Kickstarter Projects: The Afflicted
Kickstarter is truly a brilliant invention. This website has provided the opportunity for game companies that do not have the funding that AAA titles do to branch out and create the games with the kind of innovation and originality that the gaming culture certainly needs. Sure, we can handle buying another Battlefield or another Call of Duty, or picking up the latest Final Fantasy, out of the 28 games that were made in that ridiculous franchise. But the beauty of gaming is the indie branches. This is where an interesting Kickstarter project is brought up. The Afflicted is a third person shooter game created with UDK and the Unreal Engine to put some originality and flavor into the FPS genre, which frankly, needs it. Take note that Kickstarter Projects will generally be sourced from interviews with the developers, creators and any other information that is provided to the Valid Gaming team. There is not a demo out for this game, yet.
The Afflicted story is centered on the ruins of a planet named Helios that has been left behind due to a virus with the potential to destroy all of the life on the planet. Two corporations that have been using the planet as a kind of testing facility and an expansion of Earth decide to disband from the planet due to this virus. The civilians who were left behind end up splitting into teams of 3, each with their own agenda on how the exiled planet is going to be handled. The Pigs team has the desire to restore the democratic government on Helios. The Choir team has the preference of peace on Helios and the preservation of the planet by removing the virus first. Finally, the Nameless team wants to take the option of destroying all life on Helios. The player takes on the role of one of the many civilians left behind by the corporations, who are split into these three teams.
Just like most civilizations that are royally fucked and left out on their own, the civilizations in The Afflicted are of no difference. It is due to this that the other three teams, instead of trying to form a peace treaty with each other, decide to fight it out Call of Duty Domination style with RPG elements thrown in the mix. Teams take over certain areas of the map and acquire resources from the area which will then be used to upgrade the weapons and defensive capabilities of the teams. This is intriguing considering the game has a third person shooter focus but still has many of the elements of other games that are interesting when put together, have never been put together before, and are debatable as to whether these elements will work in a game. Once again, this is why indie games are amazing, risks for the possibility of amazing and new games (instead of sequels) are definitely worth it.
The gameplay (looks to be) reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto games with free roaming gameplay, however there will be buildings or NPC characters which sell defensive items or upgrade. Allowing a free roam mechanic inside of a first person shooter game while inside of a fast paced domination play style encourages characters to quickly buy or sell defensive items while maintaining control of their area, considering there are only a maximum of 8 players on each team. Combined with the three teams instead of two, the same feeling of alertness and quick strategy is multiplied since there are 16 threats that have to be monitored and eliminated rather than 8. I can imagine this game reaching a high audience of both hardcore and casual gamers, in the same way that DoTA and Call of Duty does. While this may be only a preview, I can’t wait to do the review.
**Fun fact for you:**
Tristan Parrish Moore, the Lead Designer and Director of the Afflicted, was an extra in the film “Year One” with Jack Black!