Marauders

The name Deadside might not be all that familiar to most people. It’s a first-or-third-person post-apocalyptic crafting-and-survival looter-shooter MMO (and breathe…) It’s kind of rough around the edges, but Deadside offers really well-balanced and precise combat that helps it stand above other entries in this hodgepodge of a genre.

And a lot of the same stuff that makes Deadside‘s combat stand out can be seen in Marauders. Namely, that focus on crisp, taut gunplay (although, in this case, far more close-quarters and claustrophobic than in Deadside), with a feeling of frenetic chaos to really heighten those stress levels.

After watching some recent gameplay footage of Marauders, I was hooked. I soon found myself on Steam, checking to see if it was available to purchase. Alas, it wasn’t — and still isn’t — with only the nebulous “coming soon” release date on its Steam page. But based on what I saw, it looks pretty dang polished and ready for launch, so my fingers are crossed that it won’t be too much longer before I can get my hands on Marauders.

Marauders

The setup seems pretty simple based on the Steam synapsis:

Marauders is a tactical first-person multiplayer shooter set in an alternative 1990s where The Great War never ended, Earth has been industrialised to its breaking point, and many have fled to the stars.

As space mercenaries known as ‘Marauders’, players will gear up and pilot their ships through hostile galactic reaches to salvage anything they can and survive by any means necessary.

Throughout each match, players will be able to upgrade their gear on-the-fly as they uncover troves of loot from daring raids on hulking frigates and embark on tense touchdowns on moving asteroids.

They’ll also have to keep a close watch for others looking to do the same and end their expedition with a bullet.

Basically, you fly your ship in what seem like smaller instances — as opposed to, say, a vast open world like No Man’s Sky — and board vessels to raid them. You can get into some dogfighting while piloting your ship out in the somewhat open space areas, and your ships are also upgradeable and customizable, so that aspect is very much on the table.

Marauders

But the main focus seems to be in the raiding and pillaging. Once you board a vessel or station, you can run amok and collect whatever gear and resources you find. Of course, there will be resistance in the form of A.I. and also other players, so you will have to be sharp and keep your head on a swivel.

In the gameplay footage I watched, the A.I. enemies were no slouches, and often it was tough telling them apart from other players who are also out for your booty (snickers). And the combat scenarios looked very tense, all tight quarters and industrial settings, with a lot of round-the-corner precision-based shooting.

You will be able to actively loot on the spot and don any armor or clothing you loot and also swap your weapons out in the moment. But the main objective is to loot to high heaven and then haul ass, because you will only permanently acquire what you have looted by leaving the vessel or station, either via your ship or an escape pod, and then exfiltrating the instance. It’s similar to other games, like The Division‘s dark zones areas or all of Valor.

What I find interesting is the actual look and setting of Marauders. Set in the 1990s, despite the fact that space travel has apparently been mastered (for the most part), the guns are still just automatic or semi-automatic rifles and single-barrel shotguns or Mauser-style pistols.

Marauders

And the locations are all steam pipes and metal staircases, like something out of a refinery or somesuch other heavy industrial plant or factory. This is to say, there don’t appear to be fancy space lasers or plasma grenades. It almost feels like some bizarro WWII shooter, which I find appealing and refreshing if nothing else.

Marauders currently has no release date, but considering how far along it looks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a date pop soon. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that date weren’t too far into the future. For now, you can add it to you wishlist on Steam and check out a trailer below.

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