The little studio of Crunchy Games just kicked off a Steam Greenlight campaign for their upcoming Metroidvania-style MMO, StarBreak. The game aims to mix the fast paced platforming and combat of old school, 2-D dungeon crawling with the team-based boss strategies of Massive Multiplayer Online gaming. They have launched a playable in-browser beta of the game on their website, and I must say, it is rather addicting. It has a sort of Ragnarok Online meets Super Metroid feel to it.
The story and gameplay go hand-in-hand. Humanity reached a point of evolution that they stood to overthrow the strongest powers in the galaxy. An ancient predatory race known as the The Watcher set to bring about mankind's extinction. In a last-ditch effort to preserver the species an AI uploaded the entire consciousness of humanity to the Eschaton Station in deep space. Now to reclaim their place in the universe Humanity must fight back against The Watcher. The essence of each human, know as a Spark, can upload itself into synthetic battle shells. Different shells have different abilities and specs, acting as different character classes in the game that can be swapped out at a HUB location.
StarBreak is an MMO take on the Metroidvania sub-genre. Imagine having dozens of players tackling a level simultaneously, fighting bosses, and unearthing the best loot. The game takes things even further with a procedural level generation engine that ensures players never have to play the same level twice. If you’re a fan of 32-bit platformers with hand-drawn graphics -- and want to take friends along for the ride instead of playing alone -- you’re in for a nice surprise with StarBreak.
The combat and exploration mechanics give me a very similar feel to games like Terraria or StarBound but with a bit more Mega Man X infused into it. The in-browser beta is totally free to play, so go give it a try. If you dig the game, check it out on Steam Greenlight and help get it a wider release.