Published on November 17th, 2014 | by Dan

Reflex v. Call of Duty: Why You Should Care About Reflex

The following opinion piece is a community article from Dalesy.  Dalesy is a crazed weeaboo who worships a Japanese Aryan goddess known as Mugi. His origin is unknown.

Reflex, the new arena FPS from Turbo Pixel Studios, has released on Steam as an early-access title. It dropped on the store on November 4th, the same day that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare released.

I bring up Call of Duty because the purpose of this piece is to provide contrast, and help those unfamiliar with PC shooters appreciate why contrast is desperately needed.

Reflex is a true return to the days of the ’90s twitch shooter. It’s been said a million times about a million releases within the past 5 or so years, but finally, we have the genuine product.

At least one of the developers behind Reflex worked on Quake 3 Challenge ProMode Arena—or CPMA—the official competitive mod for Quake 3 Arena. This mod made Quake 3 the eSports juggernaut that it was, giving the player greater control in the air, allowing for a great deal of customization with regards to player models and configuration, and further balancing the game for the realm of competition. Reflex attempts to bring shooters back to these roots.

Another important point to consider is that Reflex is completely PC-centric in its development. As PC gamers, we often get the short end of the stick. We are either given poor console ports, games that don’t allow for any of the customization that we’ve come to enjoy, or games that lack the essential options required of a PC title. Reflex suffers from none of these ailments, featuring an adjustable FOV, graphics settings, and in game map and replay editors. While some of these features are not present in the current alpha build, this game feels like a well optimized PC title already.

This is in stark contrast to the evolution of the Call of Duty franchise. Where Reflex aims to return to the days of the simple to understand, difficult to master shooter, Call of Duty moves forward in all the wrong directions. Each developer continues to shove as many perks, weapons, and killstreaks into the series’ formula as they can, amounting to an unbecoming clusterfuck that lowers the skill ceiling and doesn’t reward the player who spends countless hours improving. Instead of being simple to understand and difficult to master, Call of Duty has become difficult to understand, and simple to master.

Call of Duty is developed for console, and all too often the developers have shown their utter incompetence in handling the PC platform. They have imposed silly FPS caps, delivered poor performance, and relied on P2P connections as a means to host online play.

It is for these reasons that you should care about Reflex. It stands as one of the few games striving to be truly difficult and skill-based. It stands in opposition to industry trends towards the casual and the locked down. It is a PC shooter for PC gamers, and it is, in effect, standing up for the principles that have made the PC the premiere shooter platform.

For a more detailed look at Reflex’s mechanics and plans for the future, be sure to check out the official website.

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6 Responses to Reflex v. Call of Duty: Why You Should Care About Reflex

  1. GamesWithKniteRidet says:

    Not bad. This article brought up the key point of CoD that is often eluded to but not brought up — the skill cap is extremely low. That skill cap is the only reason it sells like it does, and essentially any other competitive shooter out classes it in fun and longevity due to actually rewarding talented players. Good article, fuck the haters, 420 blaze it, I’m out.

  2. KSDC says:

    Usually the quality of articles on here is pretty high, I’m honestly surprised this made it through. I’ve never commented before but this made me want to step up.

    This doesn’t not contribute to anything. If you’re going to do nothing except advertise a game through this venue, at least make it a convincing advertisement. You preach about how the game is the revolution of the twitch shooter genre, but where is your proof? A lot of developers promise a lot of things in alpha. Just because they promised them doesn’t mean they will be implemented, let alone properly.

    To top it all off, you circlejerk hard to appeal to what I assume you think is this crowd. DAE le Cod is bad and pc is master race?111!!? Really surprised that this article made it through to the front page here at KBMOD.

    • Dalesy says:

      Well, the quality of the article is entirely a matter of opinion, and you’re entitled to yours. However, I’d like to address a few things.

      1. You claim that I “preach about how the game is the revolution of the twitch shooter genre,” despite me never having said that. The word “revolution” is never used once throughout this piece. I do say that Reflex is a “true return” to the 90s twitch shooter, but that can hardly be contested. It is essentially Quake 5 in its current state.

      2. Despite any future features which may go unfulfilled, all of the core necessities of a successful twitch shooter are already implemented, at least partially. The game is complete with functional weapons, map editor, replay editor, (limited) spectator client, server browser, and fully editable config. All that remains for this game to be essentially complete is the rest of the gun models and further netcode improvements, both of which are already in development.

      3. If you would characterize complaints about an annual series that has put out one solid PC version in the last 6 years as “circle-jerking” then I don’t know what to tell you. Bad is bad.

      Also, there are going to be popular opinions. Just because an opinion is shared by a large group of people, doesn’t mean it’s the result of a self-righteous circle-jerk. Allow me to give you an example:

      Person 1: I think Mark Twain is one of the great novelists of the 19th century.
      Person 2: Psssh. How brave. *rolls eyes and makes a masturbatory gesture*

  3. xMiiDNIGHT says:

    The comparison to Call of Duty was kinda unnecessary. Two completely different shooters. If anything this game would be trying to get the jump on the genre by releasing before Unreal Tournament 4 is ready.
    “Call of Duty moves forward in all the wrong directions. Each developer continues to shove as many perks, weapons, and killstreaks into the series’ formula as they can” this is not true, Ghost did in fact have a ton of perks but AW dials it back greatly. 4 perks per tier and 10-12 killstreaks. AW is a passable COD on PC, its not ideal but you can’t really expect them to put thousands of man ours into a 100th of there sales totals.

    Twitch shooters
    Arcade shooters
    Realistic shooters

    Can’t lump them all together bud.

    • Dalesy says:

      1. I’m aware that CoD and Reflex are completely different types of shooters. Hence the repeated use of the word “contrast.”

      2. Whether or not Ghosts has fewer killstreaks, weapons, or perks than Ghosts has no bearing on my point. My statement, which you quoted, never implies what you seem to be arguing against, the idea that each CoD adds more of these things than the previous. My point is, as stated, that each developer continues to shove as many perks, weapons, and killstreaks into the series’ formula AS THEY CAN.

      This is to say that CoD development has been operating on an additive philosophy. Instead of bringing the game back to its pre-2007 roots, it aims to ADD things that are new.

      3. Yes, there is much nuance to be had when subdividing FPS games into specific sub-categories. However, that ignores the explicit purpose of this article that I stated in the second paragraph: “[to] help those unfamiliar with PC shooters appreciate why contrast is desperately needed.” I can’t sit here and wax poetic about twitch shooters vs. arcade shooters vs. realistic shooters (which, by the way, are not mutually exclusive categories) and expect someone who is new to the platform to understand what I am saying, bud.



I put the OO in Swagoo. One of the founders of KBMOD. I stream on Twitch as well as writing and editing for the website.

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