My Thoughts on GTFO Alpha

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Even though it may win the award for the worst video game title ever created, GTFO is a game I have been anticipating for some time. It looks a lot like Payday meets Ridley Scott’s Alien, with the former reference particularly exciting me considering this game’s lead used to work on the Payday series. So, I signed up for an alpha key on their website, surprisingly received a four-pack of keys so I can play with others, gathered some friends who are also interested in the game, and started up what I hoped would be a great horror co-op shooter. Boy was I wrong.

GTFO follows along the same lines as Left 4 Dead and Payday. It’s about completing an objective while dealing with a mixture of normal and special enemies. The alpha for this game was limited, consisting of only one level and no online matchmaking. Still, this one level did paint a picture for a lot of what this game is going to be. It’s a co-op FPS with a choice of stealth or action where players run around completing objectives until they reach the end. Each player is equipped with a melee weapon, two guns, and a tool like a sentry gun or an enemy tracker, and these tools are used to kill strange creatures that are sleeping in the various rooms you come across.

The first time I played its only level, I went in guns-blazing, because what can a bunch of weird, short creatures to do a group of gun-wielding prisoners? A lot more than I thought, because combat in this game is surprisingly difficult and for all of the wrong reasons. Guns feel weightless and the controls around them aren’t tight. Also, this game gives you very little ammo at the start, and pickups give out crumbs. Enemies, on the other hand, are surprisingly deadly. The common enemies have a lot of health, don’t die every time their head pops, and have attacks that lock onto you. One time, I was watching a friend run around while I was on a platform, and I saw a projectile make a 90-degree turn because it was locked onto him. What hurts even more is a slight stutter that constantly happens, which makes some of the enemies teleport just enough to make shots miss. Not every game needs to be easy, but the combat in this game feels unnaturally difficult.

Thanks and sorry to the friends who played this with me.

Thanks and sorry to the friends who played this with me.

So, knowing guns-blazing is a no-go, my friends and I opted for stealth. In this game, the enemies have this heartbeat can be heard and seen. You can move around in front of them, but the second they light up or their heart starts beating, you stop moving if you want to stay sneaky. It’s an interesting twist to stealth, making it a red-light-green-light style of gameplay over dodging the line-of-sight of cameras and enemies. Unfortunately, the stealth in this game feels broken, as for there were many times in which none of us would move and we would still get spotted. One thing that is nice about this game though is that getting caught isn’t the end of the world, as for dealing with all of the enemies in the room will bring the game back to stealth. This means I won’t have to call it quits the second the enemies start fighting, but it does take a toll on health and ammo count.

Outside of killing creatures, GTFO has some other things worth talking about. The biggest issue I had outside of dealing and receiving death was the fact that I had no clue what I was doing for some time. I essentially stumbled my way through some of the objectives, and even then I felt like I could’ve missed something if I wasn’t paying attention. Part of the objective involves using a terminal, and one neat thing I found with the game is that you actually type into the terminal. What this means for console, I don’t know, but it’s still a neat little thing. Speaking of neat little mechanics, you can draw on the map for others to see, which I found helpful in explaining to friends who haven’t played yet where I was going.

Drawings only stayed for a few seconds on the map.

Drawings only stayed for a few seconds on the map.

In conclusion, GTFO is a game that needs a lot more time in the oven, and even then I will still be skeptical of the final product. When it comes to alphas/betas, I can usually separate what’s broken in terms of it being an early build and what is a fundamental flaw to the game, and I can say this game has enough of both to be concerning. It’s a game that promises stealth and action, but the action feels poor and is extremely difficult, and the stealth is broken. I am sad to say I found this alpha to be disappointing, and I don’t know if I want to continue following this game until its launch.