Cody "Micajah" Bye, Managing Editor
Your boss is screaming at you. The laundry is in a 5-foot pile in your
bedroom. Your cat puked on the floor and your dog is eagerly licking it
up. Someone keyed your car and broke off your left mirror. This is the
type of day that requires a good cool down when you get home, something
to help you take your mind off of any stress you had earlier and reset
your altered attitude. A game where your entire motivation is shoot
whatever moves and blow crap up.
Luckily, the development crew at Pixel Mine Games must’ve
experienced a number of those particular days in their lives, because
shooting everything in sight is the major goal in style="font-style: italic;">Fireteam Reloaded,
their recently released online action game. When I was given the
opportunity to review this team-based shooter, I couldn’t
help but jump at the chance. I’ve grown accustomed to Pixel
Mine’s style of game creation – they’re
better known for their low visual-style MMOGs like style="font-style: italic;">Ashen Empires
– so I was eager to see what Pixel Mine could do with a game
designed to entice the action / shooter fan.
style="font-style: italic;">Fireteam Reloaded
is all about shooting anything that moves.
To start, players must make a quick decision regarding which character
class they’d like to play, choosing from the Scout, Commando,
or Gunner selections. Of course, the three classes act exactly as
you’d expect: Scouts are extremely fast and weak, Commandos
are middle of the road characters, while Gunners are slow but are the
toughest characters to kill. As I’m typically prone to do, I
went with the toughest and slowest character available and dropped into
my first game as a Gunner.
Although the developers also suggest that each class also has its own
damage capabilities, with the Gunner being the most explosive
character, once I was in-game I found that Gunners are at a fairly
distinct disadvantage. With the bazooka as their primary weapon,
Gunners can do little to truly augment their damage capabilities with
that particular gun, even though both the Commando and the Scout get
particular bonuses for aiming and range increments. Although they
obviously have the most hitpoints, Gunners also have nowhere near the
1v1 damage capabilities of their gun-toting friends.
After most of the initial games, even against bots, I was on a 1-to-1
death to kill ratio with my Gunner and I was consistently at the bottom
of the rankings. Almost as soon as I switched to the Commando avatar,
my kill to death ratio jumped to the 2-to-1 and I found myself leading
the combatants in kills and points earned. The Scout and the Commando
seem fairly similar in the way they operate, albeit with different
damage bonuses at close or long range, but I simply couldn’t
keep playing a Scout due to the strange look of that character.
Like most games with pre-selected classes, style="font-style: italic;">Fireteam Reloaded
doesn’t allow gamers any sort of customization
options with their selected characters. The Gunner and the Commando are
both the burly, Arnold-esque type males, and the Scout rounds out the
character crew by being the only female in the bunch. However, out of
the three, the Scout seems like the most over-the-top style-wise. The
Scout model has a twiggy waist, proportionally giant breasts, a overly
large army helmet, and sun-glasses; a avatar style that you really have
to like to play the character. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the
case for me.
The Trappings of Graphics
The Scout's outfit is
a bit over-the-top.
That said, I still enjoyed the overall art direction for
Reloaded. With a visual style similar to what you might
see in some of
the older isometric games like X-Com
pulled me back to my younger years where I spent hours toiling away at
the computer screen killing all of my enemies. Like many low-cost
online games, Fireteam
Reloaded attempts to sell itself on style and
panache rather than any sort of flashy 3D graphics. Even with
dated graphics, Fireteam
Reloaded still manages to be visually engaging
as long as you can overlook the lack of 3D animation.
Set on flat maps, your character moves around the screen using the
standard WASD buttons, but in a variant of the standard procedure.
Rather than being an intuitive “push the button that will
move you in a direction” the Pixel Mine developers use the
character and the aiming reticule as the movement focal point. By
pressing “W” (which is forward in most MMOGs /
FPSes) your character moves toward the cursor, while
“S” moves you backwards and so on.
Personally, I would’ve rather had my characters move in the
standard up-down-right-left movements on the character map, or even had
a “click to move” option available at default.
After a bit of finagling with the control scheme, you can find an
option that feels a bit better, I liked the "Tactical" option, but even
this control scheme doesn’t have the same sort of movement
options you’d expect. With the mouse-move combination already
in place, it’d be difficult for the players to come up with
any other option that the developers haven’t included
themselves. It just acts clunky, and the characters move at a pace
that’s unbecoming for an action shooter.
All the Extras
There's plenty of
items for you to buy in the Fireteam
Reloaded item shop.
Being a team-based online action shooter, it’s important to
discuss the four different game types that are available in the game:
Deathmatch, Flags, Gunball and Basetag. For the most part, all of the
games have fairly self-explanatory titles; Deathmatch is a team versus
team killfest while Flags is a map-takeover type scenario using flags
as the territory markers. Gunball is a “keep away”
ball game, where you’re simply trying to keep a
“gunball” away from the other team and score with
it if you can.
If you’re a serious gamer and interested in all the bells and
whistles attached to your game of choice, it’d be improper of
me to exclude any of the information regarding the microtransaction
products that are available to gamers. Like most free to play games,
has an item shop that allows you to buy any number of
the “extra” items you find in game for a minimal
fee. I purchased a few of the extras – I like setting up gun
turrets – and found that they were easy and useful, but not
Perhaps the most intriguing part of style="font-style: italic;">Fireteam Reloaded
is their voice
chat integration. Using the well known Vivox technology, Pixel Mine has
voice chat functionality as one of their integral parts of gameplay.
Personally, I think it’s a great step forward in gaming when
voice chat becomes the standard, and Pixel Mine is making a solid step
in that direction. Combine that with a fairly solid company (guild)
creation system, and you’ve got yourself a solid environment
for social interaction.
At the end of the day, Fireteam Reloaded is a fairly average,
free-to-play tactical shooter. The graphics and the social functions in
the game are perhaps the two high points, but otherwise style="font-style: italic;">Fireteam
Reloaded simply just acts as a quick way to blow off
you’re a fan of tactical or online shooters, you may want to
check this game out.
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(2.5 / 5 Hammers)
style="color: rgb(255, 255, 0);">Ten Ton
a great example of a game that has a good premise but only average
execution. Check this out if you're into online or tactical shooters.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Fireteam Reloaded Game Page.