The day I had been waiting for was finally here. GTFO was released as an Early Access game on Steam. I entered my credit card number faster than you can GTFO. I am going to give you my first impressions in this little GTFO review.
What is GTFO?
Before we GTFO, let me give you some background first. GTFO is a 4 player co-op action/horror-survival FPS, aimed at hardcore gamers looking for a true challenge. The game is developed by 10 Chambers Collective, an independent Swedish game studio founded by former nine industry veterans. They are best known for games such as the PAYDAY franchise and The Heist.
You play as a team of up to 4 prisoners held captive by a mysterious entity called “The Warden”. The team is forced to explore and extract valuable artifacts from a large and terrifying underground facility, simply known as “The Complex”.
It is very dark and sinister down there and apart from some occasional, weird clicking noises, the place is almost dead silent. You get a distinct feeling that you need to keep quiet, to move silently and not make any noise. The facility is overrun by very creepy mutant creatures, who react to any noise and light. When they spot you, they enter a state of frenzy, filled with rage, and attack you immediately. The first time that happened to me, all I wanted to do was GTFO. No pun intended.
In the opening sequence, you and your team are set down into The Complex in capsules that descend down from the top of the structure. Even though The Warden has equipped you with weapons before sending you down, you will soon realize that this game is not so much about shooting as it is about sneaking and being strategic. And smashing your hammer. Repeatedly. Bonk. Bonk. Bonk.
Your team’s survival heavily relies on your ability to communicate, coordinate, and keep a check on scarce resources like ammo.
GTFO – The Rundown
When you start GTFO, you will be asked to connect to “The Rundown”. This is the work order that gives you the objectives you need to carry out in the underground facility. The Rundown is divided into different expedition tiers; the deeper you go into The Complex, the harder the expeditions get. In order to get to the next expedition tier, you will have to clear the previous one and so on.
10 Chambers Collective stated that this Rundown system will be used to push updates to the game and keep it alive in the future. New Rundowns will be released, replacing old ones and introducing entire new maps.
“When you start GTFO you are presented with the Rundown, this is the work orders you’ve been given by The Warden. Each work order represents an expedition down to the Complex, which will vary in type of environment, the population of monsters, what kind of objective you have and other variables. What is always constant in GTFO, is that survival hinges on the cooperation between the members of the team. Work together or die together”Simon Viklund, member of 10 Chambers Collective
Weapons, equipment, and resources
When you start a game, you will be asked to choose your weapon and tools loadout. You have four slots available; the main weapon, a special weapon, a tool, and a melee weapon. The different options will be described below. Selected weapons cannot be exchanged during the mission. So choosing wisely and coordinating your choices with your team is therefore important.
Your main weapon choices are a Pistol, an SMG, a DMR or an Assault Rifle. I found the assault rifle to be the most useful amongst these four, simply because of the range, the ammo capacity, and the quite decent damage.
For your special weapon slot, you get to choose between a Shotgun, a Combat Shotgun (fully automatic), a Revolver, a Machine Gun and a Sniper. After testing out all other options, I settled on the sniper. It was especially helpful in taking out enemy scouts from a distance, which made it a lot easier to deal with them.
Your tool choices are a C-Foam Launcher for enemy slowdown, a Bio Tracker for enemy detection and tagging, a Mine Deployer for laser triggered explosions, a Burst Sentry for enemy detection and elimination at medium range, and a Shotgun Sentry for enemy detection and shorter-range elimination. We tried different combinations of these and ended up having one team member run a Bio Tracker while the rest of us were running the Burst Sentry Turret.
Why? The foam launcher did a terrible job of freezing enemies in place – something you would expect. The laser triggered mines were fun but weren’t particularly effective either. Between the Shotgun Sentry and the Burst Sentry Turret, the latter one had better range and was more effective on enemy waves.
Although you do get to choose from a range of melee weapons, it’s just the skin that differs between the various hammers and mallets. There is no noticeable difference in damage between them. Your melee weapon has a charged attack as well as a stun attack. Charging it takes a few seconds and if held in charge mode, it will automatically strike the enemy after a short time. Charging the melee weapon obviously produces a higher damage output, but is slower to use.
Your gear does not come with any perks and you start out with no resources, as they need to be scouted for and found throughout the mission. This includes health packs, ammunition and tool refills.
