Offensive Combat: Redux! – Or WTF is wrong with people?
tl;dr Offensive Combat: Redux! is an attempt to be edgy that falls flat and offers little in the way of compelling entertainment. Any number of other games excel at being amazing arena shooters without making me want to take a cheesegrater to my own brain.
I saw an announcement at PAX some years back about the original Offensive Combat. Nothing about a competitive FPS where players could wear banana costumes and be rude to their opponents appealed to me. So, like many others, I tossed the flyer and never gave it a second thought. Then I got an email last week with a code providing early access to the beta for Offensive Combat: Redux! so I could review and stream it ahead of its upcoming release. I clearly made the right call when I ignored the original game. This game tries hard to be offensive and succeeds in being about as offensive as stepping in dog shit. I’m somewhere on the scale of disappointed to angry and now I can’t get rid of the smell.
Rarely will I uninstall a game within two hours of first playing it. I do my best to give games a fair shake before passing final judgement on them and writing something up. Offensive Combat: Redux! was a torturous 111 minutes that I will never get back. I don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of a taunt after being taken out; taunting others just felt slimy and wrong. I can only imagine who this game would appeal to and they’re nobody I want to spend time with. I’m thinking Sid from Toy Story as a teen that never learned anything—there’s clearly something wrong with him, but he’s convinced he’s the coolest. That pretty well sums up their target audience.
Offensive Combat – terrible as advertised
Gameplay wise, Offensive Combat: Redux! is a straightforward FPS multiplayer game. Similar to other arena-style games, it features themed maps that populate with health and ammo spawns as well as special weapons or buffs. So while players can’t equip chainguns or rocket launchers in their loadout, they can camp the spawn points if that’s their thing. Otherwise, OC:R! currently offers capture the flag, deathmatch, or team deathmatch as its multiplayer game modes. Single player against bots is also an option… I’m bored off my ass just writing about this. Plenty of games out there do the arena deathmatch thing much better. There are some gimmicky maps (like one where you’re “abducted” and left in a nearby corn field), but nothing that wouldn’t be better served by another game.
The cornerstone mechanic of OC:R! is the ability to “pwn” opponents when they die. Part of a player loadout is choosing what four taunts they want to take into battle with them. Maybe go with a little dance? Maybe just a simple wanking motion? Which teabagging option should I go with? These are the important choices players need to wrestle with. Seriously, it’s one of the most important parts of the game. Players are incentivized and rewarded for what’s considered dickwad behavior anywhere else. I saw several leaderboards where a guy with more kills and a better k/d was ranked lower than someone who farted on the bodies of their opponents more often. Taunts also reward players with a variety of bling that includes random (sometimes exclusive) costume pieces, game currency, and xp.
Choose your weapons and body parts
The last two parts of the game to cover are weapons and character customization. Weapons come in a variety of traditional, sci-fi, and goofy flavors. Players get a primary (combat or sniper rifle), secondary (pistol, shotgun, SMG), melee (wooden sword, hammer, large fish, rubber chicken, etc.), and a grenade. Weapons have individual upgrade trees that players can spend xp on to unlock various perks and stat boosts. Though since all perks are additive, it might as well be a simple leveling mechanic. Character customization is at least mildly interesting with its LEGO minifig approach to creation. Players can mix and match body types consisting of a head, torso, arms, hands, and legs. There are matching sets, but since this is the most creative part of the game, I’d like to encourage people to go wild and let their freak flag fly.
In the end, I really don’t think I can recommend this game to anyone. Offensive Combat: Redux! is an abysmal attempt to dress up an otherwise mediocre arena combat game in the trappings of being “edgy” and anti-PC to capitalize on the current political climate. They actually created Drumpf (blue business suit or Make Offensive Combat Great Again attire) and Killary (black and white prison garb) characters. I wish it would draw in the toxic elements of gaming and just let them fester together and leave the rest of us alone, but it’ll likely just encourage them to be dicks elsewhere. I’m sure there are people out there that are huge fans of teabagging and maybe it would appeal to them. I was going to make a snarky link to something related to teabagging culture, but then I discovered that this exists: Cosmo Guide to Teabagging – How to Teabag Your Man (totally NSFW). Between OC:R! and that, I’m just done. Fuck everything, the world is going to burn and I’m bringing marshmallows.