It is quite easy to forget that Interstellar Marines is an indie title. When most people think of indie they think of 2D graphics and a platformer based styler of game; a lot of recent Indie titles are games that look like they could have been released on 16 bit home consoles, of course I have to emphasise that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. Interstellar Marines though is on another level in comparison though, it is a fully modernised First Person Shooter and when first loading up the game I was hugely impressed with how the game looked. It is very easy to forget this isn’t another AAA title from one of the major studios all vying to take the crown from Call of Duty.
As the title suggests this is a sci-fi shooter, and you will play the role of an interstellar marine. At the moment there are just a few online maps available to play through but it does give you a good idea of how the mechanics work and early impressions are that this title has a lot of potential. I have to admit I am a big fan of the sci-fi genre and like many reading the title I had a thought that this could have taken some inspiration from the most famous space marines, the Colonial marines from Aliens. I am happy to say that whilst it is not blatantly obvious there seems to be some inspiration taken.
The maps available so far are all nice to look at yet at the same time still feeling a little empty but overall I have to say that I do like the feel of them, the colony really does feel like its taken from some classic Sci-Fi films. The lighting is a little hit and miss, but it is nice to see dynamic changes in the effects even if the dark is, well, too dark but it does make you decide whether to plunder around in the dark or use your flash light and risk revealing yourself to the enemy. It is refreshing to see this element fully utilised and does make you think about how you approach the game instead of the usual run and gun that many FPS games encourage.
I found the gameplay to be slower and a lot more tactical. Running in all guns blazing would very likely see you being picked off fairly comfortably, giving your opponent some easy points. I feel that this game would be very good if you were a part of a team and working together and I fell that this is what Zero Point are hoping for.
In its early stages I have had trouble finding matches to play in online, the numbers just aren’t there and whilst I do find games I have often found myself playing with just a couple of other people online, making it far more difficult to really get into the game. On the occasions I have found a full and even match I have really enjoyed it and do really feel that there is a good game in here waiting to come out and this is only the multiplayer part of the game that is open so far.
The single player mode will only become playable when the game is fully released , it will include a four player co-op mode that could make it great to play with friends and strangers alike. I do prefer a single player mode to be played by just the one person though so I hope it isn’t geared towards groups of players as I hate being forced into matching up online just to get through a section or two of the game with other players who just do their own thing. I have high hopes that the single player campaign will be good fun to play through, if they can create a narrative as good as the feel of the multiplayer maps than I for one will want to learn more about the story of these Interstellar Marines
So far this title is still in an early access state and you are warned of this as soon as you boot up the game that you will find bugs, glitches and areas that will be improved upon. True to their word Zero Point have been working away improving the experience. It feels like every time I boot the game up there is an update waiting, as expected early on most of these are minor improvements but it is great to see that the effort is going in. I would love to see controller support added to this game, I feel far more comfortable using a controller and I am sure many others do too, I hope this update is not too far away. Whilst games can be difficult to find online at the moment this game really does show signs of promise and has great potential to be the first ‘AAA’ indie title .