I can't wait to tell you, fellow human person, about this game which I have learned about. It is an asymmetrical science fiction multiplayer murder mystery with absolutely no aliens in it at all. You might think from these screenshots and this trailer, starring Terrible Voice Man, that it is an FPS inspired by The Thing and Alien and that there are clearly monstrous fleshy alien lifeforms in it. But you are wrong. There are certainly no aliens here and I am certainly not one of them. What a pity. How about some regular human long-jump instead? That is a popular game in our society.
Okay, let's get some small reservations out of the way first. SurvHive [official site] has only just been announced but damn that is a terrible name. And oh man, that voice, that trailer. Oh man. All right, that's done with. Now, let me read out a sentence from its gore-soaked press release:
"SurvHive is an asymmetric multiplayer sci-fi horror FPS that includes RPG elements that might make you think about SpaceStation 13."
That is a lot of good things for a game to want to be. It falls squarely into my sphere of interests. You'll be one of 16 players aboard a space ship, complete with nuclear reactor, laboratory, cargo hold, bridge, and all the rest. But someone in the crew is an alien. They look exactly the same as everyone else, except they have a message on-screen telling them the truth: you are the alien, go forth and infect. Their bullets are blanks, they can infect others with a horrible chest spike and they can mutate into their true form at any time, in a HUGE explosion of blood. Wonderful.
Meanwhile humans will have to maintain a healthy level of sanity, defend key areas, extinguish fires, fix broken reactors, hack systems, deploy sentry guns and engineer items to help each other out. There are different classes of human - Scientist, Engineer, Soldier and Cultist - each with skills that will level up as the game goes on. Players will also get secret objectives, say developers Rocking Hamster, that they will be encouraged to carry out, pitting them against one another in unknown ways and theoretically ramping up the paranoia.
But eventually, the humans might want to escape in the ship's only remaining shuttle. It's up to the infected ghouls of blood and flesh to spread their disease and kill all the humans before they get away, using their own upgraded abilities - super vision, climbing on the ceiling, and screaming.
It sure sounds the part, doesn't it? For anyone who enjoys card games like The Resistance or Werewolf, the idea is immediately recognisable and appealing. Asymmetrical multiplayer is a very hard thing to do right but anything that cites Space Station 13 as an influence gets a "good luck" from me.
SurvHive will be lurking around in the vents of Early Access from August 1st.