Free to play games can be amazing – but ultimately come down to impossibly long grinds that just happen to be a bit more enjoyable if you pay – or worse, can become much easier if you pay to win. It’s this model that ruins some otherwise good games, but what if a free to play game took a step back –  and decided that perhaps it would make more sense to release their game and remove the freemium model.

It’s a move being made by Aquiris who made a first person shooter that found its way onto Facebook, in the form of Ballistic. Now as a disclaimer, I’ve never played Ballistic, but I have heard that the game suffered from some of its free to play constraints.

Enter Ballistic: Overkill – a few weeks away from version 1.0 and a thoroughly enjoyable shooter. Pricing in at only £4.99 full price on Steam (as an early access title) – Overkill is a vibrant, fast paced shooter that has just enough skill based play to keep it interesting, as well as being easy to pick up and play.

Colours!

The game features several classes – often with interesting names that serve no more point than to confuse me – and focuses around a few key game modes and around 10 maps. Each class can have multiple load-outs to take into battle, and each offers the chance to load 2 perks unique to the class to really change up the character’s play style.

The game is very colourful, which is a nice departure from the generic browns and blues we are used to seeing recently. The art style works well and compliments the real world knock off weaponry that the game has to offer.

There is a good amount of different weapons which all perform uniquely and fulfil different needs. These weapons aren’t terrible but they are generic, and there’s not a great deal to write home about – gun-play is all right and works with the fast nature of the game, but if you’re into your weapons, you might be confused by some of the choices (My favourite is the Franchi SPAS 12 in the game, which seems to have a slower fire rate if you extend the buttstock).

The levels are designed well and can create tense stand-offs and fantastic ambushes when you become familiar with the layout. They are sized well, with enough room to move around and explore without being too far from the action – this isn’t going to appeal to the typical Battlefield or Squad player as much as it will the Call of Duty fans, but as a fan of the former (the last CoD I enjoyed was MW2) I can at least vouch that once you get used to the idea of speed strategy, you won’t feel as caged in as with some of the CoD maps.

This game offers a significant amount of fun for its price. Sure, you are going to see why it doesn’t cost £40+ in nearly every department – but it gets away with it well.

As a gamer who needs a title to jump into between other major titles, Ballistic Overkill is a perfect choice. The unlocks give me something to work towards, it has a more relaxed and colourful attitude and it has enough of an inspiration from the real world for me to relate to which weapon being used.

This Steyr AUG A-3 – alike works like a charm

New players may become a little frustrated with the game’s Shadow class, as they can cause utter devastation – and really do need limiting to one or two per team – but with time and patience you can beat them – or hell just join them and do as much devastation – whatever takes your fancy.

The game has skins that come in locked boxes –  a throwback to its free to play days, but there are no micro transactions present at this time. All of the boxes take time to unlock and once they are given, the player can unlock them for free. There are also plenty of listings on the Steam community market, encase you would rather guarantee a skin before the season changes.

Ballistic Overkill is a fun and underrated game, and if you have a fiver spare, it might just be worth your time. The small community is always active – this was a worry I originally had, but rather than looking at a list of empty servers I instead see myself noticing the names of certain players between games.

Perhaps more games should take a look at reverting from a free to play model – there are plenty that seem to go from paid to free after all – and if the price is right, the results could be incredible. I guess time will tell.

Ballistic Overkill is available on Steam Early Access.

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