Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Kickstarter Spotlight: Aurora Rising
If you're wondering about the name, we'll get to that at the end. For now: Aurora Rising AKA FTL: Faster Than Light the RPG.
No, really, that might as well be what it's called. Detailing how it was conceived creator Kane Freeman stated it came about because he found himself playing far too much of that title and that he "would love to have this experience in a more traditional RPG setting" and set out to create a game which did just that. While it's usually not the best of ideas to directly compare an upcomming title with an already incredibly successful game, in this case it seems to be an apt comparison.
Many aspects of Aurora Rising greatly resemble FTL, especially when it comes to its ships. Both how you use your crew during space battles and how you allocate power to systems seem to be very similar, not to the point where it is blatantly plagarising the game but instead in that it seems to have kept what works from FTL. What has been improved are things like the ability to customise and alter your ship with new systems, with status screens and item attributes resembling far more of what you'd expect to see in an RPG than a Rogue-like. With them both having levels and percentage boosters which are visibly displayed in certain screens.
The on-foot sections of the game are where the two titles clearly differ from one another. Much of it feels somewhat in like with what you'd find in XCom, building up characters and their equipment while engagements emphaisise upon strategy. The display video on the Kickstarter page shows how the ground engagements will work in Aurora Rising's current stage of development with rooms being plotted out as grids and very strategic gameplay being employed to best utilise the weapons you have on hand. While the fights are not turn based Freeman specifically notes the player is encouraged to use the pause button to plan out moves and think about what they are doing more than anything else.
The only off-putting part of this at the moment seems to be the mention of stealth sections and the video showing that the player can see every enemy in an area with no fog-of-war or darkness to obscure any surprises.
The initial story sounds fairly generic but seems to have some promise behind it. Emphasising upon how close to extinction humanity is following a war with their genetically engineered superiors and that their new homeworld of Aurora is under thread by an unknown force. Little else has been revealed and while it fails to truly stand out it does show some interesting elements in the same vein as Battlestar Galactica's New Caprica arc did. Though hopefully this one will have a better payoff.
While the Kickstarter page does specifically state that there is a clear level of risk involved with the project, and the problems which could arise should the second goal not be reached, it is still a very interesting concept.
The game's Kickstarter page can be found here with more images and information on the project. If FTL: Faster Than Light at all interested you then this one is definitely worth a look as even in its pre-alpha stage it definitely seems like a somewhat improved sequel to that title, or at least a different take on it.
Now, the name. Several news articles posted on here have focused upon Kickstarter projects by major names, detailing what they are about and what makes them unique. With apparently every human on the planet trying to upload Kickstarters to get their personal ideas going, it seemed best that they should have their own feature on the site rather than being a part of the news reports.
These types of spotlights will focus upon those either with serious potential in them, proven talent working on their creation or have just been generally overlooked despite good ideas.
This will not be a scheduled feature nor will it be a frequent appearence, but expect these once in a while for projects which coincide with the media this site looks into.