Status: Early Access
Developer: Trek Industries Inc, Spiral Game Studios
Publisher: Trek Industries Inc
Genre: Over the Top Sci-Fi Shooter
Release date: TBA
Type: Single-Player, Multi-player, Co-op
Guardians of Orion provides for some FPS arcade fun while giving the player some neat abilities to work with. I especially like it’s concept as you can go from a top-down view to a first person view (which I think is a great addition). Although the game can be immersive (especially with friends), it can be redundant after a bit.
The game’s structure is either a survival mode or slaughter mode. In survival mode you defend your harvester. It can defend itself but will need your help in maintaining its health. In slaughter mode, the harvester is on the move! Unlike survival, you’ll have to keep moving with the machine in order to keep it alive. If the machine becomes damaged, the player may repair it with a special weapon (that is given to the player). Any player of any class may repair the machine. All classes come with one main weapon and a side arm. On top of having basic abilities including roll, teleport, and grenade, each class has their own unique ability.
There are four classes available at the moment : assault, support, tech and recon. Assault class is my favorite as they are given jet packs as their special ability and have an automatic weapon at their disposal. Support class has a shotgun instead of an automatic rifle and can deploy a healing bubble as his specialty. The tech can deploy a machine turret as their ability and the recon can turn invisible for a time being. This last class is given an EMP grenade to tackle robot type units. The grenade function isn’t extremely effective at the moment and it’s physics aren’t exactly right. Imagine running then throwing, there isn’t an extra “umph” and the trajectory feel isn’t quite as right. Every class has an ability to upgrade their skill tree (this can be seen in the screenshots). Players can upgrade their melee ability or choose to be faster. There are three trees in total with usually two options to choose from. I believe adding this into the game can really make it stand out. As mentioned, the player can cycle through a top-down view or a first person view. I like to stick with a first person view when I’m engaging flying type units (to shoot in the air) but the overview helps when you’re being swarmed by enemies. Small enemy dinosaurs, for example are difficult to see in first person as they can mask their movements through the grass. The enemies themselves are pretty varied (even for early access) and some enemies will have you running for your life while you’re trying to shoot at them. I really like the variety and the choice of enemies. Players are able to sprint in-game while crouching is not available (I couldn’t imagine what you would use it for anyway). I think they did a pretty good job allocating the controls and given the player a good feel of control over their unit.
The graphics are OK at the moment. Their neither extremely good, or bad, rather in between. You’ll notice anything green or some rock edges not being exactly smooth (but this is okay because there is time to touch this up)! This also won’t affect your game play experience. Sounds are pretty good but I would recommend adding some sort of scream when a big enemy starts charging at you. Make the player scared and excited to play! Although sounds do not directly affect game play, they can change how the player is feeling in any moment of the game. The first Splinter Cell did it with one note being played hard on a piano, I’m sure GofO can do something similar or even better.
Overall, not a bad game. It feels like a mix between Halo, Turok and some defense FPS’s out there. There is no campaign at the moment (I hope there is one) and multiplayer servers aren’t exactly full. It will be tough finding a game. I would highly recommend getting this game on the premise that either you like it for what it is, or that you’ll be playing it with a friend. I really hope as well they make it so you can burn the grass as you fire through it or some sort of effects along those lines. The game sort of lacks in this department regarding effects.