One of the pleasant surprises from PAX East was the reviving of local multiplayer games, particularly when it comes to co-operative gameplay. The best example of this was Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime.
We were lucky enough to have our own Alena Alambeigi chat with Jamie Tucker and Adam Winkels of Asteroid Base, the fine folks who are developing this fine game. Hop on over to read their discussion; it’s a great companion piece for my hands-on experience with the game. Now then, let’s talk about Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime!
Combining an adorable presentation, exploration, and a strict emphasis on teamwork, Lovers was one of the most memorable experiences from the show floor. It hit all the right notes during my hands-on time, parlaying the relationship between the game’s characters with the relationship I had with my partner. Sadly, in this case, I didn’t have a relationship with my partner; I played with someone else who happened to be waiting in line. Our lack of chemistry showed as our performance suffered. Strangely enough, this made me more excited about Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime.
Aside from sounding like something straight out of Community, Lovers is co-op gaming at its core. You and your lover (I’m assuming they’re lovers, I mean, why wouldn’t they be) are working together to help rescue bunny rabbits imprisoned on various planets in space, because who the heck wouldn’t want to rescue bunny rabbits? Also, the robots who imprisoned them (that’s who) are not exactly on friendly terms with us. As we work together to traverse through spacetime, these dastardly evil enemies will attack our ship. That’s okay though, because we can defend ourselves….
…provided we work together. While I was manning the ship’s navigation my teammate would need to be ready to man the gun. Or, they’d need to be ready at the shields so I can dash towards the gun myself. Or perhaps the best course of action would be to get out of dodge while I’m in a tense firefight, so it’s up to my partner to run to the ship’s navigation so we can jet on out of danger.
This all happens in theory, anyway. Again, I was playing with someone I didn’t know, so our teamwork was completely lacking. Compared that to, say, the people ahead of us, who both clearly knew what they were doing and probably knew each other pretty well, and the difference is night and day. They were in constant communication, always on the move as they plotted out their next course of action. It was truly a sight to behold and one I hope to be a part of in the future.
The reliance on teamwork is, without a doubt, the hook of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. While we’ve seen plenty of games that require such dedication to your partner, the emphasis on localized co-op is a must. If you were to be in constant communication over, say, Skype, and then suffer a drought of lag, that’d be game over, man. By removing the possibility for this to happen, though, players can instead focus on the stakes ahead of them instead of being shut down by technical hiccups and frustrations.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime originally had a 2013 release date for both PC and Mac, but the game has taken on a much broader scope since. Hopefully the final package can be ready sometime this year; it felt pretty smooth at PAX, so fingers crossed.