Depth of Extinction

Spend some quality time with underwater mercenaries and those giant sharks from Deep Blue Sea: Welcome to Depth of Extinction. A tactical 2D XCOM wannabe of sorts,

A tactical 2D XCOM wannabe of sorts, Depth replaces everyone’s favourite psychic murderous aliens with emotionless killer robots. It’s about as barebones as a roast turkey after thanksgiving, or a piece of otherwise inedible KFC after a drunken night out, but like said example foodstuffs, Depth is equally as strangely compelling.

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I spent far too many hours having “just one more go”: a fully fleshed and well-stuffed Depth of Extinction is a game I’d happily chow down on.

So yes, to get it out of the way, Depth of Extinction is far from finished and I can’t really call it a “good game” just yet. It’s not a question of “good” though, so much as “game”: it’s more of a tech demo than a game at this stage making it, a “good prototype”, I suppose? In its current form, Depth runs you through a gauntlet of back-to-back battles linked by a basic but serviceable menu screen really just as an excuse to test out the battle engine. The cracks of roughness show, but the basic functionality is there.

This is like early access, but with the rather cherishable boon of not having to pay for it.

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So with that said and done, what about the gameplay underneath those rough edges, with the pushing of the buttons and with the robots and the blastings, mmm?

Depth of Extinction certainly has all of those things, and will be instantly familiar to any who doth played a turn-based tactical affair before. Especially XCOM, of course, because, well… it’s almost a pound-for-pound recreation of the game – only in blasphemous non-isometric 2D and with robots instead of mind-controlling aliens. So everything you’d expect, works as you’d expect – movement, cover mechanics, various weapons from shotgun to sniper rifle – it’s all here. Depth of Extinction feels pretty basic, though: the enemies don’t yet display and real interesting behaviour, or variety, and there isn’t much to do other than duck ‘n’ cover then shoot, yet. So don’t expect it to impress.

After playing through a few battles, though, I found myself playing “just one more”. Just to grab that nice assault weapon upgrade, or that operative class upgrade.. ooh, wait, this battle will reward an additional team slot… Ok, one more..just one more, promise. Yes: as rough and derivative as it is in its early stages, Depth of Extinction does capture enough of that intangible quality that reminds me as to why tactical turn-based battles were so addictive in the first place.

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I do think that the final product, aside from the to-be expected UI polish, will still need to do quite a few things to step out of the shadow of its older siblings, and make it its own game – but if Depth of Extinction can do that, it could be something special indeed.

For now, the back-to-back battle arena of the demo can satisfy some old school TRPG style cravings, so take a dip.

Depth of Extinction (demo) | download

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About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started newretrogames.wordpress.com and contribute to www.thecitylane.com. I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on November 30, 2016, in Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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