I’m not sure who Rekoil was made for.
When firing on all cylinders, Rekoil can be a fun, little first-person shooter, but one that has nothing on its more popular contemporaries. On top of that, it’s currently on sale for $14.99 on Steam, ensuring that it won’t be purchased as a spontaneous bargain buy. This is then reflected in its grossly underpopulated servers which, at the time of this writing, will typically only be inhabited by twenty or so people, all of whom flock to the Team Deathmatch server and nothing else, ensuring that none of Rekoil’s other six game modes are shown any love whatsoever.
Rekoil’s unpopularity is presumably due to its horrendous launch. On day one of its launch on Steam, Rekoil suffered frame-rate issues and crippling lag, along with a multitude of bugs and glitches—the most prominent of which was guns inexplicably duplicating in the very hands of players—which has likely dissuaded many from returning to it. Developer Plastic Piranha issued a patch shortly following its launch which kind of rectified these issues (more on that later), but the damage had arguably already been done. Rekoil isn’t Battlefield 4, where DICE can completely screw up its launch, but it still maintains a dedicated following who will wait until it’s fixed—Rekoil had one day to impress those who plumped down their cash for it, and it failed miserably.
The truth is, for all the hate-filled vitriol that Rekoil has inspired in the Steam community—one cursory glance through the Steam forums reveals people demanding refunds and branding it the “worst game ever”—it isn’t actually that bad. The problem, though, is that no one has stuck around to find this out for themselves, which isn’t necessarily the game’s fault, but rather it’s the fault of developer Plastic Piranha and publisher 505 Games for releasing it in such an horrendous state.
Rekoil’s gameplay harkens back to the days of arena shooters such as Quake, with kill/death ratios at the end of each game being extortionately high and with no other tactics required in a firefight other than to be the one who pulls the trigger first. In terms of its weaponry, though, Rekoil doesn’t feature any Lightning Guns, Plasma Guns, or BFGs—its arsenal is instead lifted from reality, with AK47s, RPGs, and Dragunovs all at your disposal.
However, Rekoil suffers from very prominent balancing issues by allowing players to select their loadout prior to spawning. In arena shooters of old, players were typically given a pea-shooter to begin with and were then tasked with picking up better guns on the field. Rekoil instead allows you to choose a one-hit-kill sniper rifle right from the get-go which, considering most maps feature a plentiful amount of open space, means that the majority of matches are almost solely populated by snipers. This issue is then enhanced due to the fact that the sniper class is by far the most fun class to use in the game.
When it’s working, that’s all that Rekoil aspires to be: fun. It’ll never be played competitively, it’s intended to be enjoyed in short bursts, and everything from its poorly detailed character models to its frenetic gameplay is reminiscent of (or derivative of, if you’re being pessimistic) late '90s PC FPSs. Unfortunately, while its developer can roll out a patch to improve its performance, it can’t roll out a patch that will increase its player-count. With that being said it is impossible to recommend Rekoil, a game which is swiftly heading towards stagnation before it ever had a chance to prove itself.