Rebellion, the British developer behind Aliens vs Predator, is back with a new sci-fi action RPG called Gunlok™. We spoke to co-founder Jason Kingsley to find out more.
Gunlok is set in the now traditional dystopian future, this time a war-ravaged world of magic and technology dominated by robots and cyborgs. Jason filled us in on the game's back story...
"Corporate rivalry reached a peak in the mid 21st Century and exploded into decades of war and human persecution. Now cyborgs, more robot than human, rule the planet and their corporations are systematically exploiting its remaining natural resources. Original humans have all but vanished."
"At an industrial complex a robot is changed forever by an energy anomaly that triggers consciousness in his robotic brain. This is Gunlok, the first robot to dream. With his new thoughts comes the power to trigger consciousness in other robots, and the power to tap into a 'magical' energy field of 'Earth Power' that surrounds the Earth."
"Gunlok sets off on a quest to discover his origin. On this quest he will uncover the fate of the original humans, lead a fight against the tyrannical corporations, and release his robotic brothers from bondage. Finally he will confront his arch nemesis, the demonic cyborg Skorn."
And this is where you step in, taking control of Gunlok as he gains conciousness, and guiding the robot through fifteen massive levels as you uncover the dark secrets of his world and work to overthrow Skorn and his minions.
The Famous Five
Gunlok himself can "trigger conciousness in other robots", and this will help you gain robotic allies as the game progresses.
There's Frend, a slow moving and slow witted robot who makes up for his sluggishness with strength and reliability. There's Elint, a technical genius who can help you with the various computer systems you will find during the game. And there is Hark, a small but agile robot whose diminutive size can prove to be an advantage, giving him access to parts of the levels that your other robots can't reach.
Finally there is a human mystic called Maskelyn, who befriends Gunlok and aids him in his quest. "Maskelyn is a special case", Jason explained. "Although he helps Gunlok and the squad of robots, he is not directly controlled by the player, but rather offers assistance at key points in the game."
Of course, no revolution happens without some blood being shed, and Gunlok and his friends will have to resort to force at times. Combat takes place in real time, with an impressive selection of weapons and robot upgrades available.
"The state of your characters, the upgrades you've installed in them, and the weapons they're carrying all influence the route you take through a level and the way you play - more strategic or more combative", Jason told us. "Each type of weapon has multiple ways of being used and different types of ammo, for example. Players have to co-ordinate the characters to build on their individual strengths."
With an epic storyline, impressive 3D graphics, and a mixture of action and RPG elements, Gunlok should be well worth a look. According to Rebellion the game is already nearing beta, and hopefully it should be appearing on a shelf near you soon.
In the meantime, keep an eye on EuroGamer for a full interview with Jason Kingsley coming soon!