Z-Access: Shattered Horizon Footage

Astronaut deathmatch game Shattered Horizon, which I conveniently previewed for Eurogamer just here, has released a bit of footage. To keep those of you who can’t be bothered clicking the link in the loop: it’s a surprisingly good zero-g combat game between the survivors of the moon exploding, and I had a blast floating about on the beta. I wonder whether it lacks the complexity and wide appeal for genuinely longevity, but it’s definitely a fun game idea, neatly executed. Anyway, go check out Futuremark’s stylish game trailer below.


  1. PHeMoX says:

    Apparently it’s going to be released to Steam as well. It’s looking good to me.

    When’s it going to be released??

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    Release is this year, but I don’t have a concrete date.

  3. PiP says:

    looks pretty bueno if you ask me. No sound plus atmospheric music and picturesque cosmic views of Earth etc in the background – lookin tasty for a space odyssey geek like myself. Wonder if gameplay is on par with the general premise.

  4. Warth0g says:

    Hmm looks interesting.. Visuals look neat, and the ameplay is sufficiently different to carve out aniche for itself.. I suspect I’ll be crap at it though.. I have enough probelms in shooters being able to move in two dimensions. Three wil definetly be a challenge.

  5. Axiin says:

    Wow… I wonder how they are going to make the controls fluid. Navigation in 3D is something I think many people are going to struggle with, I had enough problems with I-War I cant even imagine a FPS!

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      it’s standard fps controls. but you hold down a button to move around the third axis. like you’d hold a button to mouselook in quake1 (if you didn’t realise you could add +mouselook to the configs). so yeah, you’re never controlling all three axis’ at one time.

      there is also a button to attach yourself to surfaces. a very limited speed boost while flying around (there’s a meter for it that fills up again over time) and a stealth switch to power down the suit completely. this makes you completely silent and you’re not showing up on enemy radars. this function also has a really nice audio thing where it cuts off all the sound except your guy’s heartbeat. you’re also a lot more floaty and much slower in your movement.

    • ascagnel says:

      It was +mlook for Quake, but yeah, same idea. WS/AD/RF (or FC) for the dimensions.

  6. Dominic White says:

    Last time I saw good, real zero-G combat in a game was Heavy Gear 2, back many, many years ago. It worked a lot like what you’re seeing in that video, only you were in large (but not huge) suits of power-armor, rather than spacesuits.

    I want more of that, because it was baffling, complex, atmospheric and damn fun.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Yeah, hopefully this game achieves the same kind of gameplay depth.

  7. CMaster says:

    Doesn’t look like realistic inertia from that trailer, but then again if it was it would be very confusing, and allow slightly silly speeds.

    • PHeMoX says:

      If you mean that motion should be much more in bending trails then I definitely would agree, but perhaps a game like this really doesn’t need that kind of physics detail for its gameplay to work.

    • CMaster says:

      Oh, I agree that it may not be desirable to have that. Certainly, a “car in space” kinda control that it looks like is being offered is much more intuitive. It’s just the previous RPS article described it as “realistic”

    • Tei says:

      Is that laser of bullets? action-reaction… If you shot bullets in space, you will get really fast speed as a feedback.

      Othet than this, maybe the first sci-fi FPS to date. What is sad. IMHO. Is 2009.
      Well.. this and “Lunar Lander”, but that was in the Atari 2600, has been loooooong years withouth a arcade game with half-credible space phisics.

  8. teo says:

    Sorry but this is pure win

    I hope it turns out good

  9. Alexander Norris says:

    This looks gorgeous, and also pretty fun, but there’s one thing that’s an absolute deal-breaker for me with games set in space: hearing other people when there’s no atmosphere to carry the sound. I’m not even a science guy or anything, but it really gets on my nerves – that complete and utter silence is really what makes space interesting as a game environment for me.

    According to the preview that I totally did not just read in order to edit this post, it seems like they've decided to give up and include enemy sounds anyway, which strikes me as a copout when they could've found an interesting way of working around the problem and not ruining the experience for me. Shame, really. :(

    • Sparvy says:

      You could just read the preview he linked, you can hear you opponents weapons apparently.

    • PHeMoX says:

      That kind of realism would really be an entertainment killer. In a game environment we need sounds to be able to make it a complete experience.

