First Impressions: Interstellar Marines

First Impressions: Interstellar Marines

Not much to see now, but Zero Point’s Interstellar Marines is certainly one to keep an eye on.

Interstellar Marines is the upcoming sci-fi FPS from Zero Point Software, currently available through Zero Point’s website and Steam.

Years ago, I played a fully 3D, in-browser, multiplayer FPS called Interstellar Marines…. IN-BROWSER; this game ran straight off of Google Chrome! At the time, I thought that it was amazing to see such a great looking game running straight from a website. You’ve all no-doubt played flash games on websites before, and 3D is nothing that unique; Runescape was 3D rendered and is twelve years old!

 Bluerose9913dec2001pw2

From Java (2001)….

ss0072_1280x720_zps_interstellarmarines_realtime_runningman_001

,,, to Unity (2012)

I know it’s not surprising that technology has moved forwards within the last decade, but the level of detail within this game is stunning. This game looks even better when running through the actual application (although it is in dire need of optimisation, but then alpha is alpha). Check out Zero Point’s Unity prototypes here to get a feel for just how deep and fantastic this engine is!

What you get for £11.99 from Steam (or $14.99 from their site) right now is….. not much. The game is basically a sandbox to show off the engine and its features, and a simple TDM which is used to stress test the game. The multiplayer has no persistence to it; servers don’t even record team wins/losses, team kills aren’t recorded either so ‘matches’ have a tendency to descend into a ‘shoot anything that moves’ situation, and there is only one gun currently in the game.

It does, however, give you a chance to get a feel for the immersion of the game. Whilst there isn’t that much in terms of gameplay to Interstellar Marines right now; the playable maps are pretty damn cool…. there just isn’t much to do in them.

An interesting mechanic inside IM however, is that the maps are subject to dynamic environment changes, For instance…

2013-07-09_00015

…. the hallway you’re in can go from nicely lit (but still rather dark…)

2013-07-09_00018

…. to emergency lights…

2013-07-09_00021

…, to “GAME OVER, MAN; GAME OVER!!” 

This ‘mixing up’ of environments makes for a pretty awesome experience already, even in an empty map! When inside a multiplayer match, these sudden switches are something that really kept me playing, as it completely changes how you, and your opponents, approach playing the game. You can no longer go screaming around a corner, as you’re running around in the pitch black, and when you use your flashlight, whilst helping you to see where you’re going, it does utterly give your position away.

I do highly recommend that those interested in sci-fi FPS’s pay attention to, and pay up for, this game. For the sum of £11.99 you can watch a game as it develops from early alpha all the way up to release, and this is the price you pay for the full game; once you’ve paid your £12 – that’s it. It’s the same pricing strategy used to great success in the past by Minecraft, and other titles such as Endless Space and ARMA 3. Like these three, Interstellar Marines has a strong and well-supported online community even though the game is still in alpha. Zero Point also regularly put out videos, screens and concepts, articles, and community events to help reinforce their commitment to those that have made the game possible.

Zero Point have come to name this strategy ‘AAA Indie’, which means that IM will have everything that you’ve come to expect from a AAA title (luscious graphics and gameplay, single-player story, and a deep multiplayer), but with absolutely no publisher support. Zero Point are publishing this massive project themselves; that alone is worth £11.99, just for the shear bravery.

Also, ‘AAA Indie’ has the customer directly in mind, in a two-way relationship with the developer, cutting out the publisher ‘middleman’. The community gets a say in the development of the game. ‘Community meetings’, where different members of Zero Point’s staff and some lucky members of the online community literally sit down and have a chat about the development of the game, have been going on on a roughly fortnightly basis, and the Twitter feed from both the Zero Point account and staff is constantly ticking over, answering and acknowledging questions, and responding to messages.

Interstellar Marines is certainly a game that I will be watching for many months to come. With no release date confirmed (‘when it’s done, it’s done’), for a game that will no doubt be released at an RRP of around £30, and with the nigh-constant correspondence to, and updating of, the community, this game is totally worth the £12 that it costs now for early access on Steam. Whilst there isn’t much to the actual game itself, this really feels like the tantalising tip of the iceberg, with shed loads of exciting content just below the waterline. I also highly recommend that everyone checks out the Interstellar Marines website, if not to buy the game; then at least to join the community, and play the awesome in-engine prototypes and fully rendered, utterly addictive, mini-games.

