Co-op/Versus shooter Raiders of the Broken Planet is free to grab (and keep forever) for the next two days

Raiders of the Broken Planet

The problem with launching a multiplayer shooter is that players are part of the content. Without players, you’ve only got half a package, even if there is a single-player mode. MercurySteam’s Raiders of the Broken Planet (a Gears of War-styled co-op shooter with a light PvP twist) has always looked rather nice, but without people playing it, it’s a hard sell, and the game just never got off the ground.

In an attempt to zap some life back into Raiders in time for the next episodic campaign release, for the next two days, you can grab the entire game (including three DLC solo/co-op campaigns) free on Steam to keep forever. Grab it now, and you’ve got something for your crew to do over the weekend.

From the little bit I’ve played so far (the tutorial and half a mission solo), it’s a very nice-looking game with an aesthetic halfway between American sci-fi comics and European space-weirdness, which makes sense, given that MercurySteam are Spanish. It seems more cutscene/story heavy than most co-op games, and plays a lot like Gears of War, only with automatic use of cover, and a jump button to allow some climbing around when needed. The mix of ranged and close-quarters brawling remains, plus each hero has their own weapons and special abilities.

One interesting mechanical twist is that there are no ammo drops. Similar to Doom 4, you need to punch bullets out of enemies, so there’s a real incentive to get up close and use your melee attacks even if you’re a snipey character, which gives you good reason to at least try to stick close to your team. The missions seem pretty bombastic as well, with a lot of environmental stuff going on while you’re trying to put bullets in heads.

While you can play the game solo, the focus is co-op with a twist. Your regular team of four players get to be the heroes, but anyone that has completed a given campaign as the goodies unlocks the option to play as the Villain Of The Week to keep the hero team on their toes. All the grunts, minions and bosses will be on your side, and while you’re not especially durable yourself, you get to add a little bit of human unpredictability to the bad guy forces. Plus, you respawn, while your minions don’t. The trailer above gives you a taste of the dynamic.

Raiders of the Broken Planet

Claiming your free copy in its entirety takes a little more leg-work than most Steam giveaways, but not too much. The demo version of the game – a tutorial and the first mission – is listed as free-to-play, and you’ll have to download that first, run it once (and probably complete the tutorial while you’re at it), then launch the game again via the Steam store Play Now buttons in each of the three DLC campaigns in turn, permanently adding them to your account.

You can grab the base Raiders of the Broken Planet game on Steam here, along with the extra Alien Myths, Wardog Fury and Hades Betrayal campaigns. Once they’re unlocked, they should no longer be greyed out on the mission selection screen. There’s a fifth campaign in the works, which’ll eventually cost real money again, but from now until Friday you can grab everything else to keep, which seems like a good chunk of game.

12 Comments

  1. Phasma Felis says:

    Is this an Evolve-type game that’s always co-op team vs. one human enemy, or is pure co-op an option like in Left 4 Dead?

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      It’s more like pure co-op but with an extra fifth slot that may or may not be filled. The antagonist player isn’t a one-man army meant to be fighting an entire team. In fact, you’re outnumbered and outgunned by design, but you’re a human mixed in with a bunch of NPC troops.

      If you’ve ever seen Resident Evil 6’s invasion mode, or even Dark Souls for that matter, it’s kinda like that.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      After playing a little more in a couple proper matches, it’s very hard for the antagonist so score an absolute win – a full squad wipe with no lives remaining – but they’re scored on the amount of trouble they gave the heroes.

      That last match I played, my team burnt through two sets of 16 lives. Once you run out, the surviving players need to hold out for 90 seconds to get a full restock, so fall into a group and make sure the antagonist doesn’t get too many ideas.

  2. TΛPETRVE says:

    This game is basically Army of Two, right down to the aggro mechanic (prolonged action makes your character light up like a christmas tree and draw enemy fire), just with the brofists and racism replaced with hero shooter stuffs (no worries, the story and voice acting are still shite and filled with expletives, so it’s enough like Army of Two in that regard, too). Sounds much worse than it really is. There’s enough fun to be had, just don’t expect much in terms of substance.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Man, it’s been so long since I’ve played Army of Two that Gears of War just sprung to mind as the only point of reference.

      Yeah, it’s a dumb and loud co-op shooter. Simple controls and systems too, which makes it good to pick up and play, but perhaps not great for the long-haul.

      Fortunately it’s free, so there’s not much worry either way.

  3. April March says:

    Ha ha ha ha what the hell is up with that character design, it’s like Joe Madureira’s tribute to tumblr, I love it

  4. jeffy777 says:

    Does it have splitscreen for local co-op?

  5. Menthalion says:

    Never even heard of this and am always looking for coop shooters. Shame really.

  6. BaronKreight says:

    Nice game with badass characters. Some mechanics may appear to be clunky and raise eyebrows and their monetisation model us kinda weird.

  7. Menthalion says:

    Well, it’s a first in 30+ years of gaming that a cutscene already had me nauseous enough to quit. What hideous artificial camera shake and amateur montage.

    No way to disable DoF, Motion Blur and Chromatic Aberration, no FoV setting either. And are they seriously expecting me to change mouse sensitivity by scrolling one point between 1 and 100 at a time with a quarter wheel rotation ?

    If you can’t even implement a mouse slider, be sure not to try release a game for PC. Even free this wasn’t worth enough to me to even make it into the game itself, while it’s definitely the type of game I’d go for.

    • broflosky says:

      You get your hands on a gifted copy of a game…FOR FREE!! but as you can’t set the “star trek mothership options” you just blame it and don’t play it? are you serious?

      What a pile of shit of a comment.

  8. montfalcon says:

    I bounced off this so hard. It’s super confusing, and does a really poor job of explaining its concepts.

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