Voting & Roadmap
Post your impressions here!
Impressions after 13ish hours. All of this is opinion, and I trust devs with my firstborn:
The groundwork is there, the gameplay/shooting mechanics/graphics are solid. It's begging to be built upon and with the UniversEdit and updates to come I am VERY excited to see where this is in a few months/year or two from now.
Kills are very satisfying, wish there was more oil splatter like in S1
I know there has been a lot of criticisms about pacing, but personally I think it feels good, it starts mellow then slowly builds into chaos. I would like some more crazy Elite spawns like in S1
Love the merchant variety. Gamblers den is VERY fun.
The guns so far have been very cool! I'm a little concerned that they all may be good and I think that might be a problem (more on that later)
Being able to throw stuff/launch the gas grenades over high cover BLEW MY MIND. I was giggling to myself when i first figured it out.
Really appreciate the secret areas. More of this.
The sub-classes so far are all grounded within the actual class, yet diverse enough to cater to different playstyles, and i appreciate this. Excited for recon.
Runs well on my bucket.
Not so great: (a lot of this you've heard already)
AI feels stale on base difficulty.
ChronoTrooper Enemy AI just teleports right into your gun barrel. while I appreciate them jumping into my bullets, I don't think all of them should wish for assisted suicide.
Current weapon upgrade system works (I know its just a placeholder) but i think it lacks a little depth. Would like a bit more than just dumping all upgrade points into one gun 3 levels into a run.
Getting stun locked by 3 taser bots and dying is maddening, but maybe this is just a 'GIT GUD' type problem.
Map/ui BLAH BLAH BLAH
I would like more elite mobs. One shotting everything is fun, until a point.
Cosmetic differences between subclasses. Make guard judge stand out with a Judge armor coloring or assault grenadier have like an all black spec ops type coloring. I would give money to you guys for cosmetic stuff.
This one is going to be a little controversial; put more BAD guns in. Not every gun needs to be a banger. The trash guns make the good guns that much better. Not every run needs to be a good run. Bad luck is still luck
The cursed weapon chest challenges could have a bit more diversity. Pull a sniper from a cursed weapon chest? now you need X amount of weakspot/headshot hits. SMG? backstab attacks LMG? Kills while overheating. Something like that.
Overall you guys are doing great. I have all the faith in the dev team. I'll end up posting more as I think of it.
Criticizing is much easier so I start with the defects:
I think the game doesn't have a soul. We keep clearing next stages from similar enemies group being always in the same places. I would expect some group attacks, ambushes and patrols. You make awesome vehicles, maybe it's worth to use it, for example when terror is too huge, vehicles with troopers should arrive. Give the game some life, make players feel like they are always in danger . The thrill of unpredictability will make the game itself more difficult and at the same time more interesting.
As for the opponents:
Too much melee enemies so sometimes I feel like in zombie game. In S1 nice solution was fight with use of the environment, you can not experience it here, because dogs and enemies with sticks force you to constantly backtrack. The game is also not very varied with human-like enemies. Where are terminators with machine guns, enemies with rocket launchers, flamethrowers, shotguns and my favorites head hunters?
And what as well is not too good, many times enemies staying and waiting for death. They don't attack despite the player shot it. Good option would be an idea when enemies "know" that they won't win with player they would rather run away and wait for help. If enemies are in advantage they will try to flank players or hold the line. Only with a significant advantage they will try front attack but if they have toxic grenades or rockets or something else they will try drive out player of hiding.
A few remarks on the weapon:
Shotguns and rocket launchers reloading is a little too long.
Shotguns shots sounds like they do not reflect its power. (and my small dream - make nemesis sound like anti-tank gun to hear it power).
Assault riffles are too weak or smg are to strong.
interesting game climat
shooting is very satisfying
enemies exploding for million elements
smooth character animation
Bugs which I found:
After using teleporter: quick changing the weapon is restart to pistol and second gun.
After taking new weapon or exchange them, quick changing doesn't work.
Beginning reload in case of some weapons and change for different ones doesn't break reloading sound.
Private security is summoning endlessly
Active skills should be chosen by player.
Enemies sentry guns are weak so they should shooting continuously.
Choosing the difficulty mode as in S1.
Fog in war mode (we don't see enemies and what is in the rooms).
Room clearing unit and mini tank from S1.
And of course roomba robots.
Random thoughts and quirks I have noticed.
Chrono troopers are easily the scariest enemy. It's not even close. They are extremely sporadic, agressive and can kill you very quickly. On a similar note, is anybody else having trouble understanding when you are taking damage? Maybe it's enemy firing sounds or something but I find it very non intuitive.
On the opposite end, every other enemy is pretty underwhelming expect for the occasional big turret guys.
Reload sounds feel a bit off. It sounds super clanky and loud. Really not a fan.
I really hope there is a way to upgrade items and weapons like there was in Synethetik 1 down the line. It was one of my favorite parts about that game. Deciding where the money goes.
Big fan of the new Zir curse system. S1 ones were a bit too polarizing with the buffs/nerfs they gave you.
