No Landsharks Yet: Interstellar Marines Adds Co-op

It's a blurry place, space.

In the early days of alphafunding, long before we settled on the term “early access”, Zero Point Software came up with the loathsome “AAA Indie”. In 2009 they started crowdfunding Interstellar Marines, a type of game impossible in AAA Dependent: an FPS about space marines. Oh, but I’m too cruel. After years of prototypes and milestones ranging from a shooting gallery to competitive multiplayer, Zero Point updated it on Friday with the first iteration of what they’ve teased since 2006: single-player and co-op story missions.

The ‘NeuroGen Incident’ mission pits space marines against robots that have gone a bit wonky and angry, foes who are sadly less jawsome than the long-promised landsharks. Hey ho. It’s a solitary mission, not from one of the three planned core campaigns, and looks pretty placeholder-y. But it’s here. I’m slightly surprised this finally happened. It’s been a long haul.

Reading Zero Point’s AAA Indie manifesto now, it seems a concise but obvious explanation of crowdfunding and early access. Back then, mere months after the first alpha of Minecraft, the idea of paying for a game that was not only unfinished but you couldn’t even play yet was pretty dang weird.

And all this foresight centred around an FPS about space marines shooting robots and aliens, of all things! Part of ZP’s point was that indies could make anything without publisher money, of course, but it was hardly an empty genre. Perhaps that’s why it’s taken them so long to reach this point. They tried a Kickstarter in 2012, but fell far short of their $600,000 goal. A few months earlier, the far-more-exciting Shadowrun Returns and Double Fine Adventure had each only sought $400,000.

Anyway, to mark the launch, it’s 25% off on Steam Early Access, down to £10.49.

Here’s a bit of co-op from some folks who, as as far I watched, are relatively polite:

36 Comments

  1. Gog Magog says:

    myth or legend
    nymph tale washed ashore
    near the kraken sleepeth
    stirs coral and bone


    Landsharks remind me of the most random things, man.

  2. Wret says:

    I “backed” this back when…dear hell was Minecraft still in Alpha? The studio almost died but then Greenlight and Early Access caused them to RISE LIKE A PHOENIX.

    I think what makes their Space Marines Game unique is they want to go for that Immersive Sim thing I’ve heard about or “Believable Science Fiction” . The landsharks are a point of contention. What I’m saying is many games do “You are a Space Marine”, and they all do it badly :V

    Granted if we’re talking WH40k, this is more like being an Imperial Guard Kasrkin I think. Or more Aliens (I dare not say the words [REDACTED] Marines)

  3. msing says:

    Backed this a while ago, didn’t play much when the multiplayer component was released, and can’t now I don’t have a dedicated gpu.

    Can’t wait for this to become the fully realised dream the studio has, by then I might have a gaming PC ;)

  4. skyturnedred says:

    I’m quite interested in this game, but I’m still waiting for it to become something more substantial before buying it.

    • BlackAlpha says:

      You might be waiting for a while. I’ve been waiting since 2006… lol

  5. ZIGS says:

    This game will dethrone Duke Nukem Forever

  6. Chaz says:

    In space, no one can hear you yawn.

  7. Havalynii says:

    Golly, I would probably last about 10 seconds playing with Ticorah. Waaaaay too much blathering and yelping.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      “…are they’re scarier ones then these”!?
      …lol wot? these grey department store mannequins u mean?

    • KevinLew says:

      I can understand wanting to keep talking during a mission, but audio is clearly important in this game… You often hear the enemies before you see them, so having her freak out and scream all the time is really irritating.

      As an aside, I think the marines should have some brighter colors on them. Everything seems like shades of gray. During some of the hectic moments, I would have friendly fired all of my teammates because I wouldn’t be able to distinguish them easily.

      • TheSplund says:

        Looks ok, if a little generic and less scary than we’re mean to believe (what was she screaming at all the time? bloody annoying). It needs more nasties with better AI so they creep around rather than just running at you – well it’s co-op so maybe I’ll pick up a couple of copies for my mate and me when it drops to £3 on Steam about 3 months after it goes beta

        • Havalynii says:

          I think once we see the mutants, things will get really interesting. That landshark looks like it can cause a whole lot of pain in a very short amount of time. Would love to see dismemberment in this game, although that might be a pipe dream. I really like the idea of a Rainbow Six-style game mixing with scifi enemies; I am always curious to see ideas that try to imagine how are highly-polished infantry tactics would adapt to a completely new type of nemesis.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Well, that’s what real coop sounds like…not like in those Ubisoft demos.

