At first glance, Starbreak looks like a side-scrolling MMO. The dev team on hand called it a Metroidvania Online Action Adventure. You can find out more about the game here in our Starbreak hands on.
Regardless of how you slice it, Starbreak could very well be the guiltiest of pleasures thanks to its slick visuals, rogue-like qualities, and co-operative based gameplay.
I didn’t get a chance to talk much about the game’s story or overarching narrative at the show; I was honestly too busy exploring what turned out to be one of the harder dungeons currently available in the game with a group on a live server. Eh, whatever; I like a challenge. In this case, though, most of the challenge felt like simply avoiding everything on my screen. There’s no doubting that my group carried me while exploring every nook and cranny this lost temple had to offer. More than likely this was due to both my inexperience with the game and low-level. As I played more, I started to pick up some of the slack. I even felt foolhardy enough to take on the dungeon’s boss battle alone, an endeavor that I wasn’t successful with both still had an absolute blast.
You might be wondering why this would be such a foolish action if I was so low leveled. Surely moving in with a group increases the boss’ health, right? Well, my friend, you’d be wrong. The lack of boss scaling was an intentional decision per developer Crunchy Games. “We didn’t want people to feel discouraged for bringing friends along. If you had a group of people where one was much higher level, it wouldn’t be fair to those that are lower level.” Based on my time with the game, it’s a choice that could pay off. The game’s Metroidvania roots are incredibly apparent even early on. When you consider how death works in the game, it’s a choice that’s made all the better.
Starbreak’s roguelike tendencies creep in when talking about dungeon design and death. Every level you’ll explore is randomly generated, filled with enemies, chests, and secret shops to discover. You best be careful, though, as any reckless endangerment could lead to death, an event that is permanent in Starbreak. It’s something I had clarified multiple times since, well, it’s not every day I see an MMO feature permadeath. Yes, there are ways to save your gear should you perish, but for the most part it’s probably wise to stay safe.
Perhaps the best news of all is the fact the game is completely free to play. Its revenue will be supported by micro transactions and is currently in playable form through an internet browser. It’ll see a Steam release in the very near future, though. Well probably be zipping through the world of Starbreak soon to see if our early enjoyment can be sustained. To learn more about Starbreak, you can visit the game’s website.