Toxikk’s initial trailer promised a lot of bold things. A return to form of the arena shooter genre with all the flair of a modern shooter. While I was excited, I was also reasonably skeptical. So when I installed Toxikk the day after its release, I was ready for anything. Thankfully, the game has delivered on its promises thus far and is a very respecrtable entry in the fabled genre.
The only map as of writing is Foundry, a packed city in Hong Kong with weapons strewn about. The map looks very nice, with a lot of details thrown in that are easy to miss once the bullets start flying. Weapons are very deliberately placed, encouraging firefights over respawning laser rifles or the dreaded Cerberus Launcher, but more on that one later. The game looks very pretty, which is very nice. Water reflects off the ground, neon signs glow, and players explode into showers of gore after taking a rocket to the chest.
The game’s HUD is minimalistic, but it tells you everything you need to know. Not only do you have the basic health and ammo counters, but you can see your ranking in the leaderboards, your kill/death ratio, recent enemy deaths, and your MXP and BXP, which I still have yet to figure out what they exactly do. There is a leveling system, but it’s purely for achievements at the moment. However, the original trailer specifically said ‘no leveling’, so I expect it will stay this way.
The game currently only has two game modes, Bloodlust and Squad Assault, which are fancy names for Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. They work perfectly fine, and servers are rather densely populated. While it may not be a mark of a game’s quality, I’m also happy to report I’ve played with nothing but polite players, so thankfully you don’t have to expect the community to reflect the namesake.
Obviously, what matters most in a game like this is the gameplay, and I’m happy to report that it’s top notch. Characters move around the battlefield at a fair enough pace, but the shift key can allow you to dodge around the battlefield, and bunnyhopping is supported with an awesome double jump, perfect for airborne shots. There’s also a handful of weapons at the ready, and each of them are satisfying and fun to use.
However, one thing I will say against the game is that the weapons are anything but balanced. The shotgun and laser rifles are fine and all, but matches boil down to who can get to the Cerberus Launcher first, and then everyone running away. Perhaps if they gave weapons like the assault rifle more love, the game would feel more fair in comparison. However, there’s nothing wrong with firefights when it comes down to two non-launcher-wielding opponents.
So far, Toxikk is surprisingly good for an early access title. The movement is tight, the game looks great, the one map provided is interesting enough, and servers are packed. With more maps, game modes, mutators, and vehicles on the way, I can see Toxikk stealing many hours of my sleep in the months to come.
Full Disclosure: I was gifted this game by my friend as part of a 4 pack