Enemies that aren't in your vision due to perspective and buildings should be outlined in some fashion. Dying or getting shot by people you literally can't see is pretty frustrating.
We need to be able to pull up a big map that shows where we have explored and what we haven't. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where the fucking exit is. Also movement speed seems really low in comparison to the map size. It probably doesn't help that I'm used to playing on Madness mode in S1 which has increased movement speed. But I feel VERY SLOW. Chrono trooper class has an even bigger issue with this. But I'm going to give that it's own point.
Chrono trooper sounds and looks like a class that would be very aggressive based on his kit and the enemy representation. Unfortunately he is anything but that. His lack of regular dash with a long cd on his blink makes him very slow. And such as you are rewarded for playing slow only using your teleport when things start to go bad. This on top of the fact that traversing the map with his is also slow due to not having a spamable movement option makes gameplay really unfun. Proposal. Make a chrono trooper subclass play into this notion more but for every other chrono trooper class make his blink an item and give him a nerfed dash of some sort to keep up the intensity! Nothing quite like epic synthwave music narrating a fucking turtle xD
Also chronotrooper has some inconsistencies with what he can and can't teleport over.
The music is fucking awesome.
Enemy shields right now are kind of absurd. If your weapon has damage fall off or if it's not very accurate at sustained range damage you can really struggle to kill enemies with shields.
Not being able to lob grenades over cover is kind of weird. I get it from a balance perspective though.
Just being able to replace your pistol is also kind of strange. Maybe make pistols a more enticing choice if you can just get rid of them.
I really hope there will be ways to upgrade weapons and items down the line. It was one of my favorite parts of S1
All this in combination with the bugs can make me not want to grind out a lot of stuff at the moment. But I'm sure that can/will change in the future
I enjoyed the gameplay in the demo a lot, but I have a few criticisms:
1: I'm not the biggest fan of the HUD's new look. S1's HUD felt very exact, precise, and minimalistic, which I loved. For me, the shape of the ammo bar and its size feel off. I also am not a huge fan of the active reload circle. I can't place my finger on it, but it feels slower and less "clean" than S1's did, so to speak.
2: There needs to be a way to see enemies that are hiding behind walls inside of buildings and stuff. It wasn't a big deal in the demo because it was only the first four stages, but on high terror levels with demigod runs like those possible in S1 I could easily see a Red Guard soldier sniping you from one of those spots and instantly killing you.
3: The general pace of the game feels much slower (and this coming from someone who's a level 120 Heavy Gunner on S1). I think it's because enemies are spaced a hair farther apart and base movement speed is a little lower, but the time delay between exiting a fight and entering a new one is too high for my taste.
1: I love the 2.5D perspective. It really freshens up the gameplay coming at it from a new angle (literally, haha) and adds some new variety.
2: The gunplay feels pretty good. Obviously I've only tested some of the like 7 guns in the game so I'm not entirely sold yet but things like the railgun felt nice to shoot.
3: I'm very interested to see the new mechanics for leveling and customization as they're rolled out.
Thanks for making an amazing game, Shrike!
It's probably planned for the early access release, but just in case it's not: I wish it would be possible to rebind the active item hotkeys. Atm I've got the problem, that I have to let go of the A or D keys to activate my items.
I wish enemy movements felt more robotic like in Synthetik 1
As first impressions go, I really enjoyed the demo and hope to see more features added in. Obvious complaints like audio and graphical stuff can be ignored since, after all, it is just a demo.
On to the feedback:
1. Chrono Trooper should have a toggle in the options to swap the blink to either go to the cursor or in the movement direction. Could probably do the same for any other class too.
2. The starting burst pistol should have more ammo in the clip, I noticed I was constantly running out of ammo for it, even with controlled stationary shots.
3. Enemies should have an outline if they are behind a wall. The same goes for the player character. In line with that, if the player character is behind a wall, it would help if there was some sort of indicator of where said wall meets the ground.
4. There should be a minimap, getting lost was too easy. This will most likely be added anyways since S1 had it.
5. When the floating drones or the bike enemies die and drop an item, they drop it inside of themselves and, sometimes, the body is solid, meaning the drop can't be picked up.
6. Inaccuracy while moving should be reduced by around 10% since enemies are still accurate while moving towards you.
7. Enemies exploding into many bits and pieces is good. There should be more enemies and more exploding.
8. Player character should have some sort of flashlight for darker areas, or some method to make darker areas brighter. The game turned into a horror game during a particularly dark section as enemies jumped out from the shadows. Although, that was pretty neat. In line with darker areas, the cursor shouldn't become black while moving since it is practically impossible to see in the darkness.
9. An icon of some sort to indicate where the character will shoot when the cursor is behind a wall. As in, if I'm beside a wall and I'm currently aiming beyond the wall, an indicator on the wall could show that I can't currently shoot where I'm aiming would be helpful to know.
As someone who LOVED the original Synthetik, here is what I do and do not like about the demo, bearing in mind that this IS in early alpha. I'll list them in order of importance.
