At GDC, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the folks from Earthrise to get our first look at their game. During the demo, Masthead Studios CEO Atanas Atanasov gave us an overview of a number of the game’s systems:
“In Earthrise,” said Atanasov, “everything is based on what gear you wear”.
The game makes use of two different major armor types: Heavy Armor and Light Armor. Heavy Armor is more suited toward players who want to play soldier types, both with guns and in close combat while light armor will be used by the game’s equivalent to mages in fantasy MMOs, psionics, cybermentalists, etc.
Equipment is divided into five slots: helmet, vest, gloves, leggings and boots.
There are a wide variety of abilities available to players. Some make you stronger, some improve damage or defences, some make you run faster… etc. There are 270 abilities in the game, divided into 27 skills. Learning abilities requires you to invest skill points in one of the 27 trees (thus unlocking abilities). Skill points are earned in much the same way that experience points are generally earned, killing, completing and the like.
Abilities can actually be further improved upon by applying tactics to them. Tactics are currently under testing, but they plan to have five trees for tactics with ten tactics each (for a total of 50). These are bought with skill points just like abilities, but instead of giving you new abilities, they improve the abilities that you have.
Not all tactics can be applied to all abilities, but the UI makes it fairly easy to determine what can be added to what.
In Earthrise, you have to enter “fight mode”, which brings up a reticule. Your left mouse button will allow you to attack, and your right mouse button will activate your abilities.
Atanasov made a point to remind us that the game makes use of RPG style combat and not FPS combat, meaning that ability recharges aren’t instant and that the pace of combat is a little bit slower than in an FPS.
Not every zone in Earthrise has the broken down, post-apocalyptic look. During the demo, we were shown both kinds of environments, from the untamed wilds of the post-apocalyptic world, to the lush green areas where mankind has started to rebuild.
In my opinion, while the settled areas look nice, the game really shines in its devastated zones. We were told that 30-40% of the map will be made up of this kind of zone. We were also told that players who like to explore will love Earthrise.
As you’re watching both our Armor and Abilities and Combat and Zones videos, you will notice a certain amount of roughness around the edges. It’s important to point out that the game is still in its closed testing state of development. If you’re at all intrigued by the information laid out here, I highly recommend checking out the videos.