Leap is an upcoming fast-paced, multiplayer first-person shooter that could potentially be the next big thing. It features a lot of movement, verticality, and epic battles in a PvP or PvE format.
I managed to hop on the game on its recent playtest. Here are my impressions and why it could potentially be one of the best FPS games released this year.
Visuals, Music, and Audio
I can’t help but be impressed by the game’s visuals when I logged in for the first time. I maxed out all graphic settings and it did not disappoint. The characters are well-designed and though they share similarities at first glance, each class still has its own flair.
The UI is also neat and it does not feel too crowded. There were games before that felt like the UI is all over the place but that is not the case here.
Moving on to my first game, the environment looks stunning. It is one of the most visually appealing games I’ve played recently.
I set the game to the highest possible setting to check the visual quality. The details should be applauded compared to other games.
Just look at the picture below. The assault rifle is sharp and the explosion reflects on the rifle’s body. The foreground – the gun, hands, an enemy – looks great yet the background is not left behind.
As much as the game’s visual is great, I could not say the same about its audio. I can clearly hear where the bullets are coming from or if an enemy is around me.
However, there are some audio bugs that I encountered while playing. For instance, my character is walking and I stopped yet the footsteps continue for a second or two. There are times when it misses an enemy too.
To be fair, bugs are expected because the game is still in early access.
Leap Gameplay Impressions
Like any other game, I started with the tutorial first and I suggest you do too. It is a quick one and it does a great job showing the game’s controls.
However, the tutorial does not discuss the differences between each character class. When I first got into a match, I just used Pathfinder as it is the default one.
I only explored the classes at the Armory. That is where I saw each class – Pathfinder, Titan, Wraith, and Tech Ops. Each one has its own unique ability and ultimate.
Moving on to my first game, it felt amazing. The gunplay, mixed with the verticality and movement makes it more dynamic.
Now, the gunplay is amazing. Each class has its own loadout combination. The developers balanced the guns well. I don’t think there is an overpowered gun at the moment.
The time-to-kill (TTK) is just right. It’s not too high or too low. The game is very skill-based. You need to have great tracking and flicking skills to land a kill.
The TTK also provides the chance for counter plays. Unlike Valorant, where you have a limited time to react, Leap allows you to double jump and dash to hide or grapple away to set up for an attack.
One thing that I didn’t like though is the lack of gun recoil. It felt too easy to aim and shoot someone without considering recoil. It’s an element that adds a little bit to the learning curve but once figured out, tracking and one clipping an opponent feels more satisfying.
Leap features a grappling hook for each character. If you are an anime fan then it will easily remind you of the 3D maneuver gear from Attack on Titan.
Although the grappling mechanic is great, it felt too stiff. It does not have the fluidity of the grappling hook from Titanfall 2 due to the lack of momentum. Moving in midair felt slow too.
You can easily combine grappling with double jumps and dashes for more movement options. Also, there is no limit to the grapples so you can swing for several minutes straight – that is if you do not get shot of course.
Another movement option is the personal vehicle (PV). PVs are available by default. You will need it because of the vast map size.
The only downside with the PV is the cooldown. It’s a little too long considering that some maps do not have trees or buildings to grapple with.
There is in-game customization too. Character skins, gun skins, keychains, and spraypaints are just some of the unlockable items. I skimmed through these because the playtest options were limited.
Besides cosmetic upgrades, there is a feature called augmentation. You may customize your character with certain upgrades such as the Golden Backpack. This allows you to have 50% more ammo when using a golden weapon.
Moreover, you may choose a suit module too that provides class-specific upgrades. One example is the Accelerated Boots for Wraith. This provides an increased ground movement by 15%.
There are several game modes ranging from Competitive (PVP) to Special Operations (PvE). I haven’t played any competitive game mode due to the lack of players on my server. But I can say that my Special Operations experience is nothing short of marvelous
Other than that, the gameplay feels amazing and I’m excited to see what future features would be added.
What I love to see and Things to Improve on
Leap has a lot of things that it got right. But that does not mean that it does not have its shortcomings.
First, there’s no slide. For a game that takes pride in movement, I think the developer should have included sliding. It makes tracking more challenging as sliding makes the movement more unpredictable.
Another one is the lack of reticle customization. The white reticle is fine on some maps, but it is hard to see in some environments
Respawning is also questionable as sometimes the game drops you in a place where a lot of enemies are already present. It would be better if it spawns you in a random place with no enemies. This prevents spawn camping too. An indicator of how many enemies are in an area would be great as well.
The developers need to optimize the game too. I’m playing everything at max settings using an RTX 3060 Ti graphics card. It is not the best out there but it should be more than enough for 1080p high refresh rate gaming.
That is not the case. I started the game perfectly but as more enemies come in around Wave 4 or 5, my framerate starts to dip. I had to drop my visual settings immediately to compensate for the frame drops.
Considering that the game has Nvidia DLSS support, it needs better optimization. It would be a shame if the great visuals would be toned down just to keep up with high frame rates.
Lastly, it needs better controller support. I plugged in my controller to see if it works. The key bindings are available in the settings but it lacks customization.
For instance, the sensitivity adjusts both the mouse and keyboard settings and controller at once. It needs a separate tab for custom controller settings.
Leap is an exciting game that is perfect for those who are looking for a fast-paced shooter with great visuals and audio.
The playtest revealed some of its shortcomings but that is the reason why the playtest is there – to gather feedback and improve on it before release.
The cons are there yet it does not take away from the great gaming experience. The potential to be the next big FPS game is still there.
As for the price, there is no announcement yet but they did mention that the Early Access price will be different from its actual release price. The discount will be for early adopters.
LEAP Release Date
Leap Early Access will start this June 1, 2022. According to the developers, the game will be in Early Access for 12 months with bug fixes, stability, performance, and game balance as the priority.
So should you join the Early Access?
Definitely. You are not only giving the developers your support but you will also be involved in its development as the developers mentioned that they “recognize the power of the community.”
Besides, you are getting an amazing game at a discount. This is a win-win situation for FPS lovers and if you are not an FPS fan yet, try Leap and it will definitely change your mind.