Growing up a big fan of Warhammer and 40K, I was very curious to see what developer Streum On Studio (Technomancer) was going to deliver with their FPS version of Space Hulk. The source material of this tabletop game seemed perfect for providing a very Aliens-like experiences of Marines (with swords and magic!) vs Xenomorphs (Tyranid).

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This looks awesome

Streum On Studio also released the intriguingly ambitious E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy, that combined cyberpunk and magic for a unique FPS/RPG hybrid. The game struggled to match its own ambition but still won over a dedicated (if small) fanbase. To see Streum On get another chance at a similar world with a much narrower scope seemed like a match made in heaven (they even referenced 40K when describing E.Y.E.).

Installing the beta and running through the tutorial revealed that the game did indeed have a compelling atmosphere and expressed the feel of its universe very well. I truly felt like a Space Marine Terminator stomping around with with my trusty chainsword. However, the multiplayer experience is currently in rough shape. While trying unsuccessfully to join an online game, I hopped over to their Steam Community Hub and was overwhelmed with what the devs are facing.

Here are a few of the user criticisms.

Runny Eggs:

“The whole user interace in this game is outdated by at least ten years. There is little differentiation between enemies, other than the tank. The combat is haphazard and outside of spamming guns into the darkness it has very little feel. The gameplay is simply boring and uninspired. There is no permanent progression, and each class gets a choice of two (maybe three) weapons.

Not to mention the techincal issues, of which there are many. Long load times, constant FPS drops on any setting above “Low” Disconnects, crashes. I forgive the usage of placeholder textures as this is a beta.

I have 692 hours in Vermintide and 1000+ in PAYDAY 2. I am not new to the 4p co-op scene, in fact it is my preferred genre. Please know that it is with a heavy heart I tell you to get out now and refund immediately. I have had this game pre-ordered since November 4th, subscribed to the subreddit, and consumed every trailer and gameplay link ravenously.

It just isn’t good. It isn’t even $15 good. It’s an utter disappointment to us 4p co-op players who were hoping this was our 2016 Q4 title.”

 

Imperator:

“Game needs permanent level system for multiplayer.
Resetting all your levels with every game is just atrocius. ”

There’s positive feedback as well, but the majority of posts on the page currently are negative.

We must keep in mind this is the first day of the BETA that’s subject to completely change, and that the single player tutorial worked well enough, but this isn’t a game that’s months away. It’s releasing December 9th. Two weeks from now.

Perhaps Streum On is deep in optimization and will launch a perfectly playable final product, but so far it’s looking like much more tweaking is needed.

There’s a voracious community of both Warhammer and four-player-coop fans eager to hop into this world. One user even started a thread asking which food everyone was planning for launch day.

“I’m going to have a chinese (sweet and sour chicken balls, although if anyone has any reccommendations? Getting a bit tired of them)

A cup (or two) of hot cocoa

And some Belinda Carlisle blaring in the background, Hot stuff.”

 

We’ve seen with Evolve that promising multiplayer games can quickly die if they get off to a rocky start. Gamer’s are unlikely to give a second chance even if a myriad of improvements have been made (good luck No Man’s Sky). 

Have you followed any games with rough betas that turned it around? I’d love to hear about it.

 

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