      • Havalynii says:

        Maybe, not when I play with my friends, I guess. ARMA, Raven Shield, and SWAT 4 are probably to blame for that, though. :)

  8. USER47 says:

    The studio was surviving on life support for quite a while, but the steam early access boosted the developement significantly and currently it seems to be progressing well.

    The Neurogen Incident, while buggy and rough around the edges, is quite impressive piece of atmospheric space station exploration. It is clear they are trying to emulate system shock, and even though they are not there yet, i am curious what are they going to show us in the future updates.

  9. phanteh says:

    I’ve tried Space Interstellar Marine a few times since I’ve bought it and always struggled to get a match. It’ll be nice to try it out with some friends, if I can convince them to buy it…

  10. USER47 says:

    “…In 2009 they started crowdfunding Interstellar Marines, a type of game impossible in AAA Dependent: an FPS about space marines…”

    Um, i understand the hyperbole, but really, the game ZPS obviously want to build isn’t a simple “fps with space marines”. From the very beginning they say they want to build a game with tactical depth of Rainbow Six, atmosphere of System Shock and Alien, and large open non linear maps, all that while telling a believable hard sci-fi story about the first contact with sentient alien species. That’s hardly a mainstream “space fps”.

    • tasteful says:

      your right those are all indie things oh wait none of them are!!!

      • USER47 says:

        And?

        System Shock and original Rainbow Six might have been mainstream at the time they were released, but how many “big” games similar to these are being released now? None.

  11. Crafter says:

    I really admire the obstination of these guys. I backed their game mostly to see how far they will go.

  12. RARARA says:

    I want this to succeed because it’s a Unity game that doesn’t look shit.

    • Baines says:

      There are several Unity games that don’t look like shit. You might even have played some, and just didn’t realize that they were Unity games.

      There are some gotchas that tend to give away Unity games, but most of those can be worked around by developers that put in the effort.

      • slerbal says:

        Shadowrun Returns, Sunless Sea, 7 Days To Die, Wasteland 2, Endless Legend are a few off the top of my head and there are a surprising amount more. There were quite a few more I didn’t know used Unity on link to unity3d.com . Unity is pretty cool. Wish I’d used it on my games :(

      • RARARA says:

        Oh, I know it’s a good engine. But comparatively there’s so much more Unity shovelware out there (because of its portability and lower barrier to entry) that people now tend to associate with shitty games.

        @slerbal: You may want to include Sky Rogue, Drift Stage and else{heart.break()} to that list. ;)

  13. buzzmong says:

    I’ve been playing this the last couple of days.
    It’s obviously alpha, but it’s actually quite good so far. They’ve managed to get quite the atmosphere going in the little mission they’ve got, and it’s finally shaping up to go places.

  14. Mobyus1 says:

    Thanks, Alice, for embedding my video!

  15. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Huh, I wasn’t aware they were still developing Interstellar Marines. But then, they’ve been at it for quite a while.

  16. jpm224 says:

    You can’t really tell from the video, but this game is terrifying. That singleplayer demo level they released a while ago (it was browser-based only until now, i believe) is one of the scariest things i’ve ever played.

    • Alien says:

      I would really like to play this “sp demo level”… where can I get it?

      Thanks

      • Slaphaed says:

        Steam.

      • USER47 says:

        He probably means running man prototype…but i wouldn’t really call that scary, it’s just running around grey corridors and shooting few robots. The new thing is far more scarier when played solo:).
        link to interstellarmarines.com

        • jpm224 says:

          Yes that is the one I was referring to you. I don’t know, maybe i’m just a big baby, but something about the level design – mainly the dim lighting, and the way your line of sight is broken up by the pillars around the rooms, hallways, etc.- just made for a very unnerving experience when you round a corner and see one of those faceless, silent bots coming straight for you.

  17. Havalynii says:

    Anyone know if there will be any AI squad commands? Sorely lacking (along with many other things) in Red Saber.

  18. -Aj- says:

    Backed ZPS back in 2009, many support, such benefits.

    One thing i’ve always hugely approved of regarding this developer, they have their hearts 100% invested in this game.
    You listen to them, you talk to them, you can tell. Its in their blood.

    People want too much right now, Ebay next day shipping, two weeks? no fuck that, too long.

    What work they produce is pretty quality, they don’t half ass some shit just because every-fucking-article that comes out about them is just crying about sharks. They quite politely and calmly say “No fuck you” and keep on chugging along.
    As support increases, their production has increased, and it has been ramping up from there and shall continue to do so.

    At least you know they are in it for the long run, they’re fighters, you have to give em that.