Sure it may be intense to just play against another person online, but what of the special bonds formed between players working towards a single objective? Say, stealing a huge shipment of cargo from a transport ship. Imagine it, your own vessel is hobbled from defensive fire and it seems like you might just have a pile of burning debris as your spoils when suddenly, your ally ship swoops in and takes out the enemy guns. You breathe a sigh of relief. The cargo is yours, now to divvy up the loot and fly another day.
That is just a glimpse of what it feels like to play Guns of Icarus Alliance.
Guns of Icarus Alliance comes from developers at Muse Games, and is a downloadable content piece to the studios’ PC title Guns of Icarus Online. Alliance focuses on large scale player-vs-environment online battles with airships. In given matches, up to 16 participants can crew up four ships and take to the skies in a variety of new modes and maps.
The core of the new add-on is definitely teamwork according to Howard Tsao, one of the Alliance developers. Tsao was showcasing the game to press over the PAX West weekend, displaying the sheer scale of player cooperation that goes into a match of Alliance. The new DLC focuses on participants working together rather than against each other, and allows for a lot of unique experiences each rounds as artificially intelligent enemies are dynamically spawned. Unique enemy types such as brawlers, snipers, diving aeroplanes and monstrous boss ships will all be gearing up against player teams in the latest content piece.
Alongside the retooled enemy coding, Alliance is offering up a faction system for players to pledge allegiance to and gain reputation with. This in turn goes into gaining loot and resources to spread your chosen factions’ influence in a persistent in-game world map. Tsao confirmed that the game map would be persistent in the DLC and would change with every contribution players made, big or small.
“Obviously a top player will have a lot of influence or resources to push into a faction objective.” said Tsao in a Sunday interview on the show floor. “But we want even a beginning player to feel like they have an impact, so certain things can be done with just a little push [of influence].”
And for factions that seem to be consistently dominating the map and can’t be toppled? Tsao commented that the content would also feature an event system that could generate a boost for ailing factions should the need arise. With these new groups, the game’s own lore can be shaped as the map changes with each push or retreat players make.
So far Alliance has been further tweaked after its brief closed Alpha in August. Tsao commented that the development team is estimating for another open testing around October, with plans to open up the access more and more by the end of the year. Muse Games is reportedly aiming for the DLC to officially launch first quarter in 2017.
Guns of Icarus Online is currently available on Steam and Alliance can be pre-ordered for $14.99.