Spanish developer MercurySteam has been teasing a new game announcement for several months, and given the studio’s previous work with Konami’s Castlevania series, there seemed to be a small glimmer of hope that it would get its hand on the largely-ignored Contra series next. However, it looks like MercurySteam has something else in mind: Raiders of the Broken Planet is a brand new IP, and it’s coming this year.
Described in the official announcement as a “multiplayer online asymmetric adventure,” Raiders of the Broken Planet takes place on the Lira Constellation and the game’s titular “Broken Planet.” The struggle to control Aleph, “a powerful ability enhancing substance,” sets the stage for a constant battle. While the studio may not be using the Contra license, the game will still be a shooter, combined with “brawling and thinking man’s strategy.”
Though MercurySteam, which is publishing the game independently, certainly emphasizes the asymmetric multiplayer above all else, Raiders of the Broken Planet will still be story-driven. It will follow the ever-popular episodic model, with the studio describing the price for individual episodes as “extremely low.”
If you aren’t interested in playing with other people at all, the game will be playable solo, according to director Enric Alvarez. It’s unclear if this means “multiplayer with bots” or a true, separate campaign mode, but it would be a shame for the studio to abandon the structure that made Castlevania: Lords of Shadow such an amazing adventure. Of course, given the narrative shortcomings of its successor, a new approach may not be a bad thing.
If you’re interested in trying out Raiders of the Broken Planet a bit early, and perhaps shaping the future of the game, MercurySteam is planning several beta tests, beginning with a closed beta on PC. The game is also scheduled to launch later this year on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.