RIFTSTAR RAIDERS
A bright spark for 2.5D multiplayer shooters?

PREVIEW
By JAY TEE
22/02/17

THE BASICS

A top down, 2.5D, co-op, multi platform shooter releasing later In 2017 from Climax Studios.

PLATFORMS

Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

PLAYERS

Offline - 1, Online - 4

CO-OP / MULTIPLAYER

Full online campaign co-op for up to four players.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

TBC

TAKEAWAYS

- Upgrades are a key part of the equation throughout the 9 main campaign missions, and these can be customised to your liking as you gather loot and defeat enemies. A robust perk system allows you to focus in on your own play style, with one nifty idea being the ‘Tagger’ (shown in the screenshot below), which affects enemies by making them susceptible to increased damage.

- Environmental hazards such as nebulas and asteroid fields are commonplace, forcing you to focus as much on dealing damage as you do on navigation. Separate upgrades to shields, engines, and weapons increase your durability and speed. Certain perks also afford special bonus effects based on chance, including one that potentially spawns a black hole which can do further damage to enemies.

- You have a fair amount of control over the look of your craft, with different chassis designs, colouring, and banner customisation all available as optional tweaks. This level of individualisation will be important for keeping track of yourself during the more hectic encounters.

- Despite my introduction about placing gameplay mechanics over story, there is plenty of context and lore to be found here. The enemies you face are called the Warswarm (best name ever?), with your team of Raiders tasked with defeating them. How much this will play into each mission remains to be seen...

- The lack of offline couch co-op is a bit disappointing, as this is exactly the kind of game that I could imagine being incredibly fun when playing together under one roof. It could have been perfect for the Switch! Still, the inclusion of online multiplayer is pleasing.

There is something to be said for the simplicity of pure gameplay mechanics. Stripped of lofty narrative pretension and marketing speak, games like Alienation, Table Top Racing and Resogun deliver immediate gratification and offer frequent rewards for your effort. They are the kind of perfect pick up and play titles that often get dismissed as ‘indie’ or ‘budget’ releases, and can be overlooked in favour of larger projects.

Enter RiftStar Raiders, a newly announced top down 2.5D shooter from British developer Climax Studios. The team has dipped its toes in VR development with Bandit Six, helped port the aforementioned Resogun to PS3 and Vita, as well as work on the Silent Hill and Assassin’s Creed franchises. Their pedigree simply cannot be ignored, and their newest original title looks set to make waves.

We’ve broken down the key information released following its announcement, along with some hopes for the final release. Although there’s no word on exactly when it’s due, RiftStar Raiders is multiplatform, heading to PS4, Xbox One, and PC later this year.


The clean and well designed UI suggests RiftStar Raiders is already in a decent state, so perhaps the release is closer than we think? Regardless, Climax Studios should take all the time they need. Looking good!

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CONCLUSION

If you’re getting Velocity 2X vibes, you’re not that far off the mark. The intensely colourful and fast paced reveal trailer shows RiftStar Raiders to be an interesting take on top down action. The focus on physics, reading your environment, and balancing shared loot amongst your team help it stand out. This one is definitely one to watch.  

For more information, check out: http://www.riftstarraiders.com/
Or follow @RiftStarRaiders on Twitter.


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