Modern shooters tend to follow the same principles: Everyone starts off on the same level, with the same weapons and armors. By playing the game and completing challenges, players can unlock armor, weapons, and in games like Titanfall, perks that enhance abilities.
Sounds great on paper, and for the first week after launch, it feels great. But then a large gap appears between the players. For those like myself, balancing a full-time job, trying to keep up with kid(s), and real-world responsibilities prevent us from leveling as fast as we like, whereas players like teenagers or students out of school for the summer are able to level up, gain all the perks, and drop a Titan on our heads like we’re Jaegerbombtastic’s mother.
Two cookies for anyone who can get both references in the last sentence.
But the game Toxikk wants to take players back to the core of an arena FPS, where a victory isn’t ensured by what team has the best perks, but who has the best skills and reflexes. To summarize, Toxikk is eliminating the following features commonly found in FPS games nowadays:
- Regenerating health
- Cover system
- Configurable weapons
- Iron-sight aiming
“Toxikk plays as if today’s military shooters never existed.”
So what does it have? Toxikk boasts double-jumps and dodge-jumps, as well as performance boosters that can be found on the arena to supplement your arsenal of weapons. There are nine weapons total, each with a secondary fire mode, and you can carry all of them at once. While there is character customization, it is strictly cosmetic and does not affect gameplay or tactics. Dying in Toxikk means respawning with only a pistol and melee weapon.
“Frag like it’s 1999!”
Don’t be fooled by the ‘XP’ in the game, either. Gaining XP doesn’t mean players will level up. Rather, it is used for reputation, and matchmaking. In addition to the online multiplayer there is an offline bot mode allowing players to practice before pitting themselves against other players.
Maps are put into two categories: Classic, and Massive. Classic maps can hold up to eight players, and are medium-sized arenas with ‘fast-paced’ gameplay. Massive maps up the population to sixteen, and require more strategy-based combat. Various vehicles are exclusive to the massive maps, such as gliders and hoverbikes.
But if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Toxikk supports user-generated content. Anyone who plays can submit for a free software development kit (SDK) to build their own maps, characters, and skins. A hub is planned to be launched later down the line for users to submit their creations, and the community to vote on them.
Of course, this means that we’ll have to suffer through piles of My Little Pony maps, but it’s a fair price to pay if someone makes an awesome Firefly/Serenity map!
“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.” – Reakktor
Staying true to its vision of taking arena FPS back to the roots, the developer Reakktor has stated that the game will not be “Free-to-Play”. The game can be pre-purchased now from Reakktor for $15. While the game does not have a release date yet, and is estimated for Q4 2014, Reakktor is assuring those interested that the core experience of the game is pretty much finished, and that they are working on polishing the game, adding more maps, and fine-tuning player movements. They’re also looking for feedback from users on the forums.
“TOXIKK will be released no matter what, but your support will help us to create even more content and to add a more polished feel to it.”
Toxikk will only be releasing on the PC at this time. While Reakktor has not ruled out a console release, they have stated that it is probably unlikely, as they feel a keyboard and mouse is where the true arena FPS experience lays. Of course, if they get enough support and demand for a console release, that could change, but only time will tell.
You can find more information about Toxikk at:
- The official website for Toxikk
- The official website of Reakktor
- Reakktor on FaceBook
- Toxikk on FaceBook
- The Twitter page of Reaktor
- Toxikk‘s official forum
So what do you all think of a game that strips the arena FPS gameplay down to the basics?
Kayla Swenson is an aspiring author and former DJ from Seattle, WA that procrastinates far too much with video games to get a book out. When she’s not gaming until carpal tunnel sets in, she’s working on dreams of being a voice actor as well as a published writer. Fond of RPGs, she will happily disappear into the void to tackle whatever bad voice acting awaits. Contact her at the email above, or on all major systems/networks as Beltravi.