This morning studio Flying Wild Hog and Jagex Partners announced a brand-new free-to-play four-player cooperative twin-stick shooter game Space Punks. The game will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for one year before the team targets a 2022 release on consoles and an open beta this winter.
Space Punks Is A Brand New Cooperative Shooter From Flying Wild Hog | Hands-On Preview
The game is being developed specifically by Flying Wild Hog Cracow which is a studio that was established back in 2016. It’s a group of 60 Flying Wild Hog Warsaw developers currently building Space Punks on Unreal Engine 4.
During a preview event held earlier, we learned more about the game and what players can expect from Space Punks. The game revolves around four distinct characters all with their own abilities and weapons. For instance, Eris excels at stunning enemies and dashing around the environment to help her teammates do massive damage.
Each character has a large list of skills that can be swapped out as you level them up individually. It’s not a revolutionary system, in fact, it’s pretty commonplace in games like Borderlands or other live-service games. However, one thing that Space Punks does is show which skills synergize well with other characters to further help your team’s composition.
Players will select missions from a home base, team up, and complete their missions from a variety of different difficulty options, higher difficulty tiers reward more powerful and better loot.
In my short time with the game, I played as Eris, who I mentioned above. Each mission set me on a random map and tasked me with completing objectives ranging from killing hordes of saw-armed robots, destroying power generators, and finding my extraction point.
None of the tasks at hand were revolutionary or complex, but the core gameplay and combat are fun and worth sinking time. The way the different abilities work together with your teammates and the highly stylized models make for an engaging experience.
Gunning down hordes of enemies results in comic-book style onomatopoeia popping up as you mow down your enemies. Each character model has distinct animations for reloading, dashing, unique abilities, and weapons.
The game also offers a robust skill tree that allows the player to branch out in three different paths. Sure, you can mix and match the three trees or you can go all-in on one of them. These offer bonuses like increased health, firepower, and passive abilities.
Abilities exist in the game to complement the endless arsenal of weapons you will find throughout the game, as well as craft. The crafting system lets you custom tailor weapon perks and damage type to your liking as long as you have the proper materials to do so.
One of the core pillars of Space Punks is to design a game that grants players instant gratification in their rewards and that was apparent in my time with the game. I was constantly picking up powerful weapons which all felt like I was progressing naturally and never getting rewarded with worse gear.
When you’re done with a mission you’ll return to your home base which has everything you’ll need to improve your character. Shops, task boards, your gear vault, and mission selection can all be done in this shared world that will populate with other players.
When talking about why the team developed Space Punks, Space Punks Lead programmer Dawid Romanowski said “ The inspiration for the game originally came from Helldivers, a game we all used to play in our downtime, however here at the Hogs what we value most in our games is action, explosions, and mayhem.”
The free-to-play model came from wanting a seamless drop-in drop-out experience, and going free to play makes it easy for anyone to hop in and give the game a try. The game will have microtransactions in the form of a premium battle pass as well as a store that sells cosmetic items.
Space Punks launches into PC Early Access on July 14, with an open beta coming this winter.