It's nice to see a game you love become big enough to inspire other studios, and it's hard to deny the similarities between Trident's Wake - released into early access today - and Helldivers. It's a four-player (offline or on) twin-stick shooter by Bacus Games with procedurally generated missions. Players work together to complete multi-phase missions while being hammered by waves of angry aliens. While outwardly familiar (yes, there's friendly fire), it looks like there's more focus on loot, character customisation and weapon upgrades. See the launch trailer below.
As with Helldivers, it looks like half the fun (and potential frustration) of Trident's Wake will come from your own teammates. As missions get more intense and enemies close in, players get careless and sweep their guns anywhere they see danger, and undoubtedly towards a friend. A good team sticks together and picks directions to cover. A bad team runs around like idiots and sends friends diving for cover. It's this kind of goofus and gallant dynamic that made Helldivers so great, so I'm happy to see it replicated here. The main point of differentiation is its more RPG-like progression - I'm curious to see how well the loot n' shooter systems work in a game like this.
The developers think that they've got the core of Trident's Wake nicely polished already ("almost bug free", they say). Four player classes are available right now with customisable equipment, and players can complete missions across two procedural environment types. They intend to only spend a short time in early access, aiming for a launch in April, and want to add two more classes, three new guns and two more environments. Of course, there'll be the usual bug-fixes, tweaks and balancing along the way, but it's interesting to see such a short stay in early access planned.
Trident's Wake is out now in early access, and available on Steam for £7.97/€8.74/$10.49, an introductory price which will rise after February 28th. The developers are unsure if they'll raise the price further at launch.