Mighty Rabbit Studios gives us an on-site demo of Deadline
Something about the video I posted on Gun Media and Mighty Rabbit’s title Breach & Clear: Deadlinedidn’t sit well with me. I kept thinking about it the day we ran the story.
After revisiting it that night, it still didn’t hit me as to why Devolver Digital had decided to co-publishthis game.I just kept feeling that I was missing something important here. So, the next day I decided to reach out to Mighty Rabbit to see if I could take a look at the game in person.
To my surprise, co-founder Josh Fairhurst was nice enough toset up an appointment for me to meet the team on Labor Day. Afterarriving at Mighty Rabbit’s studio, I was given a hands-off walkthrough of the same gameplay segment recently shown at gamescom.
In the team’s own words, Deadline is a “strategic tactical action RPG in a modern day setting, featuring Special Forces weapons, tactics, and equipment vs. horrific monsters.”
From what I sawduring my time with it, I’d say it could be described as having a combination of elements from Rainbow Six, Left 4 Dead,XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and a pinch ofDiablo‘s loot grinding for good measure.
The game can either be played in real time — which the team calls Action Mode, where the AIcontrols your three squadmates and you control the fourth — as well as in Command Mode, a turn-based twist on the formula.In Command Mode, you can pause the action and individually assign commands to each of your squad members, allowing you to take your time, setting up more advancedtactical maneuvers
Although at first glance the title looks like your everyday top-down shooter, the team describes Deadlineasan RPG at its core. You’ll be able to create your own unique squad and over the course of the game earn experience from encounters which can then be used to purchase new abilities for your squad’srespective skill trees, customizing characters as you see fit.
There’s gun porn, too: weapons are upgradable as well as modifiable. Your squadwill use crafting benches that utilize the game’s currency, Scrap, to increaseyour favorite weapons’ stats as well as to add on reusable upgrades, such as sound suppressors and foregrips.
The studiodoesn’t want its gameto be pigeonholedas just another zombie game orseen asan arcade shooter, like Housemarque’s Dead Nation.
Yes, the Infested are zombie-like, but they aren’t the only threat to face. You’ll be squaring off against human foes as well, such as Raiders and Mercenaries, designed to test your tactical skills. Beyond the common Infested, mutated variants of the monsters were also discussed, but not shown. The team referred to the hulking Tank-like creature in the concept art as an example.
After having this time to sit down and check out Deadline in person, Devolver’s involvement with the title makes a lot more sense to me. The “play how you want to play” aspect of Command Mode vs. Active Modecoupled withthe RPG elements they’ve included really make it look like it’s going to be a lot of fun.
As things progress, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.Shortly before launch, I plan to visit the studio again for a hands-on with the shippable Steam Early Access build of Deadline.