The preview/hype campaign for Zero Point’s upcoming ‘AAA indie’ shooter Interstellar Marines continues to be interesting. Following on from their Unity-powered 3D scene thinger, they’ve now made a browser-based minigame to show off some of the tone and feel of the thing. Sure, it’s just about shooting pop-up targets – an FPS tutorial stage writ large – but they’ve made it more than the sum of its cursor-onto-cardboard-face parts.
The prosaically-named Bullseye is also created in Unity – we love it so – and is about scoring points and earning unlocks by shooting as many targets as possible as fast as possible and as accurately as possible. As old as the explodey-face hills, conceptually. However, a) it looks super-pretty for something so simple/purely promotional and b) it twists an age old concept slightly but fascinatingly. We’re well-used to numbingly shooting the pop-up things until the timer ends.
This one, though, goes nuts – there are a few points where it genuinely made pop-up targets feel a little, well, scary. And without doing it in a self-conciously silly way, either. Instead, it evokes a Starship Troopersesque sense that you’re going to go up against a truly serious threat in the full game. I’m enormously curious about Interstellar Marines: if there’s this much panache to a stooopid web-game, we could be in very something special and surprising.