Zero Point’s Interstellar Marines has a perception problem. I had a look at a bunch of comments people have made about it in the various news stories we’ve posted: some people are intrigued by the promised RPG shooter that’s been inspired by Deus Ex and System Shock; others decry it as ‘generic’, and failing to live up to its promise. I can see both sides. For all their promises, all that’s really been delivered is a multiplayer shooter and bits of admittedly impressive tech. For a game announced in 2005, that’s not a huge amount of progress. It’s something that the developers address a little bit in the trailer below, with a breathless narrator mocking the lead dev’s ambitions as he pitches the game to Steam Early Access customers.
It also just popped up on my Steam account. Early Access will let you play some multiplayer matches and fiddle with some tech demos. The shooting and movement is still pretty basic, with one gun and no jump button (as far as I can tell, because the controls aren’t listed either). The gun does feel nice, and the body has a nice presence. The environmental tech impressed me: the tech demos allow you to cycle through states, changing lighting, adding fog, even plunging levels into complete darkness, lit only by lightning, flashlights, and muzzle flashes. One of the levels I had a short playthrough online did use the changing state to plunge a game of team deathmatch into darkness.
So, yes, its current state sort of fits both points of view. How annoying.
It’s not going to be the next Halo, but it might just be another Natural Selection.