If you had asked me a few weeks ago about this mysterious game called Raiders of the Broken Planet, I would have shrugged my shoulders, glanced back at my phone, and continued sifting through the ungodly amount of emails I go through on a daily basis. However, that had changed after earlier today. I finally got to sit down for a few solid hours and began playing through this new IP by MercurySteam, the team behind Metroid: Samus Returns’, latest adventure. Before you get to reading, I suggest you grab a soda, make some popcorn, and lets have a little discussion, because I am extremely excited to discuss this with you.
Great, now that you got your soda, your popcorn, and a comfy chair, lets get down to business. You and I have both seen games like this before, do you remember Brink? You do? Great. If not, it was a FPS title which featured two teams of players who vied for control over an objective. One team had to capture it to win, the other had to defend in order to win, and send the other team packing, in short. This time around, Raiders is a 4V1 shooter/brawler hybrid, set in a story driven campaign system, which is actually quite well done, and comes off a bit brash to some.
If you’re a fan of that cringe-worthy, but still amazing 90’s film Tankgirl featuring actress Lori Petty, then this game is right up your alley. It’s a game that’s honestly hard to explain if you aren’t into such titles. If you try to compare it to games out there, I urge you to ignore titles such as Evolve, Borderlands, and even Brink. To be honest, it’s nothing like them outside of its carefully crafted aesthetics. Just like the other games, in Raiders of the Lost Planet you’ll be taking on the role of one of several raiders. The most interesting part comes from the games fifth player, a person who takes the role of a villain, and is attempting to foil the plans of the Raiders.
This antagonist, works against players, relying on their skill as well as their ability to work side-by-side with their AI partners. The best part of it all? You may not find yourself in a match with an antagonist at all, which sends the players working together to take on enemy forces, and proceed as desired while experiencing the games episodic campaign. The best part of having or not having an antagonist in the lobby? You don’t know they are there until the bullets are already flying, which makes for an interesting premise, and a creatively unique experience through every single mission, which there is only five of at this time.
Maybe the most interesting part about MercurySteam is the fact they are an independent studio, one that has been working hard at separating themselves from the rest of the crowd. In order to do so, they came up with an interesting concept, Raiders of the Broken Planet. Even with all its ideas, it’s a game that has the potential to go the distance in the upcoming months as each of its story archs launch at rather affordable prices at $9.99 each or $39.99 for the full 2017 season. Luckily, the games mechanics are unique, fans will notice that the game is fast-paced for some of the characters, slower for others, and even downright exciting when each of them are combined into full groups of team members.
But I’m not here to talk about the games mechanics, that’s what my review will be for, instead I want to keep informing you what the game is about, and I hope you still have popcorn to eat. If you want my honest opinion? I’ve not played anything like Raiders before. I’ve played hundreds of games in my day as a reviewer, which has led me to playing enough games that there are some I wouldn’t ever want to see another of due to using oversaturated mechanics or being too generic. Raiders decides to throw all that to the side and do something new. It decides to combine the best of shooting, brawler, and cover mechanics into one, using its objective based goals for players to enjoy. The games combat is fast paced, forcing players to make split-second decisions, and even consider intelligent engagements in order to be successful.
I’ve successfully wiped out entire teams as one of the games snipers known as “Bewitchment,” which rendered her invisible to my aggressors. With that, I was able to quickly take them out one at a time, using the heavy melee as my instant execution. But be warned, I died quite a few times, and they almost made it to their final objective in the games second prologue mission. Combat is a blast, especially as an antagonist where every second counts, but its even fun as a protagonist where you are simply throwing a few back, and playing with your pals. With my few hours with it already? The game is shaping up to be one of the most solid experiences I’ve had in 2017.
While you’ll certainly catch me streaming PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, another indie game, you’ll find me enjoying this game quite a bit over the course of its lifetime. Each release will offer four unique story driven campaigns filled with objectives for you to enjoy or foil depending on your selection, and they can even be enjoyed individually in solo play. Thanks to the games progression system, I’ve opted to play the game solo for the story experience, before I moved onto the PvP/Coop aspect of the game. With its low entry point at $10 USD, I can’t say that this game isn’t one to pick up.
It’s a game that allows you to buy part of the game, enjoy what you want, and if you like it? Buy the rest as they release or opt to buy the games founder pack. Allowing you, the gamer, to enjoy the game without having to pay a triple A price point up front. If you want to play it and try out the prologue, MercurySteam is offering that for free on PlayStation Network, Steam, and the Xbox Marketplace. Fortunately, there’s another interesting turn of events for this game. It features cross-play in a way that’s somewhat common to others.
Cross-play takes an interesting turn here thanks to the developers approach to inclusiveness. If you buy the game on the Windows Marketplace for Windows 10, you’ll get to play with Xbox One users while PlayStation 4 gamers will be joining in with Steam users, allowing for two large communities to band together on opposite ends. But what about visuals? Aesthetically, the game is one of the best looking out there, and delivers the experience I’ve been hoping for in recent days.
The game runs at a solid at 60 frames per second on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and even uncapped frame rates on PC. On our MSI Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB Game Ready Plus here at Blast Away the Game Review, I was able to see frame rates sit consistently at 154 fps, and never drop, but a few times to around 130 FPS during load screens at 1080p, and a solid 50-60 in 4K. Luckily, it seemed even rock steady on our PlayStation 4 Pro, never dipping to low frame rates, and offering an enjoyable experience while HDR brought the world around me to life. Even on Xbox One, the game stood out among the rest, proving that it very well could have been a TV show that I was watching versus a game that I was playing.
At $9.99 per “chapter”, I could easily see the game finding success as its player base grows, and offers an experience unlike any other. While the game certainly is cheap, my only real complaint is the character skins. They aren’t cheap, ranging from a meager $4.99 to a staggering $19.99 for the games in-game currency known as Mercury Points. This is the only part of the game I’ve actually found an issue with. The skins are insanely expensive and don’t offer much to the overall game, which is something I’ll be avoiding even post-review as the game is gorgeous, so are the skins as you can see above, but not enough to justify the price point.
If this was a MOBA and I wanted a Limited Time skin? Then I might have bitten at the time of writing, but honestly, at this time? This will be a hard pass, even though I understand that MercurySteam is working to make their money’s worth out of the game, but honestly, I don’t see this being the way to do it. Besides this little disgruntlement?
Raiders of the Broken Planet is by far one of my favorite cooperative titles out there, quite possibly exceeding that of Brink, which I still play to this day on PC. If MercurySteam goes about it right, I could see Raiders of the Broken Planet being around for years to come, but for now, time will have to tell us all.
You can check out the game via their official YouTube channel to see more about the game, or y’know, go download it, give it a shot. I hope to see you out there, fellow gamers, and if you are playing? Let us know what you think in the comments here on our website, on our social media pages, or even give us a shout out on our Google+ page if you don’t use Twitter or Facebook. Stay tuned for our upcoming review for the “Alien Myths” chapter for Raiders of the Broken Planet.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.