      It’s funny though, should we ever get battles in real space out there, it’s going to be one big silent mess for sure.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      You’d hear your own breath, the sound of your jetpack thrust causing your suit to vibrate and the sound of bullets/rocks impacting your suit. That’s more than enough to make the whole thing aurally interesting. Not hearing the enemy creates huge gameplay complications, but that’s what’s interesting.

    • iQue says:

      Just the kind of thing that would kill sales. It’s an interesting idea to only hear your own sounds but it wouldn’t be fun in practice.

    • Droniac says:

      Alexander, the way sound works in Shattered Horizon is a bit different than you seem to be expecting. Basically your suit is generating sounds based on what it senses in the nearby environment, including enemy weapon’s fire. Okay, sure that’s not how they built it, but that’s how it’s explained – and how it works – in-game.

      You see, once you get hit by an EMP grenade then you get exactly the effect you describe: you hear your own breathing, but can’t hear anything outside, at all. Not even your own gun firing. The problem is that when your suit is disabled it’s a lot more difficult to move and none of the HUD elements work, so you need to work completely by sight to identify friend or foe, plus whether bullets register as hits or not. Hitsounds are disabled along with your suit ;)

      If you want you can play most of the game EMPed. Hitting yourself with your own EMP grenades (or teammates for that matter) counts.

  10. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    Looks a blast, and hey! No sound in space! I like it.

  11. Caiman says:

    It’s Descent, in space suits! Want.

  12. The Innocent says:

    I think I’d like to play this for the singular fact that its soundtrack was done by Markus Kaarlonen from Poets of the Fall.

  13. Jaffo says:

    Helloooo motion sickness! I’ll get it though if they change the name to “Moonraker: The Game”.

  14. skrat says:

    Tbh a game like this would seem best suited to a small player count.

    Being potentially targeted by so many players from all directions.. could be a bother. That and it would need an excellent hud.

    Otherwise its great to see a shooter breaking from the mold in one way.

  15. Heliosicle says:

    Was in the beta – word to the wise, you need a hell of a pc to run it.

    I enjoyed it quite alot actually

  16. milko says:

    That’ll be me playing the soundtrack to Moon for the next hour then. They should make an ‘authentic space silence’ option at least, it’d be beautiful but I can see why the masses wouldn’t dig it.

  17. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    This looks good

  18. Jarnis says:

    Futuremark actually did it right. The sounds in game are from your suit systems running audio simulation. If you shut the electronics down (or they get shut down by EMP grenade), you hear only your breathing and some very muffled sounds from your own gun that would get to your ear through your body – you are holding the gun after all. All other sounds are gone as during normal play they all come from your earphones – no atmosphere, no sound in space.

    Trust me – when running silent, the coolness of no sound wears off rather quickly… I could see “no audio simulation” becoming available as an option or server variable, but in practice you want those sounds…

  19. Grey_Ghost says:

    In Space, no one can hear you Frag.

  20. Jarnis says:

    Oh, and on a related note, if you watch the trailer carefully, it actually follows this…

    – When you see first-person viewpoint, you hear the audio simulation (thrusters etc.)
    – When you see from a third-person camera, you hear no effects – the camera can’t pick any sounds as there is no atmosphere.

    …and every single scene where guns are fired in the trailer are seen from third-person camera. Funny that… it is like they did that on purpose :D

  21. lumpi says:

    Now this is something… different. Gotta check it out.

  22. Medina says:

    The enemy’s gate is DOWN!!!!

    Looks cool. Hope it has a Battle Room type game mode.

  23. Gap Gen says:

    Looks good. I did like the shot of the two blue guys walking on both sides of the walkway.

  24. Phinor says:

    The beta NDA was lifted earlier today. Visually it’s stunningly beautiful but it runs pretty bad.. no, make that it runs like shit. I was hovering at 15-35fps with a GTX280 at 1920×1200. The gameplay was quite flat to be honest. There were no gimmicks, no special gameplay mechanics worth mentioning, just shooting enemies (with a single gun!) and maybe capturing points and such. There were few different types of grenades too but I didn’t really care about them, didn’t ultimately seem to add that much to the core gameplay.

    If they can add a lot of content into the game and make the gameplay more variable with events and random stuff happening during a match, maybe use floating objects and physics in general a bit more.. but in it’s current state, I wouldn’t pay to play the game. Actually I didn’t play the beta all that much for two reasons I mentioned before, it wasn’t very interesting and the few times I had the will to boot up the beta, it just didn’t run well enough to be playable.

