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.