Looking forward to enlisting with the Marines, or are you already training up on Bullseye and Running Man? What’s your opinion of ‘AAA Indie’? How screwed is this guy? Tells us bellow! 

Greetings Comrade! Why not aid Voletic in it’s path to world domination by liking us on facebook, you’ll be notified of gamer news, trailers, giveaways, Voletic content – and have geeky discussion! Join us! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Voletic/208974835810360?fref=ts

 

Related posts

How has multiplayer gaming changed over the last decade?

How has multiplayer gaming changed over the last decade?

For those of us old enough to remember the chaos of LAN parties in a dimly lit room, we probably have extremely fond memories of multiplayer gaming, but how does that compare, ten years down the line?

Hisako spooks the competition! – Killer Instinct character breakdown

Hisako spooks the competition! - Killer Instinct character breakdown

Iron Galaxy’s ‘Ghost Girl’ has arrived and newcomer Hisako is scary. Iron Galaxy went all in with this one, making her as creepy as possible - and boy did they hit the nail on the head! At first glance, she seems to have many design nods from the girl in The Ring. Even her introduction animation...

Mafia II (PC)- A Retrospective

Mafia II (PC)- A Retrospective

A short while ago, I came across Mafia II on Steam for 75% off, so I bought it. I had heard very good things about the game when it first came out and, for a fiver, I figured that I had nothing to lose by buying it. Mafia II describes itself as “a beautifully crafted look into the dark and...

“This isn’t the time to use that” – Twitch Viewers Play Pokémon

"This isn't the time to use that" - Twitch Viewers Play Pokémon

In the Helix Fossil we trust. Twitch users have been playing the original Pokémon games, building religions and causing political upheaval. Over the last week or so, Twitch viewers have been guiding Red and Blue through their respective original titles in an experiment never before seen...

Pocket Fun #4

Pocket Fun #4

Welcome back to Pocket Fun, the place for all things mobile. This week, I want to talk about In-App Purchases (IAPs). For the uninitiated, an In-App Purchase is a micro-transaction performed in an app in order to purchase content or services using real money. These purchases range from Premium...

Test Your Might! Mortal Kombat II: When the Fighter Reigned Supreme

Test Your Might! Mortal Kombat II: When the Fighter Reigned Supreme

Pathetic! Where you good enough to defeat the mighty Shao Kahn? This retrospective looks at the almighty Mortal Kombat II.

Frustration, Madness, Fun and Alfred Chicken

Frustration, Madness, Fun and Alfred Chicken

An innocent chicken, in a startling world. Seamus takes a look at another NES classic, Alfred Chicken.

Pocket Fun #1

Pocket Fun #1

Mobile gaming has exploded in the last few years and allows developers to think in new and exciting directions as the way we interact with this medium evolves. Five years ago, if wanted to play Sonic the Hedgehog, I’d have to dig out my Mega Drive and plug it into my TV. Today, I can load it up...

Overwatch Porn – How The GOTY is Getting People Off

Overwatch Porn – How The GOTY is Getting People Off

Overwatch has become the 11th most searched term on Pornhub. People are masturbating over Overwatch.

2 Comments

  1. avatar
    PY/RO December 11, 2013
    Reply

    AAA Indie is the future of gaming, with the price of games sky rocketing, the people need a game designed by people who are not in it for the money, but “For the Love of the Game”! Zero Point will be leading the world when it comes to gaming! Plus with IM planned to be a FPS RPG MMO the game will be the first of its kind, and will take off more then GTA V once it is released!

  2. Profile photo of Jordan
    Jordan July 9, 2013
    Reply

    Triple A indie is a cool thing. I way prefer this method of progress and funding than Twitter, because they have to keep doing better and working hard to get more money and people donating and buying the game, rather than just a lump sum they could piss away

Leave a Reply