EPSILON – Early Access Update #1

Posted by: 10/18/2015

Tactical first-person shooters are a rarity these days. Even the new Rainbow Six game is going for big explosions and faster(er) paced action compared to the earlier games. The Seattle based developer Serellan is trying to change that with their Early Access title EPSILON.

Leading Serellan is Christian Allen, who has an impressive resume of working on Ghost Recon games, along with being the Lead Designer of Halo: Reach, and the Design Director of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. 

EPSILON Screen # (6)

Enough about the man leading the studio, what exactly is EPSILON? It is a tactical shooter that features missions based on real world events, specifically the human trafficking trade in Eastern Europe. The only mission currently in the Early Access build involves a group of terrorists holding world leaders hostage, and you must lead the Epsilon squad to free those hostages and take out the terrorists.

The game is set in the near future, so the aesthetics in the game feature plenty of neon. The game itself has a cel-shaded look to it, with currently rather stiff animation and slow movement.

EPSILON Screen # (7)

This is the first public build of the game, so it is not surprising that everything about EPSILON looks and plays rather rough. But there are some mechanics at play that show a lot of potential.

Like tactical shooters that have come before EPSILON, you fight alongside a group of soldiers that you are able to command. Instead of direct control of your squad, you plan the mission out beforehand by placing way points on a map, and you tell your squad to advance to the next way points. I have a feeling this won’t be in the game forever, and that future builds of the game will have the ability to tell your squad to advance on the fly. But at the moment, you must rely on way points.

There are other basic commands, like breach a door, but to actually tell your squad to advance on the fly isn’t in the game, yet. The reason I have a feeling about this is because there is a job opening on the Serellan website for an AI programmer.

EPSILON Screen # (12)

My initial playthrough of EPSILON resulted in me dying, and it was because I didn’t plan out my attack. This is another thing I appreciate about the game. I like tactical shooters, and this rewards planning and executing that plan well. It feels great to plan out the way points, take out the enemies quietly, and finish the mission without being noticed.

This build of the game features the ability to choose your load out, and there is a cool feature during the planning stage to tag enemies using the cameras in the building.

The best part of EPSILON is that it is only $8 with this current build. If you’re a fan of tactical shooters, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to buy the game and let it simmer in your library until it is in a more finished state. If you are not a big fan of tactical shooters, I’d hold off to see how it changes over the coming months.

EPSILON is developed by Serellan, LLC, and is currently in Early Access for PC. A copy of the Early Access build was provided to the writer.

PC Previews

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