I DO like:
Atmosphere/environment. In the demo alone, there is some amazing atmosphere. I LOVED coming in from the outside, going into the warehouse, and eventually going through some office spaces (The indoor office area was my favorite part). The trains moving in the background, fluorescent sci-fi lights illuminating dark spaces. Not only that, but the environments have that special "Synthetik" flavor that S1 had, making the game look visually original and appealing. If the artists keep this up, they'll be putting AAA game studios to shame. The environment just look incredible, and I could go on about about how much I love it, but I'll leave it at a 350/350 terror level score.
The item system is defiantly improved. Separating passive items and active items is great, and the effects of the items I've seen so far are interesting and fun to use. The visuals and audio of all the items/abilities I've used in the demo had great visual/audio feedback, and felt very satisfying. Chrono Trooper's Chrono Charge ability was my favorite, and made me REALLY want upgrade stations be a thing so I could see how powerful I could make it. The system still feels largely like a WIP, but I like what is there.
I love killing enemies and their bits getting tossed and ragdolled all over the place. Now if we get the oil-blood pools from S1 splattering all over the place, it would be PERFECT.
The music is great. period. We just need more tracks for more variety!
I DON'T like:
I do not like the camera at all. It feels too low to the ground, causing simple walls to obstruct a lot of vision and make aiming feel weird. I can see enemies really far above me, and not much below me. IMO, the camera needs to be rotated to look downward more. Also, there's camera smoothing on the camera movement. Personally, I absolutely hate smoothing, and having at least the option to disable it would be nice.
The slow pace. I feel like I'm crawling painfully slow through levels, whereas the original Synthetik was much faster paced, especially as you got better at the game and could push it to the limit. (I'm going to plug this video (3 minutes, I edited it down) of one of my favorite runs in S1 that I recorded as an example: https://youtu.be/NGs4wEEk4U0). It feels like the base movement needs to be globally increased.
Problems with visual clarity. Having a character painted almost completely blue standing on a blue floor just feels bad. There's... a LOT of blue in this game. Even if there's good contrast between characters and the environment, it feels like enemies and allies both need something to help them "pop" out of their surroundings. (Healthbars really need to be present at all times, not just 'if they take damage')
Definitely agree with the pacing, it feels a little like S1's tactical mode is more similarly paced to S2 than the rest of S1, but overall it's probably one of the most promising releases I've kept an eye on to date.
The game is pretty solid for such a small demo. Feels like synthetik right away but a litte slowed down. The only problems i've had so far is the following:
HUD is very minimalistic about thigns like dash charges, which are represented only by microscopic dots.
Ammo/health drops are stuck inside destroyed drones which you have to shoot trough first. Not sure if that is intended.
Turrets can be moved by enemies/player walking into them.
Some crates cannot be used.
Can't change weapons if the one you are using jams.
Where are the roombas?
The pre-alpha looks and feels really solid, IMO. I was expecting it to be clunkier and more, well, pre-alpha-ish.
The sound design is stellar, of course. Some of the most satisfying SFX in any shooter, and I'd say the same for Synthetik 1. I have no feedback on that front except to say keep up the good work. :)
I like that the level design is chunked loosely into "rooms," rather than just one big square map. Really makes each encounter feel more like a tactical experience, and with the robots being more difficult compared to the first game (imo anyway), it makes me want to consider the architecture and things like traps and cover more carefully. I also love that you can use destroyed vehicles as partial cover, at the expense of potentially blocking yourself out of an escape route.
One thing I'm not super impressed by is the way the robots fly apart into high-velocity chunks when they die. It would be cool if it happened when they got hit by an RPG or something, but comes off as cartoonish when you're just whittling them down with your pistol and then GIBSTORM. Some variation in the death physics based on impact velocity or just damage would add a lot of spice, I think.
Overall I'm super stoked for the early access and can't wait to see what S2 looks like in the near future.
Oh, and a note to whoever made the laser sight refract when it hits a solid surface: You're sexy. 😘
I generally enjoyed the sounds a lot, they have that meaty oomph to it that makes every action feel impactful. I was a bit sad about the shield warning on screen as I really prefer keeping the screen as empty as possible to deal with enemies and have other information like that relayed through sound instead. On that note, I think the UI could also be shrunk down a little, or be adjustable.
I'm also not entirely sold on the graphics, I still feel like it's a bit toy-ish looking. This goes especially for the player character and enemies, I think the surroundings are actually fine and could be great with some cleverly placed details during the final touches. Other than that it also seems a bit slow for my taste, but that might just be the person playing, haha.
In general I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some gameplay during the steam festival so I can get a feel for it. I'd say that's arguably the most important thing about the game and I can't judge it without playing. As long as it feels nice to play I am see a distinct possibility that I will love this product as much as its predecessor.
Thanks for your work!
Yeah I see what you mean about the toy-ish look of some things, sorta reminds me of the earlier days of S1.
While the first game's characters are far more matte and similar to the steel-and-concrete halls of Kaida HQ, especially retaining the mostly matte concrete look, the new characters look a lot more plastic.