iconic Weapons – A nice number, I do hope they are good, with no inventory limit.
Secondary Fire Modes – Okay, so much more the UT school there.
Skill Based Rewards – “AC-130 online!”
Booster Pick Ups – You guys know they’re making another UT right?
Jump Pads – Is this worth a bullet point?
Health Packs – I would hope so if there isn’t regenerating health, but they aren’t exclusively “old school” or “arena”.
Classic Maps – What? You mean other game’s maps are in this? That is kind of confusing.
Massive Maps – Walk a long time to get fragged, or get into a vehicle. You guys know we have Battlefield already, right?
Skill Shots – Every game that has any variation of skill and has shooting has skill shots. Even Halo has skill shots.
Uncompromising – Uncommunicative.
No Free To Play – Alright. Though some people got confused by the delay in the “No” appearing, so you might want to clarify.
So this is me being more snarky than I usually am, but there are a lot of appeals to nostalgia for a game that screams mid-2000s to me. I don’t want “More Old School Games”, I want more great games, and the first person shooters from the mid-90s were the top of the genre’s form. It isn’t the time period, it is the game design, and that isn’t solely found in a bizarre check list. Toxikk could be good, but I doubt it will be “old school”, and this trailer made me more hesitant than someone simply saying “Hey, we’re making this game inspired by X with goals of Y, we hope you like it.” I am jaded and cynical at times, but I want games to be good. Appeal to gameplay, not nostalgia.