    I hope they have time to polish the game. It’s not a turd by any means, just very rough and light on content. At least the beta was.

  25. j c says:

    Beta testers just got an e-mail this morning saying that they can discuss their experiences, so here goes….

    I wasn’t too impressed. Even in the latest builds, after more optimizations and bug fixes were included, everything felt extremely amaturish. Maybe it’s because Futuremark has been so focused on non-interactive benchmarks for the last decade+, maybe it’s because they had a new team working on this. But the menus were very unresponsive and difficult to navigate, in-game performance and control was pretty terrible on my q9550 and 4870, and the gameplay just wan’t interesting enough to make me want to come back.

  26. IvanHoeHo says:

    Reminds me of an old HL2 mod called Hull Breach that is now sadly very dead indeed.

    Also, wasn’t this game supposed to be DX 11 only, or something?

  27. Big Daddy says:

    Got into the Beta of this. The movement is easy enough, but everything else is crap. Big disappointment.

  28. WilPal says:

    I know you can’t hear things in space (No air and all that jazz), but not being able to hear the satifying sound of your gun firing out sweet justice just doesn’t sit right.

  29. Hoernchen says:

    I playe the beta, too – and it was just boring. Spawn, float forward, shoot, die. 3d movement is just not enough to make a game interesting.

  30. Gurrah says:

    I really hope the sound will be this muffled from the players perspective, it would make perfect sense and add to the illusion of floating in space. I really like what I am seeing here.

    • zakkmiester says:

      Oh, it is, there’s “simulated” sound, and it actually says that when you get dropped into orbit. There’s also a stealth mode, where you can hardly hear gunshots (On the upside, you don’t have thruster trails)

  31. Inanimotioon says:

    Ooooh buying this!

  32. Hmm says:

    Hmm… Many disappointed players, I see. A shame. WHY OH WHY haven’t they focused on single player part? Imagine struggling for survival in space… It would rock.

  33. zakkmiester says:

    Yeah, NDA got lift’d, so I can talk about it now.
    Very fun concept, loved the IDEA of it. My sorry comp couldn’t handle it well though. If you want it, I say go for it, I really enjoyed the concept. Think of it as CSS, but in space.

  34. MadMatty says:

    I want the realism stuff.
    Not that i didn´t enjoy “car in space” style stuff , but it finally, and irrevocably so, became annoying how these “gameplay considerations” have come to make the games laughably mass-market in their depiction of space, with dodgy inertia and gunfire sounds from opponents.
    my viewpoint.
    I still get flashes in my head tho, of some 13-year old getting fantastic kicks out of it ;)

    • MadMatty says:

      … yeah that would be me +17 years, playing space shooter “Cellblock Squadrons” for about 10 hours last weekend LoL
      i still wish there were more realistic space games out there.

  35. ZeroSeven says:

    The enemy gunfire is simulated by the suit.
    But if the suit is turned off, you can only hear yourself breathing. And your own rifle is muffled, as you can only hear it as vibrations through your suit.

  36. Chaz says:

    That looks bloody great. It reminds me of this Belgian sci-fi graphic novel I’ve got called “Demos de Wrecker”. But I bought it in Holland over 20 years ago, so its all written in Dutch. Don’t have a clue whats going on in the story, but the artwork is absolutely fan-bloody-tastic. It’s all airbrushed sci-fi lovelyness and almost each frame looks like a painting in its own right. Looks like the kind of stuff folks are doing now with Photoshop and the like, but in the days before Phototshop. Anyway its got much the same feel and vibe about it that the game has in that video.

  37. duel says:

    looks intense! I fucking love space silence!

  38. theineffablebob says:

    The beta was conducted through Steam and the game uses a couple of Steam’s features. Not sure if it’ll require it, though.

  39. medwards says:

    The physics are pretty close to spot-on, keep in mind if you ran thrusters in the correct orientations you can replicate the kind of curves they do. It isn’t nearly as quiet as it makes out, I’ve used sound to avoid being completely ambushed (to my gameplay disappointment, but momentary elation)

  40. ZIGS says:

    The only thing wrong with this game is it being multiplayer

  41. Glove says:

    Looks awesome!