When I booked in time to check out Raiders of a Broken Planet at E3, I went in not really sure that I would enjoy the game, another multiplayer shooter did not appeal to me, but I went and played the game and found myself very interested in it.
The games biggest draw is likely going to be that fact that you can play the game with three other friends, but unlike other multiplayer shooters, the game is story driven, complete with cutscenes and not just a camera shot looking at something, but spoken out cutscenes. While the story was not something that was shown off in great detail, I did have the game director Enric Alvarez explaining things to me though, which was quite helpful.
There are a range of characters that you can choose from and each character a skill set, the first level though was pure tutorial and it helped me understand the games mechanics, the biggest one for me though was that your character, no matter which one you selected would have a stress level bar, as you run around, engage in combat and other activities, your stress level increases and as it does, the enemies can find you quicker. The same works in reverse, if you stand still and let the enemies run around, you will eventually be able to spot them, even through walls and objects, with a radar type of visual. When they stop moving, the pattern will fade out, just like it does when you stop moving, but even if you stop, you can still get flanked by enemies, so you can’t rely on this alone.
The games biggest addition to the mechanics is not this, it is not the 4 player story driven adventure, but is actually the games antagonist mode, where a 5th player takes control of another character and attempts to stop you from completing your mission. If you ever played Perfect Dark back on the Nintendo 64, think the counter agent game mode and you will be on the right track and while I was not able to try this mode out at E3, I was promised that it was a lot of fun. One element that I did see in action was what happened when you died, because I did die a lot, back on point, when you die, you lose a life, lose all three that you have and your support ship needs to return to base to collect more for you, however that trip takes time and should you die before they return, it is game over.
The reason why this is interesting is that the game presents you with a countdown clock, giving me a timer of 30 seconds to survive, once the timer expired the ship had returned and I was able to die again without cause for concern. However, that was not to be, once I lost those three lives again, the support ship had to make another run for lives, but this time they were gone for 60 seconds and the next time 90 and while I did not see it go any higher, 90 seconds is a long time, more so because I was in the middle of fighting a series of beasts that could take me out in a single attack, if they got to close.
My time with Raiders of a Broken Planet was far too short, as time with games at these events always are, but I did come away more impressed than I was leading into it. Given that the game looked to be another generic shooter before I went hands on, I can say I was very impressed with it and can’t wait to see more.