Jun 28, 2014

"BEACON" - A Sci-fi Roguelike With Body Horror?

I've been an avid admirer of indie developer Monothetic ever since they released their first non-commercial mod project Black Snow in 2012. With its hope-crippling atmosphere and Carpenter-esque horror aesthetic, I've been patiently chomping at the bit to see what this young studio has to offer for their first commercial title. It looks I won't have to wait much longer as Beacon, a sci-fi horror Roguelike, is tentatively slated for release later this year. The game sounds like your average top-down action RPG, with one exception...

As in all Roguelikes, when you die in Beacon, you’ll be sent back to the beginning of the game, losing any weaponry and items you might have picked up along the way. However, rather than losing it, the DNA you harvested in that life is sent back to your personal clone bay (one of the few pieces of your ship still functioning), and spliced together with your own for your next life. This adds a level of  permanence to Beacon, as each subsequent life will stack more harvested DNA on top of what you had before, resulting in stat augmentations and (in extreme cases) full-fledged physical mutations. Be warned, however; not every mutation will be a positive thing.

If implemented correctly, this DNA element could result in a slew of compelling gameplay variations. A top-down action game that rewards trial-by-fire tenacity à la Diablo and Hotline Miami, balanced with a permanent trait bonus system that becomes deadly if left unchecked? Sign me up. Check out more of the mock-up concept art after the break!

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