Reload is a on-rails first-person shooter that sells itself as a tactical firearms training, because it’s just that: shooting targets with little to no objectives at all. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
The menu is pretty simple: you’ve got single player, multiplayer, options and you can check your rewards, achievement and progress. You can also check the leaderboards to compare your score with other players. This screen didn’t really work for me — I could only see the first 7 ranks but not the rest (BTW, I’m #13 with only 1 playthrough.)
The single player section has a ‘campaign’ mode with 21 levels and a ‘free’ mode in which you get to replay levels to get better scores, or play a few special levels — we’ll get to those later.
Regarding the 21 campaign levels, each one contains a fixed but random number of rounds — for example, the first level may contain 4 rounds, but the second level could contain 2, while other levels may have no rounds but a longer-spanning timer.
In each level you get to use a different kind of weapon (but you don’t get to choose) and get different objectives, which are usually the same with little difference — shoot targets, don’t shoot hostages, don’t get shot, shoot bombs, etc.
It took me around 2 or 3 hours to complete all 21 levels, and while from time to time I wished the game to be over more quickly, some levels are really fast paced and fun.
The special levels allow us to shoot a gallery of cans, and fruit (both feel practically the same), but you have to shoot the amount of objects the game tells you to shoot. There’s two other extremely similar modes where the only difference is you can, at least, pick your weapon of choice.
By the way, there is no real tactical shooting here. Nowadays we have games like Sniper Elite and Arma with real ballistic shooting mechanics — this game is just point and shoot.
Besides getting achievements and trophies, you can unlock different kinds of glasses and camo. Now, what I understood from that is that both glasses and camo make a random special target spawn from time to time, and shooting it gives you bonus points. What I couldn’t find is the different between types of unlockables — whether different types of glasses/camo have more chance of spawning the special target, or what. It doesn’t matter, anyways, because you don’t get to choose glasses or camo. You just unlock them, and usually only one playthrough is necessary to unlock them all.
The music goes along great with the game, but it’s nothing memorable.
Graphics-wise, the game is in 3D, but it looks like 3D looked five years ago. It fulfills its purpose, being in the kind of game it is in, but there is no denying that they could have done much better — specially regarding explosions and particle effects. In any case, I did not mind this aspect of the game, as I know it’s a mobile port, and thus this is totally understandable.
You can play multiplayer mode with up to 3 friends, but not online — it’s ‘hot seat’ mode. We go back to the 80s and take turns to play the game, complete a level and see who gets the best score. It gets boring very quickly.
Reload is a game where you shoot things and have no fun. It could have been a good game had it been made 10 years ago, but in this day and age when we get games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Bioshock and heck, even Rambo: The Video Game, Reload fails really hard.
Now, I can see how this game could be fun for 13 year-old kids (it’s rated T), but let’s be honest, nowadays kids that age (and sometimes lower) are playing GTA and watching Breaking Bad. This is bland for them.
The only people who I believe can really enjoy this game are achievement hunters and high score fanatics.
And now I miss Time Crisis.