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ACE Team's The Eternal Cylinder looks so wonderfully strange

On a distant alien planet, a vast cylinder is rolling across the surface and crushing everything in its path. Were this Earth, we’d welcome our redeemer. But in The Eternal Cylinder, we’ll play a wee critter fleeing the roller, gobbling up plants and beasties to gain abilities aiding our escape. Also, it’s so gloriously strange-looking, just as I’d expect from ACE Team, the Chilean studio behind Zeno Clash and The Deadly Tower Of Monsters. Yes, four years after first whispering about this cylinder (formerly known as The Endless Cylinder), they now say they’re actually finishing it for a 2020 launch. Come watch this wonderful thing.

All of which starts out a bit Spore-like then goes oh so ACE Team. I dig the heck out of that.

It looked exciting in 2015 but they weren’t quite sure what form it would take. Now they know. The Eternal Cylinder is an “open-world survival adventure game,” the launch announcement says, and we’ll be in charge of a whole load of those critters. Oh no, I’m not ready for responsibility.

“Your Trebhums begin at the bottom of the natural food chain but can mutate and evolve with new physical attributes and abilities by eating a variety of flora and fauna. Discover and adapt dozens of mutations, including new traversal skills like flying and swimming to reach new areas, and new senses to help overcome puzzles, challenges and dangers. Your many Trebhums can each have different mutations, and new mutations don’t replace ones you already have, letting you stack ability sets in dynamic ways. Each mutation will also change the physical look of a Trebhum and stacking these will generate near countless surprising new creature designs which players will be able to organically discover as they explore this unique alien ecosystem.”

Apparently the world is procedurally-generated too, meant to combine with the AI ecosystem and such to make it change on repeat playthroughs.

The Eternal Cylinder is due to debut in 2020 on the Epic Games Store as a timed exclusive. The usual Epic deal would mean it’ll be able to launch on other stores in 2021. It’s published by Good Shepherd Entertainment, who would likely be the folks making store decisions.

You can sign up for a private beta and read more about the weird fauna on the game’s site. But will that car-scooting rhino from this 2015 prototype video be back?

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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