These days, Indie developers more and more seem to be following the time-honored tradition of taking their time to produce impressive, quality games. With the improvements provided by better and better development tools and their own dedication to quality, they now can give us stunning graphics, great audio, long story lines, impressive AI, and other considerations more commonly associated with larger AAA companies. The folks at the Swedish independent studio 10 Chambers Collective are embracing these values and priorities, hard at work producing a truly exciting and unique game called GTFO, which does NOT stand for “Good To Fry Onions”. The game is not fully released yet, but there is enough information provided over at gtfothegame.com to form some first impressions.
The premise of GTFO is, well, pretty self-explanatory – to “escape”, as the title suggests. Four players cooperatively start off with minimal equipment in the bottom of a dimly lit, abandoned industrial complex deep underground. The protagonists are not super soldiers or military combat veterans, they’re just regular people forced into scavenging anything they can find to survive. The complex has been abandoned for years by humans, having been overrun by mutated monster-like beings of all sorts. The players’ stated objectives, provided by the mysterious Warden, change with each foray into the complex. But ultimately, the overarching goal is to get out alive. The story isn’t fully revealed at first, and will continue to be developed over time with free updates planned to enhance the game.
What sets GTFO apart from others of the same genre? As stated in a behind-the-scenes video by Developer Simon Viklund, GTFO is a truly immersive four player cooperative experience. From the environments the players move through, which were inspired by movie director Ridley Scott’s original Alien film, to the ever-changing ominous music and sound effects, everything is designed to add to that “desperation-on-the-verge-of-panic” feeling. Even the lighting, what little there is, adds to the feeling of an oppressive, ever-present threat. The players will be in a true survival-horror setting where they are almost always running out of ammunition and almost always running low on health. This sets a much slower, more deliberate pace where tactics, stealth, and using all the tools at your disposal play a huge part in their ability to survive. Other games that GTFO might be compared to, other “cooperative” games, only require you to fight alongside each other. Here, you must truly cooperate and fight as a combined unit, presumably to complement each others’ strengths, as well as to control the action.
Fellow Developer Ulf Andersson also added that the players will be forced to work together, sharing resources and loot, and effectively communicate and coordinate with each other, otherwise you have a situation where one person is charging into an area they shouldn’t be and kicking the hornet’s nest. If you like solving problems as a group in an intense immersive atmosphere, then this game is for you.
Make no mistake – GTFO will be a difficult game, tailored to FPS enthusiasts. With features like friendly fire, and limited ammunition and health, the game was designed from the ground up to be an extreme survival-horror challenge to a niche community. That being said, if a more casual gamer (like myself, for example) who may balk at that description tries the game out, be assured that there is no real death for the player during their campaign in the complex; they simply become incapacitated, waiting to be revived by teammates. The game is being designed to require all players to progress, open certain doors, etc. It’s a very interesting mechanic that will need to be experienced to fully embrace.
GTFO public testing is due to begin sometime this Spring, with Early Access and full game release dates TBA exclusively on Steam. In keeping with their dedication to transparency with their community, the crew at 10 Chambers refuse to announce dates unless they are 100% sure they can provide the absolute best possible experience to gamers. Quite respectable in my opinion, considering how many studios release absolute garbage just to make a date. I’ve been following the development of GTFO for many months now, and have been on the edge of my seat waiting to experience it. All the information I have, as well as tons more, is included on their Discord server and is readily available online through their Ambassador program (which is free to join) and their Press Release package, both accessible through their website at www.10chambers.com.
The developers at 10 Chambers have set the bar high and continue to work towards those goals. From what I’ve seen so far, they look to be well on their way to providing a refreshingly unique survival experience that is sure to provide even the best FPS gamers with an ever-increasing challenge.