Interstellar Marines is an ambitious titles from new Denmark studio Zero Point Software. The goal of the game is to create perhaps the first “AAA Indie” game, which is described by them as “Half-Life meets System Shock, giving birth to Rainbow Six in space!” They are aiming to infuse heavy RPG and story telling aspects into an immersive first person shooter. The game is currently available on Steam Early Access as Zero Point first tries to perfect the FPS foundation and multiplayer before moving onto the high-reaching goals of the single player and co-op modes.
As a multiplayer shooter, Interstellar Marines is pretty basic at this point but already you can see how Zero Point’s vision is starting to evolve. Currently there is only one game mode, Deadlock, which pits two teams against each other in point capture gameplay similar to something like Domination from Call of Duty or Territories from Halo. Winning conditions are simple: either capture all of the points or eliminate the entire enemy team. It’s not single life but respawn times are high so winning a firefight is even more important. You can also respawn allies instantly by capturing a point or, if you are the Last Man Standing, a single kill will bring someone back. Unlike something like Halo or Call of Duty, this leads to a slower paced match where every kill is much more important.
There are eight maps available, which is pretty impressive for Early Access. The maps themselves are quite nice and feature dynamic environments that shift and change as a match goes on. A noticeable emphasis has been put on lighting and things like destructible lights in the environments as well as flashlights to help players and hinder opponents. Weather and time of day also cycles pretty rapidly during a match, which is a fun effect to witness that actually changes how you play.
Combat feels pretty solid. Although right now only a single gun is available (many more are planned). This main SMG has a red dot scope as well as attachments for laser aiming and the aforementioned flashlight, easily toggled with the hit of a button. The amount of bullets it takes to put an enemy down feels similar to Battlefield. It’s not the instant death of Call of Duty but it doesn’t take too much. My only complaint so far is that there is little feedback for if you are actually hitting your target unless they actually die. Movement feels nice and there is an incorporated smart crouch and cover system that lets you peek around cover.
The main ideas that people are likely excited about for Interstellar Marines, such as the tactical co-op, RPG elements or immersive single player story, still feel like they are a long time away. But the title is off to a nice start and it feels like they are setting up a solid foundation for movement and shooting mechanics. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can get Interstellar Marines on Steam Early Access for $18.99.
A code for Interstellar Marines was provided to Pixel Related for preview.