LEAP recently went into Early Access, and because we were impressed with developer Blue Isle’s earlier work we couldn’t wait to give it a go. Here are our thoughts on this brand new online shooter.
What we know
LEAP is the new game from developer Blue Isle Studios, known for games like Slender and Valley. It’s a bold change for the studio though, because with LEAP they’re jumping into the crowded multiplayer first-person shooter arena. It’s a PC exclusive for now, and went into Early Access at the start of this month.
Unlike previous games from the studio, the game doesn’t feature any kind of single player campaign, focusing on team-based PvP gameplay instead. With a sci-fi theme in which mercenaries face off on either the side of the United Earth Defense Coalition (UEDC) or the rebellious Exo-Terrans. Agility is a key component of the gameplay whichever side you choose though, as jetpacks and grappling hooks let you get around the battlefield quickly.
What we saw
We played the Early Access build of the game, which recently was opened up to modding support as well.
What we thought
LEAP features a selection of familiar multiplayer modes like capture the flag and team deathmatch, so it’s a game that’s easy to get into if you’ve played these before. The game has a few tricks up its sleeve though, like giving each character its own personal vehicle to help bridge long distances. Combined with the other options for traversal, like jetpacks, and grappling hooks, it makes the game feel a bit like Titanfall in how it’s different from regular ‘on foot’ shooters. It also has that same distinct sci-fi feel, with an exosuit that also comes with neat special abilities that can shift the tide of the battle – some are superweapons, while others provide defensive boosts. This makes for one of the most interesting uses of classes in a game of this type thus far.
The biggest problem for the game, however, is that the servers aren’t exactly densely populated at the moment, so matches either take a long time to start or are underpopulated when they do. Even though the controls and gameplay elements feel rough it’s easy to see the potential for something excellent here, but the low player count isn’t doing LEAP any favors at the moment.
In our opinion, Blue Isle should focus on making these low player count matches as engaging as possible to attract more players before looking towards the intended massive battles with 60 players. There’s a special ops mode where you fight AI waves, so improving that would be a great way to start as a squad only consists of four players, and more exciting AI behavior and dynamic missions would go a long way. LEAP has a lot of promise, but by nature it depends on a bigger player count then it currently has. Fingers crossed for that changing.