Inside the expedition you will be exploring different zones, all with the objective to get to the zone where your mission target is located. The zones are sealed off from each other by security doors; large steel gates locked by a key. In order to open them, you need to find the matching security key that is hidden somewhere within your current zone. While searching for the security key, you’ll want to investigate all rooms in your current zone carefully, making sure to clear out any enemies and collect all resources before you move on.
In order to make exploration and scavenging easier, there are terminals located in different locations in each zone. The terminals can be used to search for, ping and locate objects in your surroundings, such as resource packs, and also your mission target.
The terminals resemble old school, text-based mainframe terminals, all with green text that slowly scrolls across a black screen as if you were using some old 14.400 baud modem from back in the BBS days. You have to enter various different commands through a keyboard to get to the information you are looking for.
To facilitate interaction and communication with your team, there is an interactive map on which you can see where your team members are and also mark locations by drawing on it, which is a detail I really liked. What you draw is visible to all the other team members and each team member has their own color marking.
Our first GTFO experience
My team and I are dropped into the starting area of the first mission. We begin to look around for resources and discuss strategies. Finding resources has proven to be of utmost importance since ammunition, health packs and tool packs are very scarce. Our mission objective is to locate the Administrator in the Stasis Unit.
After scanning the area for enemies and collecting whatever resources we could find, while locating the security key, we decide to head for the first obstacle. The security door. On activation, it sets off an alarm and knowing that light and sound attracts the mutants, makes it a heart-racing experience. Once we hit the door switch and make it past the initial scan, we quickly move to the scanning circles on the floor in order to finish the security scan and shut the alarm off. This part causes us some grief and more than one wipe before we successfully manage to do it fast enough and stop the enemy waves from spawning.
Once we’ve managed to get through the first security door, we head into the next area, once again scanning for resources and enemies. Closeby enemies emit a clicking sound which makes them rather easy to locate. Killing single enemies is best done by using our melee weapons, the hammer. It is the silent approach and doesn’t alarm any other monsters in the room if done right. But even smaller groups of enemies can be taken out this way, so we carefully coordinate ourselves to be able to strike at the same time. We have discovered that as long as we sneak up on resting mutants, and stopping when they start pulsating with light, we can move really close to them and position ourselves for a deadly blow (or bonk as we came to call it) with a charged melee weapon. The pulsating light seems to be a signal for enemy awareness of your presence.
Another interesting enemy that we encountered is the Scout, which we quickly renamed the Spaghetti dude. Large mutants walking around, then suddenly stopping to let out long, scouting tentacles. Getting touched by one of the tentacles makes the Scout alert all other mutants in the area. It gets messy, quickly. Taking it out with a sniper proves to be the best method, followed by sneaking up on the rest of the smaller enemies with our hammers.
And that’s just about how far we got. We managed to clear all the zones leading up to the last security door, behind which our mission target was located. That door, however, became our Nemesis. We just couldn’t get to the security scan points quickly enough and so we were overrun by enemy waves every single time. But we haven’t given up. We shall return.
For being Early Access, GTFO feels surprisingly solid and well thought out. There are no glitches, no lag and the overall feeling is very smooth.
The difficulty level could be discussed though. It gets too hard too quickly in my opinion. The game developer should have put more effort into making the initial level easier to finish, alternatively start the game off with an introduction mission with interactive explanations on how things work. In my experience, players want to feel powerful and successful. Me and my team have put approximately four hours into the game and we still have not cleared the first level. It leaves me with a feeling of frustration, but at the same time I do want to come back for more. The roadmap looks promising, however, and I will be following the development of this game closely, for sure.
GTFO – The road ahead
Even though GTFO is in Early Access, the developers aim to release updates and more content for it. Here are some of the things that we are looking forward to:
- Voice Chat
- Expeditions with layered difficulty
- Player character customization
- Expedition rewards
- Gear progression
- Progression linked expeditions
- More Enemies
- More Warden objectives
- More Environments
- More Gear
- More Consumables
- More Hacking Mini games
- More Level interaction from the terminal system
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Have you tried GTFO? What are your thoughts? Share your experience with us in the comments below. And expect more GTFO coverage from Indeedly in the near future.