On Friday, Gamigo had their first livestream showing the new Atlas Rogues game. If you remember the Trion Friday livestreams, then this is exactly what it was like! They also said that they may have more livestreams on Fridays in the future.
But now, about the game. When I had heard that there would not be simultaneous turns anymore, I was very disappointed and couldn’t imagine the game being anything special without them. We did get to see the game now with one person, Mobi, playing all four freelancers against NPCs.
I loved seeing Dr. Finn on the screen! I think I did know that Dr. Finn will be in the start-up of ten freelancers, but I kind of forgot… so anyway, he was one of my favourites – among Nix and Gremolitions Inc., Lockwood,… – and I’m quite happy to see that he and Lockwood will be there from the beginning!
I will not go into a lot of details on what the game will have, what has changed from Atlas Reactor, etc. because somebody already wrote down all the news we got during the livestream on Reddit!
The abilities with their directional cones all seem to be the same or very similar, at least. So even without the simultaneous turns, it looked really good and fun to play! There will be progression in the game which wasn’t in Atlas Reactor. For example, freelancers will have gear and levels. Gear will come with stats, too. There are also challenges, which are basically achievements, that will unlock more abilities or freelancers, etc. I could spot: “Fail to complete the reactor 5 times” for Asana (a bit weird… failing will give you a new freelancer…), defeat 50 hulkers for Rask, kill one of each normal enemy type in a single run for Titus, defeat Dr. Finn in the EVoS Stronghold for Dr. Finn and defeat Su-Ren in the Omni Stronghold for Su-Ren.
The turns in the game aren’t threaded ones. It alternates between your (the freelancers’) turn and the enemy turn. If you play with friends, “your” referring to you and your friends all choosing your actions, before the AI plays out the turns of the NPCs. This way, it is at least only the simultaneous turns missing while the rest of the gameplay just feels like the good old Atlas Reactor. It was said that it’s “first come, first served”, so as soon as you choose an action, it will play out.
One big difference which I personally love, is that there are no more turn timers. Before, in Atlas Reactor, you had 20 seconds to make your choice. While it did add a thrilling element, I personally like the game more without the added pressure! When playing with your friends, as I already wrote, actions during your turn play out the moment they are clicked. So I guess playing together against challenging NPCs will require you to communicate with your friends about who does which action first. I like that because it adds strategy. Before, with the 20 seconds turn timers, I had it happen that I had locked in an action only to see that somebody else had locked in an action which didn’t make sense together. So, I tried to switch my action to something different if there was still time left! Again, the lack of turn timers is a really good thing here in my opinion. Once they implement PvP* they may want to think about adding back turn timers. Maybe longer ones, though.
The game will launch into Early Access on November 18, both on Glyph and on Steam. There is also apparently coming a FAQ for the launch with more information. What we still don’t know is whether the game will be free to play or buy to play and how much it will cost. I am personally hoping for a buy to play.
What we saw during the stream was that if your freelancer died, you could revive them and they said it is advised to do so. But you need a revive token for that action. My skeptical brain immediately thought: Oh, so that’s where they charge extra! – But nothing was said about the payment system at all and I wasn’t listening closely all the time, so they may have said where the revive tokens come from. There is in-game currency you earn when doing the missions (Iso). So it may very well be that you buy them with Iso. It’s just that without them saying anything about how they are going to earn money with this game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any nickel-and-diming! Atlas Reactor had skins that you could unlock and/or purchase and I’m really hoping for these as extra income for the developers. I also wouldn’t mind buying freelancer packs as a kind of “DLC”. Basically, “account unlocks” are fine with me. As long as it’s nothing that requires you to keep buying things in order to enjoy the game.
So, to recap: We saw several matches during the livestream and I personally liked what I saw. However, it won’t be like Atlas Reactor because there are no simultaneous turns anymore and it will be a different game because of that! We have no idea how much it will cost and what we will have to pay for – but early access launch will be on November 18 and will happen on Glyph and Steam. Altogher, I liked what we got to see so far and I’m looking forward to playing the game with my husband (unless it’s going to be too expensive in which case we’ll consider carefully how much we really want the game!).
*PvP won’t be in the release version and they previously said that they heard our voices and are considering it, but if I read the chat answers correctly, then they now say that PvP will come, just not at release (no guarantee, though, that I didn’t misunderstand this!).