pax 2015

Trion Worlds Announces New Game, Atlas Reactor

by Daniel Tack on Aug 29, 2015 at 09:16 AM

At PAX Prime 2015, Trion Worlds (Rift, Defiance) announced a new title coming to PC - Atlas Reactor. The game defies almost any standard explanation, but it looks like it's done something I really didn't think was possible - a team-based, simultaneous turn-based competitive multiplayer game. In the broadest strokes possible, think speedy Xcom meets League of Legends, with the turn stages meticulously designed to facilitate fast yet strategical gameplay.

Essentially, moves and abilities have priority designations that determine when they "go off" after being locked in each turn. As part of the design of Atlas Reactor, attacks and abilities happen before character movement each turn. For instance, if I expect a rocket barrage is incoming, I could use a "dash" ability to make sure I'm outside of the radius before attacks go off that turn. There's cover, are-of-effect abilities, "ultimate" skills that charge up over the course of a match, and even a taunt system that lets you get a hearty helping of character personality as you lay waste to your opponents. These abilities set up what turns into mind games - will an injured opponent do the traditional play and load up a punishing, reflective shield to survive an impending attack? Or will they know that you know that the shield is coming, so they try a different play completely?

Creating a game like this is a daunting task, because it has to be fast enough to avoid turning into a multiplayer snoozefest with players yawning and waiting for each other to act, but have enough strategy to make the gameplay compelling. Based on what I've seen from an early demo, Altas Reactor somehow manages to pull off this odd amalgamation of genres in stride - I can't wait to have more time with it. With the slew of games that come out of every PAX that fit neatly into established, defined genres, Atlas Reactor is doing something different and wonderful. After PC launch, it's certainly a possibility that Atlas Reactor could come to console or even mobile platforms like iPad.