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Gunhead pits a pirate against derelict ships full of drones

Space pirate naming conventions are simple

There’s no reason having a gun for a head would stop someone from becoming a concert pianist or a specialist on Assyrian antiquities, but let’s face it, they’re far more likely to be a space pirate, raiding floating tombs and shooting everything in sight. That’s certainly the case with Gunhead, an open-world FPS due out next year.

Like its predecessor, Cryptark, Gunhead is all about breaking into massive space hulks and looting them, all the while trying to stay alive when you’re being chased by drones made of bone and steel. But while Cryptark was a 2D shmup, its sequel is a fast-paced FPS.

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Here’s what Marsh made of the first game when it was in early access:

As it is, Cryptark is one of the most confident entries to Early Access I’ve seen – a few bugs aside, this is robust, generously featured and unusually convincing in its design. In fact, I might well be tempted to use Cryptark as a case study of how to take a simple, hoary old game conceit, like the shmup, and have it transcend into something richly strategic.

Gunhead takes place directly after Cryptark, with Gunhead and his crew on the run from the government contractors they betrayed, but aside from the change in perspective, it seems to hitting the same notes. That switch to first person is pretty dramatic, of course, and gosh does it look absolutely gorgeous, blending Borderland’s striking comic-style with lots of neon and chrome. It's due out some time in 2018.

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