A few weeks ago, I was able to try Anacrosis. It’s a co-op shooter by Stray Bombay, a studio run by Chet Faliszek (formerly of Valve) and Kimberly Voll (formerly of Riot Games). Think of this experience as The remaining 4 people died in space.
However, given that Anacrosis released as part of Steam Early Access Program, there are many problems to solve. Also, I mostly played solo before debut due to time zone difference. Fast-forward to the present, and the game’s player count hasn’t quite caught up with its ambitions yet.
Lost in space
Anacrosis takes place on a space station filled with aliens in 70s style costumes. Yes four playable characters, although you can’t choose which one becomes your avatar (don’t worry, as there’s no mechanical difference between them). While you can play solo with bots, it’s still an online experience. That means a player looking for a match can visit. However, if you played before release, then you will wait a minute or so before the match starts.
From there, I see what I can only describe as “same” hallways, rooms, and locations. even though Anacrosis there are currently three levels with several zones in each, I can’t really remember anything that stood out (other than an area with a disco). However, compared to other co-op action games like The remaining 4 people died or even Vermintide may be warranted. Those games have open areas, while Anacrosis yes but a cramped space station. Coincidentally, this limited setting could have resulted in bland and forgettable environments and designs.
‘s aliens Anacrosis
Speaking of environments, we also need to consider atmosphere: a staple in team shooters or action games where the AI Director is in charge of spawning. Even while playing Anacrosis All because of my solitude, I had no sense of fear or tension as I progressed through the levels. In part, this is because pets and designs don’t necessarily catch my eye.
Don’t get me wrong, there are nasty aliens that will pose a challenge. Aggressive Brute (i.e. Tank/Rat Ogre) will level anyone in its path. Meanwhile, Gooper spits out blobs that can trap characters. There’s also the Flasher, which completely obscures your view while it’s alive (it’s actually the most original of the bunch).
However, the tense atmosphere is not there and the audio cues will not be emitted at certain times. As mentioned earlier, games like The remaining 4 people died and Vermintide There’s an atmosphere of unparalleled horror, where the Witch’s cries or the Whispers of the Trail Runner are enough to get your attention and slowly check your surroundings. That’s something Anacrosis currently lacking.
Bring your weapon
Talking about what is missing, we can also consider weapon which you can use in Anacrosis. You have a single pistol with unlimited ammo, as well as three main weapons: SMG, shotgun, and rifle. Likewise, there are three special weapons (i.e. Arc Rifles, Laser Rifles and Auto Turrets) with limited ammo or numbers.
I can’t tell if it’s because of the stiff and dull animations or the sound effects, but these weapons don’t seem to have any impact. Yes, you’re killing the crowd, but you’re not feeling “oomph!” or “blam!” comes with encounters with large crowds. At least, yes a few grenadeslike Stasis, Vortex and Incendiary combined with Goo, very fun to use.
Finally, a really cool combat mechanic joined in Material compiler. It’s a device that randomly spawns levels, allowing you to choose from a range of perks. You can choose different types, or you can focus on boosting a specific aspect, such as AoE Pulse/push action.
To be Anacrosis worth your while in Early Access?
As I said earlier, most of my time with Anacrosis comes from playing alone with bots. Mind you, AI is extremely sensitive. Yes, they will have basic reactions when crowds appear or when someone needs healing. Sadly, they can sometimes stop moving or they will run before being surrounded by hostile enemies. Worse still, they will spam Pulses when not needed (even in cases where Pulses don’t work against certain enemies).
Overall, the experience left you more frustrated than it should be. And, today, only with a dozen people left playing on Steam, it didn’t build much confidence that I should try it again (even with crossplay enabled). However, since this is an Early Access title, with further development to be expected, it could have many improvements later on.
Assuming you’re really interested in giving Anacrosis a go, you can check out ours guide and central feature.
https://www.pcinvasion.com/the-anacrusis-early-access-impressions/ Anacrsis Early Access Impressions – In space, no one around