Ballistic Overkill will soon be out of early access and become a fully fledged game! The Steam Page proudly boasts that the game will be leaving early access very soon, actually, it's the final week this week. But why should you care? You've probably spent the past few weeks playing Call of Duty or something equally as bland.
So from that image you probably think it's a shooter, right? Well, yes, you're correct. It's a first person shooter, something Call of Duty has made abhorrently boring as of late. But I've been playing this game for the past few weeks now and I want to share my experiences with you. Because by God, when a good game is released, it needs to be talked about. You can get the game for £4.99 on the Steam store (which is linked above).
Hmm. I struggle to really put anything here. Mainly because there isn't a story. None whatsoever. Not one single essence of a story, and no hint at one to be created. You may be thinking that the lack of story isn't bad, you're just dropped into a game and then away you go. None of that reading to bog you down. Well, I think the biggest downfall of the game is actually the lack of story.
I'll explain quickly what I mean. This game is a six vs. six shooter with unique classes. It's a lot like Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch in that respect. Obviously, both of these games used unique characters to its advantage of creating a rich backstory that has kept fans of the series playing for years on in some cases. I feel, personally, that a lot more players would be invested deeper into the game if the characters you played as in the game were given some sort of backstory. There are a good seven or eight characters to choose from, and it'd be pretty easy to make a backstory for them all.
But of course, at the same time, the lack of character development works perfectly. I think this game and its developers realised pretty early on that class based, story rich shooters is an over saturated market to make a game for. They've gone for more of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive approach. It's just some guys and gals shooting at each other in various areas. They sort of have names though such as Berserker and Shadow. I mean, they're not really names, but they sort of are. Anyways, there isn't really anything else to mention story wise so let's just crack on with the rest of the preview.
The most important part of a team based shooter is the balance of the classes. If you haven't got a balance to the gameplay then it's just no fun. Thankfully, this game manages the balance perfectly. With more than one class to pick from, you manage to group together a variety of skills that every player can manage. Some players will migrate towards other classes, becoming better and better. Unlike Call of Duty and other games such as that, there isn't a class system, but a system where you can choose any weapon you like. But this game manages to give a great variety of classes that are varied perfectly.
Arguably the most important part of a shooter is how it looks. That's what I've been told anyway. Now, personally, I don't think graphics matter. But this is 2017, a time of vape sticks and such, so I suppose I have to state how the game looks. Gorgeous is the only word I can think of. It's got that certain look in games that I genuinely love and there's no way of explaining it. And that's how I know a game looks lovely when I can't describe how amazing the graphics are.
Just as a quick example, you can see the graphics above. Not from me being alive, I never really managed to stay alive that long if I'm honest.
With so many classes to choose from, you may be cautious to think the game doesn't know how to balance it all. Luckily, the game balances all the classes perfectly. Every class compliments each other brilliantly. Say, for example, there was a sniper pinning down your whole team. What do you do? Well, you can switch to the Shadow class and sneak up behind him. There's no way of pinning a team down completely unless the team isn't very skilled.
Now for those who don't care about who they play with, you can use the Quick Play feature. Basically what this does is slap you into any old game of anything possible. I used this more than anything if I'm honest. Not because I'm too lazy to look for specific match types, but because it gave me the best variety for playing for this very preview. Although, there is a problem with the Quick Play feature that every other game has that uses this. The very first match I joined ended almost immediately. Primarily because my team lost. I still got 1000XP for doing this, but still, it would've been nice if my first game had been one I had actually played.
Of course, you can't just give out that much XP every game. Which is why the game gave only 750XP after that, and then less and less. Not only does the 1000XP give you an incentive to play every day, but the amount of XP you receive is spread over every class you play in a game. If you play only one class in a game, all the XP goes to that class. If you play all classes in one game, then you can expect there to be a spread of XP over all the classes you play. It's a great system and it works brilliantly. Now I know what you're thinking, does that mean you can level up a class without actually playing it. No, you can't, you have to play the class for a certain time for it to actually count.
Personally, the classic Team Deathmatch was a favourite of mine, just as a nice throwback to my days of playing nothing but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Mind you, all the other game types are just as great. King of the Hill seemed to be extremely fun, mainly because the point never changed, it was a constant offensive and defensive game that was perfectly made. Each team needed to think strategically and work together for any progress to be made at all.
By that screenshot alone you can probably tell I'm not the best at this game. I usually get frustrated when I lose continuously at shooters. But this game isn't one of those. I kept playing, I wasn't mad. It was fun for a very long time, and I never found it repetitive or boring. Bearing in mind some of the godawful things I play, it comes as no surprise that I enjoyed my extensive break in playing this game.
Of course, for a Quick Play function to work, the loading times also need to be quick. Luckily, they are. For such a gorgeous game it manages to load everything exponentially quickly. In a year of amazing graphics, loading screens are something we just have to sit through. Not with this game, there are barely any loading screens and if there are, you can take the time to scan over the map layout, look for weak points and so on. It's used effectively and brilliantly.
And to coincide with the fast loading times, the gameplay is fast paced too. It's brilliant, as soon as you're dead you've basically respawned. That may be the stupidest thing I've ever said, but it makes sense anyway. Instantly re-spawning is great. On top of that, before you respawn, you can switch your class. It's small things like this that the game does so well.
Oh yeah, the game gets bonus points for not having a medic class. Instead, it uses health packs scattered around the map. An amazing throwback to older games that I greatly appreciated.
graphics and sound
An odd thing to pick up on, but the games menu looks bloody lovely. Yes, that's strange to mention, but here's a photo of it.
I mean, come on, look at that menu. It's gorgeous. I took this before I started playing the game so that's why I have a good K/D Ratio and W/L Ratio. But I thought a menu like this was perfect. You've got the character you play the most on the left-hand side and then on the right-hand side you have your stats. Usually in shooters, your stats are hidden behind menus upon menus of random guff, and it's not the easiest thing to see. Whereas in this game, they're present on the main menu screen; that's fantastic, and I love it.
On top of that, the menu is crisp, simple and clean. A lot of menus are cluttered with random things and so on. This is probably the most basic-looking menu I've seen in a while, and that's great. More is less in this case.
Ballistic Overkill is one of the best shooters I've ever played. If it wasn't apparent from this review, I feel as if this game has set an example to the gaming industry on how to make a truly great shooter. Hell, even if you took half the game and locked it away behind microtransactions, I'd still play it. I may be firmly against microtransactions, but this game is just so good I'd allow it.
And you all know me if you've read my other reviews, I'm a sucker for trading cards. It'll come as no surprise then that I was happily surprised that the game has trading cards. A lovely little bonus for while I play an immensely brilliant shooter.
For those looking for a new shooter to play, this is most certainly the game to look out for, certainly worth picking up on Steam right now. £4.99 for this! Christ that's insanely good. Believe me, this is one of the best shooters available right now, and it's also one of the most affordable too; so I can do nothing more than recommend you head on over to the store page linked at the top of this article and buying yourself seven copies.