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Save Mars With A Friend: Deadstone Demo

Co-op zombie blasting ... IN SPACE

I'm not sure what it means that fighting zombies on Mars doesn't even raise an eyebrow from me any more. It's par for the course. Normal. The very base level of ridiculousness I expect from a game. Deadstone is about defending the approach to a colony that is under attack by "infected" either solo or with a partner in a top down blaster/survival deal. Made by one-man-studio Daithi McHugh, it's up on Greenlight and has a demo available. I've had a play and you can consume my impressions and a trailer once you've beaten through the hastily erected barricade.

For me, the most interesting thing about the demo was the voice acting, presumably all done by the developer done by Canadian Anthony Ingruber. It was remarkably professional and the thick but understandable Irish accent gave the main character, Blake, a much needed shot of personality. The writing itself is high quality cliché - good, but centered on gruff characters speaking serious lines about their situation. They're well characterised and act as individuals with different traits, just a little generically. In a clever move I'd love to see replicated elsewhere, there's a second version of the storyline that's more irreverent that can be selected upon starting. You can also just shut the plot off all together, if that's more your bag.

In play it's a very slow build, my short time with the demo not reaching the action-packed scenes shown in the trailers or screenshots. It will likely improve significantly with the addition of another player, though most of the levels seem to take place on the same, featureless map. I was on the normal difficulty and enemies were a little bullet spongey too, though I do have a personal preference towards swarms of enemies in top-down games. Missions have a set up period where you can deploy defenses such as mines and turrets, while there's a variety of weapons and special items to use while defending. It's all done through credits paid out by the surviving colonists, though exactly why the guy running the shop selling you guns isn't just opening his stores so he gets to live isn't touched upon.

There's a few more trailers, including a story one with an example of the voice acting I spoke about above, over on the YouTube channel. The game's out on July 10th and can be got through the official website once it's out.

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