Finally, a long wait is rewarded. I’ve been backing Interstellar Marines for ages, even before the failed Kickstarter campaign. Now the good folks at Zero Point Software released the first (public) co-op campaign map; the “NeuroGen Incident”.
I gathered my brothers and we spent a few hours playing. Playing and enjoying. Don’t get me wrong, I did play some of the multiplayer as well, and enjoyed it, but the co-op is what I bought the game for!
Interstellar Marines does a fantastic job in the atmosphere-department. It’s a slow-paced Rainbow 6/S.W.A.T. 4-type tactical game but set in a - not necessarily space, but science fiction-universe. Even being in space the gameplay is refreshingly low-tech. No lasers, no Doom-esque B.F.G:s, just loud and bullet-spewing assault rifles. There are no radars showing where the enemies come from, not even minimaps. There’s not even night-vision goggles, you just have to get used to the little flashlight mounted to your weapon - which means, for example, that the cone of light goes to the roof when you reload. Let me tell you how scary that is when you hear a lot of robots coming running at you.
Even though this is the first iteration of co-op and the guys at ZPS say it will improve still, I was really impressed with the A.I. of the robots we encountered, killed and were killed by. They run away, take cover, wait for you to lose interest and charge you again when you turn your back.
Speaking of the enemies, I really like the fact that there are so few of them. A lot of fps-games go the “easy” route of throwing i sh*t-load of enemies at you so you can rack up the kills. Interstellar Marines is refreshing in the fact that the enemies are so rare you actually become more scared of them. It’s all in the “it’s not what you can see which scares you, but that which you can not see"-philosophy, and it is awesome!
Sometimes I missed having a minimap, and they could get away with adding one, even with the hardcore-mentality of not having for example a cross-hair. At least this map, being quite dark, meant it was sometimes difficult to get orientated, but once we had played maybe three times we were quite comfortable and knew where to go.
This was a fantastic first show-and-tell of the co-op, and I can not way to see more missions, more weapons, more everything! This has favorite-game-, game-of-the-year-, best-game-evar-potential!