Raiders of the Broken Planet by MercurySteam is one of the more intriguing games I’ve played in a while. It’s a 4v1 co-op style game, but that one player (antagonist) may not always be in the game.
The latest developer diary released today by MercurySteam shows us just how the antagonist is integrated into gameplay for Raiders of the Broken Planet. It’s a new feature that allows a human player to enter a campaign level of four other human players in an attempt to prevent them from completing the mission objective. This player can arrive at any point in the level, or they may not even show up at all. To put it simply, the antagonist is a troll.
The antagonist can see which mission they are entering as well as which characters the other players (called Raiders) are using. This includes all of their special powers and abilities, which lets the antagonist choose a character suited to counteract them. As a human player, the antagonist will also know how to beat these levels as they presumably would have played them as a Raider themselves. This new feature, according to MercurySteam, allows for a high level of replayability as you never know when an antagonist can show up. Game Director Enric Alvarez says it best in the video by noting
“The antagonist already knows the mission, and perfectly knows how to screw things up for the Raiders”.
To put the role of the antagonist in simple terms, imagine playing a co-op level of Gears of War where at any point a human player can take over the role of a Locust. I was fortunate to get several matches of the beta in this past weekend and was impressed at how easily the gameplay flowed. Matchmaking was rather quick and the upgrade system was rather in-depth. Although some of the features were locked due to the game being in beta, you can see the variety of options that will be included in the full game are vast.
As a troll myself, I can vouch for what the diary notes about the antagonist. After completing a co-op level of the campaign as a Raider, I decided to try my hand as an antagonist. Even though I was playing the same level, the experience was completely different as I was now tasked at preventing from happening the very same thing which I just accomplished. Although I was successful, much of that comes from the game being new and no one really knowing the subtle nuances of the levels. As time goes on and development continues, Raiders of the Broken Planet will be a game to keep an eye thanks to this new system.
No exact release date has been announced yet, but Raiders of the Broken Planet will launch later in 2017 on PS4 and Xbox One as well as PC.