Dutch indie studio Vogelsap's upcoming asymmetrical first-person PC multiplayer game The Flock is one of the more intriguing competitive games on the horizon. Its alluring central conceit is that players switch off between being creepy H.R. Giger-esque skeletal creatures and a humanoid being with a monster-burning ray of light.
Here's how it works: Every player begins each game as one of the titular flock, the aforementioned creepy-crawlies. Each level contains a "light artifact," which, upon being picked up, transforms the player into a humanoid figure called the Carrier until someone slaughters them and pries the artifact out of their cold, dead hands. The goal of the game is to hold onto the artifact for a set period of time.
What separates The Flock from so many other "hold onto X object for a certain amount of time" game modes like Halo's Oddball is that your abilities - and thus the game dynamic - radically shift when you're in possession of the artifact. As part of the Flock, you can run faster, jump higher, and slither around undetected in the dark. The Carrier, however, moves slower, but can disintegrate any member of the Flock simply by shining the artifact's glowing beam upon them.
Like a flashlight, the artifact makes you incredibly visible and gives away not only your position, but where you're looking as well. Thus you'll frequently switch off between being a stealthy alien-like figure, stalking your prey, and the vulnerable, scared fellow nervously traipsing through the corridors knowing that they're being watched.
When asked about other multiplayer modes, creative lead Jeroen van Hasselt told us that more information will follow soon and added, "the player amount will be small, think four to six players to ensure a psychological experience that doesn't give way to hectic action."
Unfortunately there's no gameplay videos of The Flock available yet, but the teaser below shows off some of its moody high-concept art direction, depicting a derelict earth in the year 3000 long after humanity - and almost everything else - has died off.