The recently announced Off the Grid is an exciting proposition. On the surface it appears to be another battle royale game. Which, in all fairness, there are plenty coming down the line. However, Off the Grid promises to deliver something a bit different. A revision on the formula that has me excited.
Off the Grid – In the Dirt
Gunzilla Games has employed the talents of movie director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) to ensure that Off the Grid delivers in respect to its story. While Blomkamp’s cinematic works have been somewhat hit-and-miss in terms of delivery, it’s hard to argue that the worlds within are hugely impressive. Wonderful and cohesive spurts of imagination pioneering the sci-fi genre. And guess what? Off the Grid is a sci-fi game. The combination of Blomkamp’s set dressing and interactivity should be enough to get any gamer excited for Off the Grid. But there’s a whole lot more to it than that…
Single-Player in a Multiplayer World
Off the Grid promises to deliver huge maps for up to 150 players. These players will go head-to-head to dominate the battlefield. So far, so battle royale. However, looking a little deeper into the description provided by Gunzilla Games will reveal something interesting.
“150 players fight each other in PvP (Player Vs Player) skirmishes, as well as PvE (Player Vs Environment) storyline missions using the same map inhabited by other players in real time. Players have the freedom to control how the hard-boiled story unfolds, with each decision made directly impacting everyone’s gameplay. Core to the experience and deep narrative structure is the unique way in which players can craft, customize, and trade their in-game items with each other.”Gunzilla Games, official website
It’s the end of that first sentence. ‘Storyline missions using the same map inhabited by other players in real time’. This suggests that while the war is raging between players, there may be some who opt to play through the story. Imagine a game where you’re enjoying your single-player FPS action, but all the while a war is raging between over 100 other players. Do you have to be stealthy, avoiding being drawn into the conflict? Do the other players replace the NPC enemies? We don’t know enough about this just yet, but the potential for it to be something unique is enough to get me excited for Off the Grid.
Turning Off the Grid
Imagine a situation where you are on a covert mission. A war is raging between two factions. But you alone have been tasked with sneaking into the enemy base to sabotage their defenses. In one creative move the gameplay turns from a familiar battle royale into something much more meaningful. Something with purposes. A game in which your actions can not only feel like you’re engaging in finely crafted campaign, but also change the experience for every other player in the game.
It’s hard to convey just how much potential a structure like this has. As a gamer for over 30 years, this is a mechanic which I personally have dreamed of since the days of DOOM LAN. And while I’m not much of an online gamer these days, it’s the potential for emergent gameplay in my single-player campaigns that has me hugely excited for Off the Grid. I simply can’t wait to hear more from Gunzilla Games, and I hope you’re right there with me.
What do you think about Off the Grid? Will it be just another battle royale, or does it have the potential to be something more? Let us know in the comments below!