Asteroids: Outpost Is Atari’s Multiplayer Craft-O-Surviver

I don’t enjoy being cynical or tearing into things, so news that the shambling husk of Atari is slapping the Asteroids name on a multiplayer craft-o-build-a-surviver only leaves me tired. It’s named Asteroids: Outpost [official site]. Words like “We’re paying homage to the original Asteroids by incorporating classic features such as asteroid blasting capabilities, while introducing a completely new premise and gameplay” from Atari CEO Fred Chesnais make me tired. And yes, these pictures are all concept art. I’m so tired.

This is twisting my melon, man. I’m going to make a hot cuppa and take a cold shower. While I’m away, you can read this description from yesterday’s announcement:

“Set in the distant future, Asteroids: Outpost thrusts players into a harsh deep space environment. While on a massive, unforgiving asteroid, players face the challenges of exploring the asteroid, collecting resources, scavenging for ore, crafting equipment, and expanding their territory as they build highly customized bases – all while forming alliances and fighting off other players in challenging multiplayer gameplay. Recurring showers of smaller asteroids represent a source of wealth and a threat as players shoot down these incoming projectiles to defend their claims and harvest their components.”

Asteroids: Outpost is being made by Salty Games, a new studio in Los Angeles said to have “industry veterans with decades of AAA development experience”. They’re a mystery, claiming credits on big-name games that were made by so many people it’s meaningless without details. Kotaku picked up on a note that Salty are “supported with technical and infrastructure support”, whatever that means, by Arktos Entertainment Group. The’re an investment company and online publisher most notable for buying a big hunk of Hammerpoint Interactive – the folks behind shambolic zombie survive ’em up The War Z (or Infestation: Survivor Stories as it was renamed). I had a bit of a dig but couldn’t find anything useful or interesting on Salty. I’m tired.

Universal Pictures are still working on their Asteroids movie, you know. I’m tired.

Atari also have a shooty new Alone in the Dark coming. It’s made by Pure FPS, the studio which took over multiplayer survive ’em up Nether after release, and which itself was founded by founders of Rekoil [Steam page] developers Plastic Piranha, who’d left the multiplayer FPS in a pretty wonky state but still on sale. I’m tired.

Though all Atari have to show of the game for now is concept art, they say Asteroids: Outpost is getting an Early Access release “soon”. Of course it is. I’m going to stroke my cat now. I’m worried the happy little thing’s age has very suddenly caught up with her. I’m tired.

25 Comments

  1. Villephox says:

    Multiplayer survival crafting whatevers sounds like a nice concept(compared to all the hills and forest of zombie lands), but yuck, everything else beyond this just sounds sad. I like the idea of craft-o-build-a-survivers, but dislike zombies, so I’ve passed up most of them. Think I’ll pass this one up, too.

    • JonWood says:

      You sound like someone who would appreciate Space Engineers.

    • Vin_Howard says:

      I doubt it’s going to be anything like that. I suspect it will be much, much worse. In that it’ll be like one of those 2d facebook “strategy” games (notice the lack of mention of “first person”)

  2. Zarax says:

    And here I was hoping for Outpost 3…

  3. frightlever says:

    Alice, you look tired.

  4. hollowroom says:

    I have a feeling this will be terrible. But I quite like the concept.

  5. Tony M says:

    Destination Sol is free on Steam, and looks more Asteroidsy than this.
    link to store.steampowered.com

    • frightlever says:

      I wonder would a monthly F2P round-up be an idea for RPS.

      I assume that people who dislike F2P games are a vocal minority.

      • jeeger says:

        Yes! Or F2P/Mobile/what-have-you. I’ve been turned onto some quite excellent non-purely-PC games (Hoplite, Star Realm, Dream Quest) by RPS comments or articles, and it would be awesome if things of that type would be collected in a weekly (or semi-regular) basis.

    • Premium User Badge

      Craig Pearson says:

      There is also Space: The Return of the PixxelFrazzer: link to rockpapershotgun.com

  6. Going Bald says:

    Atari is, sadly, a fetid corpse. The current owners that claim to be ‘Atari’ are simply carrion eaters and should be ashamed of what they’re doing to the legacy of the main progenitor of our industry… They disgust me.

  7. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    It does look rather like someone looked at Space Engineers and thought, “I bet we could make money with a clone of that!”.

  8. Spacewalk says:

    Hilarious!

  9. Rao Dao Zao says:

    But what if you could talk to the asteroids?

    Probably get a load of ‘roid rage, I guess.

  10. yan spaceman says:

    CALL THE COPS! The computer game cops that is.

  11. iainl says:

    So this is to Space Engineers as The WarZ was to DayZ? Oh God.

  12. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    Holy hell what is it with survival games at the moment. Why is everyone so obsessed with making them. I just don’t understand it, it’s the biggest epidemic of band-wagon jumping I think I’ve ever seen in gaming.

    • ZIGS says:

      How can you not understand it? Each week a new one comes out, completely unfinished/buggy and still makes a shitton of money. Of course they’re gonna keep doing it. If there’s one thing extremely easy to understand, is why they keep making games like this

      EDIT: after posting this comment I actually went to the official website and the game’s tagline is “WELCOME TO THE NEW GOLD RUSH”. It’s almost poetic :)

  13. pepperfez says:

    Have we reached peak empty buzzword? Is this it?

  14. MojaveMusic says:

    Well, our primary concern here should be whether or not this will be a *good* survival crafting thing. I don’t think the Asteroids name has much prestige attached to it beyond being historically important.

    That said I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be at best mediocre.

  15. blacksun_redux says:

    I wish so hard that Atari would rise again and be a star. They should really get in to VR. Imagine that logo and sound, (to those that are old enough) as you start a VR game.

  16. racccoon says:

    Honestly your going on concept art to dam this project, I do not see it.
    I see it as being smart for not disclosing everything until the time is right.
    I think its time we shut the doors and stopped with foundering/kickstarting and releasing far too much info immediately, this never helps because a pattern happens just as with new movies being made, you get an onslaught of copies, so to keep important info away is a good idea.

  17. wu wei says:

    Armada on the Dreamcast was effectively an open-world Asteroids, and it managed to retain the core mechanic too. I think it might’ve made the leap to PC MMO as well…