We suppose it makes sense that a post-apocalyptic wasteland would be dust-choked, bleak, and sketched in browns and greys, but it’s not much fun. Again, arguably that comes with the territory of a post-apocalypse, but this is videogames. There’s got to be something we can do to lighten up Mad Max and his imitators!
Dreadlands developer Blackfox Studios seems to have come to the same conclusion, leavening the tired old dustbowl look with lush vegetation and a funky dose of gaseous, acidic green. Unlike your Rage 2s and your Borderlands 3s, it’s also a turn-based skirmish strategy game, but mixed with a shared world shooter.
You’ll assemble a gang of misfit miscreants and mercenaries from any of the different factions inhabiting the eponymous Dreadlands, and lead them in search of ‘Glow’, a rare and precious resource that can’t be found elsewhere. The Dreadlands are alive – you’ll meet and interact with other players, and can either cooperate in conquering PvE content, or pick fights in messy PvP. Think The Division’s Dark Zone, but turn-based and top-down.
“With Dreadlands we want to take the online elements of an MMO or a shared world shooter and combine it with addictive turn-based gameplay,” creative director Peter Nilsson, formerly of Fatshark himself, says.
It’s a hugely distinctive idea, and you could be among the very first to see how it’s shaping up so far. The beta just went live and will run until December 31, so you’ve almost a full month to give it a go. If you fancy it, you need to enter the competition via the widget below. Complete the one action available and you’re done.
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For more information on Dreadlands, check out the Steam page or the website. The full game will feature a campaign, base building, endless dungeons, and co-op play – some of these features may be added during the beta, but you should expect a few of them to be missing, as well as a few bugs. Beta, innit.