Cargo ships get a raw deal in the world of video games. Think about it: Cryostasis, horrible frozen ship haunted by aggressive spectres. Cold Fear: something something ghost ship zombies. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: stabbed in the eye by a psychopath, everything explodes. Metal Gear Solid 2: first you’re Snake, then you’re Raiden. I could go on.
Monstrum doesn’t look like it’s going to reverse the trend of negative representations of cargo ships in video games, but at least it’s not doing so in style. That much is evident from this newly-released trailer showing off some Early Access gameplay footage.
We last covered Monstrum when it was announced early last year. Dundee-based Team Junkfish have been spending the time since perfecting their cargo ship models and textures, meaning the game will be made available on January 29th (with a full release to follow in the mysterious leap-month of “Q2”).
The Early Access version of the game promises two out of three of the game’s monsters, each of which tracks you in its own unique manner. From the look of the trailer, there’s one that’ll pursue you through air ducts – air ducts also suffering much video game typecasting, although they do at least get some positive representation – and pop out when you least expect it. Another is a big lad who’s a little less subtle, knocking down thick steel doors if he knows you’re on the other side.
I’m curious about the game’s procedurally generated levels. I’ve played a few prototype games that used procedurally generated levels and stalking monsters to produce a survival horror experience, and I can’t say the results constituted memorable level design… but Monstrum is no student prototype and, if the trailer’s environments are to be believed, I’d not have suspected its dank corridors were slapped together on the fly.
In the run-up to Monstrum’s release I’ll be running a JustGiving campaign to collect donations for the victims of negative representations of cargo ships in video games. Please, people: think of the cargo ships.