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New Halo inspired co-op shooter is basically a sci-fi PvE Battlefield

New sci-fi co-op shooter Polaris is revealed by developer Variable State with a stunning debut trailer, and it’s coming to Steam this year.

BAFTA-winning dev reveals new co-op shooter with incredible destruction tech - A blue-haired soldier carrying a large sci-fi rifle.

A sci-fi shooter might not have been what you’d expect to see next from developer Variable State, but it’s already looking rather impressive. The indie studio previously brought us the BAFTA-winning Virginia and compelling supernatural story game Last Stop. In a radical departure, the team’s newest outing is Polaris, an explosive four-player PvE co-op game inspired by classics such as Syndicate Wars and Halo that’s filled with dynamic, destructible environments.

A co-op game set in a region of space controlled by the ruthless Regime, your goal is to reclaim your lost homeworlds and bring down every last enemy stronghold along the way. The focus in Polaris is on large-scale battles in “meticulously detailed, entirely destructible environments” ranging from cityscapes to forests.

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Polaris features a mix of on-foot and vehicle combat, and you can blow up everything from enemy structures to the environment and even the very terrain itself. As a group of “superpowered freedom fighters,” you’ll take on the Regime using high-impact guerrilla tactics to overcome impossible numbers in incendiary fashion. It takes me back to the days of Battlefield Bad Company 2, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and Mercenaries in the best way, and I can’t wait to start blowing stuff up with my pals.

To help build Polaris, Variable State formed a new eleven-person division named Polaris team, featuring talent of several notable studios including Creative Assembly, Splash Damage, Ninja Theory, Rebellion, and Cloud Imperium. Together, they’ve brought their multiplayer know-how to create a game “focused on a mix of refined combat, team-oriented gameplay, and dynamically destructible settings.”

“Since I first played Bullfrog’s Syndicate Wars, I’ve always dreamed of working on a game which featured hi-tech squads of futuristic soldiers, causing mayhem and destruction in an original sci-fi setting,” creative director Jonathan Burroughs says. “Sprinkle in a deep appreciation for the Halo series— particularly its blend of on-foot and in-vehicle co-op action— and you can begin to get a sense of what we hope to achieve with Polaris.”

New co-op shooter Polaris - Five soldiers in black outfits stand between rosw of high-rise buildings, as jets fly overhead.

Polaris is set to launch on Steam later in 2024, with a beta playtest planned to be held “very soon.” If you’re curious to learn more or want to participate in the test when it begins, you can wishlist it on Steam or sign up to the official newsletter now.

This article is part of PCGamesN’s coverage of IGN Live and Summer Game Fest 2024. We’ll keep bringing you everything on all the biggest and best upcoming PC games as it happens. In the meantime, have a look through the best space games in 2024 if you’re seeking something new among the stars.

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