The lights are on
Splash Damage is no stranger to
free-to-play first-person shooters. Back in 2003 the studio worked
alongside id Software to create Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, which
was supposed to launch as an expansion pack for Return To Castle
Wolfenstein, but ultimately was released as a free, standalone game.
In the subsequent years the studio branched out with Quake Wars:
Enemy Territory, Brink, and soon-to-be-released multiplayer mode for
Batman: Arkham Origins, but now the team is returning to its roots
with a new free-to-play game, Extraction.
Many studios in the free-to-play space
develop their economic model in tandem with the game creation. Not
Splash Damage and its publishing partner, Nexon. To make sure
Extraction meets the standards of its designers, many of whom are
former competitive gamers, the companies are completely focused on
making the game as balanced and fun as possible. Splash Damage CEO
Paul Wedgwood says he hasn't even started thinking about the
economics yet, but he is quick to point out that pay-to-win will not
be a viable strategy with this game.
Extraction takes place in the year
2020. London has been devastated by a mysterious attack, and much of
the city is uninhabitable. The only people who venture into these
irradiated zones are mercenaries sent in to procure or destroy
sensitive data abandoned during the evacuation.
Unlike most first-person shooters,
which give you a generic character and let you outfit him with
whatever gear you see fit, Extraction features hand-crafted
characters, each of whom has different weapons and unique abilities.
The demo I played had five of the twenty characters available to
players. Thunder is outfitted with a grenade and minigun. Proxy has a
shotgun, proximity mines, and a proclivity for engineering. Sawbones
is a medkit packing medic, who can also revive fallen players with a
defibrillator when he's not taking down enemies with his SMG. Vassili
is the recon soldier of the bunch, packing a sniper rifle and
heartbeat sensor. The last character, Arty, is good with a rifle,
supplies teammates with ammunition, and can call in artillery
strikes. Every character carries C4 and can complete mission
objectives like hacking, so you're not forced to play as a certain
class in particular situations. That said, some characters are better
at these tasks than others. Much like League of Legends, Splash
Damage plans to continually introduce more characters after the final
game releases. Wedgwood teases one may even use the SMART (Smooth
Movement Across Random Terrain) navigation system introduced in
Most of the game modes in Extraction
center on teamwork. Like Battlefield and Brink, you get more points for supporting each other and playing the objective than you ever will lone wolfing it through a match in search of a positive kill/death ratio. The PAX demo tasked one team to defend a
position while the attackers tried to hack a train track control
panel to realign it the tracks, and then clear out a carriage
blocking the passage with C4 to clear the track for an inbound train
containing highly sensitive data. The objectives must be reached
before the timer expires, and once the attacking team fails or is
successful, the teams switch sides. Whichever team completes the
objectives the fastest wins.
The asymmetrical map design keeps the
action in front of you (no Call of Duty style getting shot in the
back every 20 seconds), and the maps offer several routes to take
when assaulting each objective. Teammates automatically yelwhen lout of
medkits and ammo if they are running low, which helps teams work
together even if someone isn't keen on turning on his or her mic.
Already two years into development,
Extraction is scheduled to enter a closed beta in a matter of months,
with a PC release tentatively planned for the end of the year. Maybe
by then, the game will be polished enough that Splash Damange and
Nexon can start talking about the business plan.
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Well, there's another new game sentenced to death before its even been launched. Nexon is awful and has a record of killing perfectly good games. Just look at what happened to DFO and the current awful state of Dragon Nest NA. Maple Story is the only game they really care about enough to take care of.
SMART was the one redeemable quality of Brink, I'm glad it's back.
Looks interesting, but I feel this is going the Brink route...
I'm looking forward to this. I honestly hated Brink, but I still saw that Brink had a LOT of potential to be great. It just wasn't.
Teamwork like in battlefield? SMART movement across the map like in Brink? And it's free-to-play!?! Looks extremely epic to me!
*Note* It says 'splash damaNge' on the last line.
Sorry to be this guy but really!? 'Teammates automatically yelwhen lout of medkits'
A BROWN SHOOTER!!??? sign me up for the most expensive pre order.