Modern first-person shooter games like Call of Duty and Battlefield have conditioned players to expect elements like leveling, classes, and cover systems. But one upcoming FPS has none of those features, and its developer--German studio Reakktor--says the game is better off for it.
Toxikk is a PC title built using Epic Games' Unreal Engine. The game is designed to return the arena FPS genre to its roots, which means no leveling, no regenerating health, no perks, no cover systems, no classes, no configurable weapons, and no iron-sight aiming. "Toxikk plays as if today's military shooters never existed," its developers say.
Instead, players will find that Toxikk allows for "fast and precise movement," thanks to "deeply configurable" mouse controls. You can also perform double-jumps and dodge-jumps. In addition, players can pick up various performance boosters in the game to supplement your arsenal of weapons. There are nine unique guns in all, and you can carry them all simultaneously. In addition, every weapon has a secondary fire mode.
When you die in Toxikk (and it sounds like that will happen often), you will respawn with a melee weapon and basic pistol, nothing more. You'll need to find other weapons on the battlefield. Though there is character customization, it is cosmetic in nature only, Reakktor says. This is part of ensuring that "all players are equal."
There is an XP system in Toxikk, but this system, and the ranks associated with it, are used for reputation and matchmaking purposes only. Toxikk will also include an offline bot mode for players who would like to hone their skills before going head-to-head against live opponents on the battlefield.
Toxikk is a paid game, and you can pre-purchase a copy today from Reakktor for $15. Though free-to-play is a rising trend on PC, Reakktor wants nothing to do with this business model.
"We believe that classic arena FPS and free-to-play don't go well together," Reakktor says. "A true arena FPS requires all player characters to have equal stats and the availability of all weapons to everyone. Always! The skill of a player should be the only deciding factor about victory or defeat. Allowing players to buy different (i.e. better) weapons or to permanently boost their stats does totally contradict the idea of classic arena FPS gaming in our opinion."
Toxikk will have two kinds of maps: Classic Maps and Massive Maps. Classic Maps will feature fast-paced gameplay and are described as medium-sized environments for up to eight players. Massive Maps, on the other hand, will require more strategic gameplay on larger-sized locales for up to 16 players. There will also be various vehicles like gliders and hoverbikes exclusively on Massive Maps.
Another component of Toxikk will be user-generated content. All players can apply for a free software development kit (SDK) that will allow them to build their own maps, characters, and skins for the game. Reakktor will eventually launch a "hub" for users to submit their own content, which can then be voted on. All user-generated content will be offered for free.
"We believe that classic arena FPS and free-to-play don't go well together" -- Reakktor
Could Toxikk come to consoles some day? Reakktor hasn't ruled it out, but it doesn't sound likely. "We believe that shooters are meant to be played with mouse and keyboard," the developer said. "That's why Toxikk is exclusively designed for PC. At this point, we do not intend to port the game to any other platform."
Reakktor is launching Toxikk all on its own, without a publisher. According to Reakktor, that means it does not have access to a marketing team to help promote the game. The developer hopes that fans will spread the word about Toxikk to make the game a success.
Reakktor says the core experience for Toxikk is "pretty much finished," and the studio is now working on more multiplayer maps and fine-tuning player movement within the game. The developer is also looking for fan feedback, and encourages you to submit your ideas and opinions through the game's official forums, where you can talk directly to developers.
Toxikk is in development exclusively for PC and should launch on Steam as an Early Access title later this year.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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