You know when the premise of a game doesn’t really make sense but you don’t care because the game looks fun enough? In Beacon [official site] you’ll find yourself stranded on an unfamiliar and hostile planet, with a weapon and a working clone bay. That’s the setup for a top-down shooter with roguelike elements (read: permadeath, mostly) in which you’ll be fighting, dying and cloning yourself back, each time using your enemies’ DNA to modify yourself in gameplay-altering ways.
Why can’t you clone yourself multiple times and make a small army? How could such a delicate piece of equipment survive your ship’s destruction? Does it matter? These and more hard-hitting questions after the
Beacon is the first effort from Monothetic, a studio created by same folks who worked on Half-Life 2 mod Black Snow. There is no announced release date, but it will be coming to Windows and Mac as well as XBone. The trailer tries to make the premise look cool – and admittedly, it succeeds – before showing quite a bit of gameplay.
The visuals give a strong Transistor vibe, except with more wildlife and alien nature. The game itself will be quite action-oriented: you’ll shoot your way through robots, aliens, wildlife and some zombie-like things called “the occult” to get to the titular beacon and off the planet, but the devs also promise ” long-term strategy, where your actions can be felt and built upon hours down the line.”
Now, back to our questions: If you’re dead, how can you carry the defeated enemies’ DNA back to the clone bay? And who is making the decisions about what DNA to splice into yours? When does the game come out? Will we ever know? Can we ever be sure we know anything at all? But if we can never be sure, can we at least be sure about our uncertainty, or is that inherently self-contradicting?