Fistful of Frags Review
Fistful of Frags is a free-to-play multiplayer deathmatch first-person shooter set in the wild west. It is a mod of Half-Life 2 but does not require you to own Half-Life 2 to play it. It was released in 2014 and still has a strong fanbase playing the game everyday. What makes this game so special? Let’s find out:
Fistful of Frags has graphics fairly standard for a game based in the source engine. Its maps are bright and really create a nice old west atmosphere. Four teams can be used in the game. Each team has a highly distinct character model so it is easy to quickly tell who is an enemy. The weapons all have distinct high-quality models that make them easy to tell apart from each other.
The gameplay of Fistful of Frags is mainly centered around a competitive deathmatch format, with some singleplayer and co-op modes. When you play this game you will most likely play on community servers, which there are many. I’ve played on servers that offer Free-for-All, team Deathmatch, and Gun Game, just to name a few.
The wild west setting of Fistful of Frags is what really sets this game apart from most other first-person shooters. When you load into a match you will be presented with a screen where you can pick what weapon you want, what perks you want, and which hand you want to fire with. The weapons include hatchets, revolvers, rifles, and a bow. The perks include things like a higher damage kick, quick-draw, dynamite, etc. Then you get to choose what style of shooting you want to play with. There is right-handed, left-handed, ambidextrous, and the fanning style. Each style that you pick gives you bonuses and debuffs to your accuracy. Left-handed, for example, is the best for shooting with a single weapon but is the worst for dual-wielding.
Each perk, weapon, and shooting style has a different star value. You have 11 stars available to you to spend, so you can come up with any combination of weapons and perks as long as the star total doesn’t exceed 11 stars.
The shooting in Fistful of Frags is centered around your accuracy percentage, which is shown right below your crosshair. When you move, your accuracy goes down. This turns the gunfights into hectic matches of strafing and shooting while staying still as little as possible but still being accurate enough to hit your shots. There is also heavy damage falll off for guns that are not rifles or the bow. Most gunfights will be fought at a medium range. This fact is baked into the maps as most of them feature a very well balanced amount of long and far range engagement areas.
Movement is similar to other source games. There is no sprinting, but there are things such as bunny-hopping and crouch jumping. Jumping will make you slower when you land but does make you harder to hit. This provides a nice balance as it makes jumping only a slight advantage when trying to avoid gunfire.
There also is a kick move that you can perform no matter what perk and weapon set-up you are using. You cannot perform the kick while moving, and it does keep you stationary for a second. When you kick somebody it knocks them back quite a way and stuns them enough for you to be able to get a free shot on them. It provides a good way to get melee enemies off of you, while also giving you a melee option to open up fights with. You can kick while jumping, so oftentimes you will see people jump at enemies while kicking to engage a close-range gunfight.
Whenever you kill an enemy you will gain money. This money can be spent at chests scattered around the map that provides you with weapons exclusive to that chest. There are three tiers of chests: blue gives you low tier weapons, red gives you mid-tier weapons, and yellow gives you high tier weapons. The chests reward you for playing well however, you only have the chest weapons until you die. So while better players will have more access to these weapons, they do not keep them the entire match.
Also scattered around the map are bottles of whiskey. Using these will refill a portion of your health while also making you drunk. The more whiskey you drink, the drunker you will become. Being drunk makes your screen wobble and makes it harder to control your crosshair. It is a nice trade-off and makes healing in the middle of a gunfight fairer for your opponent.
The balancing in this game is very well done. There is not a single weapon that seems to be the best in the game. The best weapons are in the golden chest, but even they are not particularly oppressive. Each gun takes about 2-4 shots to kill somebody, but since most guns have slow firing rates the time to kill for most guns is about the same. Most gunfights are even matches, there is no one weapon in the game that will make you dominate everyone else. Along with being well balanced, the guns are also fun to use. The bow particularly is fun since it is a projectile weapon that does high damage. It is hard to use but is very satisfying when you get kills with it.
Fistful of Frags is a very fun first-person shooter. It is unique enough to stand-out among other FPS games but is familiar enough that it should not alienate any FPS player. It is still active with full servers being found at pretty much any time of day. If you enjoy deathmatch shooters that are simple and fun to mess around with, I would highly recommend playing this. It has quickly become one of my favorite shooters to play when I need to relax.
Final Score: 8/10