Square Enix announced today that its “foam-party shooter” Foamstars will launch on February 6 as one of the month’s free PlayStation Plus Essential games. At a hands-off preview event held prior to this announcement, Digital Trends learned a lot more about what players can expect from Foamstars at and after launch.
Foamstars will be available to download for PS Plus subscribers of any tier between February 6 and March 4. After that, you’ll have to purchase it for $30.
First revealed at a PlayStation Showcase in May 2023, Foamstars is a 4v4 competitive hero shooter. Instead of bullets, players shoot foam at each other and the ground. Foam stays on the ground after it’s sprayed, so over the course of the match, arenas will be built up with mounds of foam players can use for offensive or defensive advantages. Players will move much slower while in the opposing team’s foam, so there is a Splatoon-like desire to fill up the map with as much of your team’s color as possible during a match.
At release, there will be eight playable Foamstars and three separate competitive modes. Smash the Star sees one team member crowned the Star Player after seven kills; if a team can defeat their opponent’s Star Player, they’ll win the match. In Happy Bath Survival, players must completely wipe out the opposing team of players in two or three rounds to win.
Finally, there’s the newly revealed Rubber Duck Party, which tasks players with dancing on top of a giant rubber duck so it can slowly move into the opposing team’s goal. Each of these modes has three unique maps of its own, all set in the city of “Bath Vegas.” For those who want a solo or co-op experience, there will be PvE missions made up of randomized waves of enemies. Square Enix believes players should use these to get comfortable with new characters while earning some experience.
Post-launch, Square Enix promises to support the game with free seasonal updates for at least one year. These updates will contain new characters, maps, game modes, and season passes with plenty of cosmetics. Season passes will have free and premium tiers, with the premium tier costing $6 per season. Players progress through the season pass with experience earned by playing and completing in-game Challenges, which are split into Anytime, Limited-Time, and Weekly categories.
Square Enix says that all new characters, modes, and maps added to Foamstars will be obtainable by all players for free, but it does give paying players an advantage by letting them unlock new characters faster. Similar to Overwatch 2, those who buy Foamstars’ season pass will immediately gain access to that season’s new character. In Season 1’s case, that’s the precision-focused Foamstar Mel T. Producer Kosuke Okatani wouldn’t tell Digital Trends exactly when non-paying players would obtain Mel T on the free Season Pass track. He says unlocking her will be achievable through “relatively casual gameplay” and not take too much of a grind. Square Enix also isn’t confirming how long seasons will last just yet.
Since we went hands-on with it last June, Foamstars has stood out because of its unique foam gimmick. It has the potential to occupy and find a community niche in the casual shooter space currently only addressed by the likes of Splatoon 3. Square Enix’s track record with live service games is spotty, so its developers must listen and adapt if they want a chance at lasting beyond the first year and reaching the heights of fellow PS Plus-launched multiplayer games like Rocket League and Fall Guys.
“We know that the team was able to commit to a year of content, but as the players give us feedback and as the community continues to grow, we’ll obviously continue to evaluate what future support might look like,” Rich Briggs, Square Enix’s executive director of publishing strategy, explained in response to a question from Inverse.
In response to a different, player feedback-focused question from Digital Trends, Director Chikara Saito tells us that the development team “wants to know how players play the game and how that made them feel” and will try to respond to those points as quickly as they can to adapt post-launch content or adjust balance. “We have systems in place to monitor the figures that affect the game itself,” Okatani added.
Foamstars launches exclusively for PS4 and PS5 on February 6. Square Enix does not have plans to bring the game to any other platforms at this time.
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