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Interstellar Marines Preview

by: William Usher ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

The independent game with the heart of a big budget shooter gets some detailed preview treatment, exploring the weapons, locations and RPG elements.

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    Calling all Space Marines

    Spaceport Zero Point Software’s Interstellar Marines disappeared off the radar for quite some time but ZPS is bringing the game back into the spotlight with a new marketing tactic: letting gamers in on just how big the project actually is and disclosing a lot of details regarding the game, the gameplay, the cooperative features and weapons.

    Moonbase The story picks up where players are part of a modern ITO group, which is like a futuristic version of NATO. Players are party of a colonization process in a whole other solar system. The story itself sort of revolves around the first contact with a sentient species that isn’t too welcoming to the newcomers. There will be a mixed bag of environments ranging from outdoor segments and cavernous runs, as well as metal and steel areas featuring corridors, tunnels and labs, similar to Far Cry and Aliens vs Predator.

    Find out what else the game has in store with this detailed and extensive Interstellar Marines preview that covers everything from the story and environments, to the weapons and RPG mechanics.

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    A Little Bit of Sci-Fi And A Lot Of Immersion

    ITO Laboratories It was said of Interstellar Marines that the game is like a combination of other science fiction movies and games that pit players against formidable alien species that don’t wait around to be picked off. In fact, the mini-games that have been released so far are all in preparation for what gamers will experience in the final game, when it actually releases.

    As said by the developers, the game mixes in some of the corridor paranoia from Aliens, the scope of Starship Troopers and the scientific laboratory feel and progression as displayed in Half-Life. One thing that the team is doing differently from the aforementioned titles is that Interstellar Marines is all about immersion, a lacking feature in a lot of first-person shooters, save for maybe KillZone 2 and 3 and the first-person adventure games from Frictional Games, another independent studio.

    Still, one thing gamers will have noticed thus far is that this is not another arcade shooter like Halo or Call of Duty. The team is really working hard to separate Interstellar Marines from the rest of the herd.

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    RPG Gameplay Meets Replayable Campaigns

    Peeping for a crackshot What’s one of the biggest problems that new games suffer from? Short gameplay, and poor replayability. This brings us to Interstellar Marines: the game has been designed from the ground up with a four-player cooperative campaign that measures at around the six hour mark.

    If the section headline doesn’t give it away the game supports role-playing elements that enable the player to enhance or add additional skills to their character as they progress through the game. Amping up abilities and using specific weapons unlocks additional weapons within a selected category very similar to what was present in Borderlands.

    The other cool part is that the game’s design revolves around replayability so even if you don’t max out stats within a specific weapon category that you enjoyed using throughout the game, you can max it out by doing another run-through of the campaign. There are also other skills such as hacking, healing and armor, giving players a wide variety of options to choose from as they level up their character.

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    Weapon Categories Explored

    Sharks you will encounter later 

    Silenced SMG There are more than 27 different weapons planned for the game. There are multiple weapons with multiple weapon types per weapon. Players who enjoy advancing through weapon categories to unleash devastating and destructive firepower on enemies ranging from stun grenades, proximity grenades, timed bombs to laser-guided shotguns, scoped sub-machine guns and assault rifles with grenade launchers on them will have a wide variety to choose from and unlock in Interstellar Marines.

    To better explain how it works, for example, if a player choose to excel with assault rifles, additional weapon categories for the assault rifle will open up allowing players access to more enhanced versions of the weapon, which can either deal more damage, enhance accuracy or deliver faster firepower.

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    Open-Ended With A String Of Pearls

    Hangar patrol A lot of big budget games seem to suffer from the unfortunate setback of being too short, too linear or too repetitive, like Quake IV or Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Zero Point wanted to break up the monotonous trend of point-to-point shooting with some objective based linearity scattered throughout the play experience. The developers are focusing on mixing in some open-ended environments to give players a bit of fresh air before jettisoning them into some corridor shafts and tight, claustrophobic alien environments.

    In some regards, Interstellar Marines looks to infuse some of the corridor-horror from Aliens with the realism and objective, team-based combat from titles like Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon. The weighty gun mechanics and realistic, immersive feel of the game really adds to the over presentation values and any gamer looking for something different will definitely have Interstellar Marines to look forward to.

    Corridor shooting 

    The added combination of the cooperative modes and the realistic immersive factors could easily put Interstellar Marines on the map as true one-of-kind shooter for this generation. But only time will tell.

    The game is scheduled to first make an appearance with backstory episodes becoming available on Xbox Live Arcade, Steam and the PSN before the full game launches for PC and consoles. You can learn more about the game by heading on over to the Official Website.