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PAX Prime 2013: Mist of Stagnation hands-on

PAX Prime 2013

Mist of Stagnation. It’s either an unfortunate name for a shooter in a time where the genre’s often criticized for the lack of forward movement or a statement of intent, that this one will do something new. A hybrid of first person shooter and real time strategy, Mist of Stagnation’s ambitions are in the clouds but also founded in a grounded steampunk aesthetic.

We took to the demo while talking with Osiris Studios Founder and Creative Director, David Gates. There’s an ambition to take this shooter somewhere new. The base mechanics, however, are as familiar as they come. It’s simple run and gun team-based multiplayer. Through good performance, some depth emerges, as resources earned can be applied into the strategy half, which in turn, plays back into the tide of battle for the shooting portion.

David said this would allow for a broad span of players to have an impact on the battle. A team that’s gotten the shooting half down doesn’t necessarily come out ahead of a team that utilizes the strategy to the best of their advantage. In practice, the layered system checks out. This systematized take on mechanics prevents runaway victories while encouraging diverse styles of play in equal measure.

The action felt exactly how we’ve come to expect for a shooter. Standard run and gun fare. The battle unfolded on a large airship. Mist of Stagnation operates on a measured interpretation of Steampunk. Everything’s possible. While the build feels early, the aesthetic firmly establishes the core themes. It’s Bioshock with a Lovecraftian bent.

Mist of Stagnation promotes an intriguing genre hybrid possibility. It’s an appeal to audiences that rarely mix that tries to find a middle ground where they might both have a good time playing the same game together. There’s a lot of bottled up potential in the genre premise and influences it evokes, which look to find full inclusion as the game progresses. There will be a Kickstarter right around the corner and we look forward to seeing how all the moving parts come together and what changes with the community’s involvement when the crowdfunding launches later this year.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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