We The People is aiming high. This hardcore, tactical extraction shooter blends the tense high-stakes runs of FPS games like Escape From Tarkov and Call of Duty Warzone 2 with realistic shooting physics and the open-world zombie survival of DayZ. We The People comes from Small Indie Company, a team founded by military veterans that aims to make something “incredibly ambitious” with the help of its community.
We The People is built around open-ended maps with multiple points of entry and exit, letting players or groups infiltrate the battlefield, explore and find loot, and extract in a number of ways. There’s a focus on verticality, which extends both up and down, with underground research facilities and compounds offering huge potential gains. You’ll have to contend with a variety of dangers along the way – these include AI-controlled enemies, zombies, dangerous wildlife, and of course, potentially other players.
One of the ways We The People differentiates from its competition is by putting its management in-world; rather than sitting in menus between rounds, you’ll actually be in a settlement where you can stock up on gear and supplies. As you progress, there will be ways to upgrade your hideout, although you’ll have to contend with limited stash space, meaning you’ll need to carefully decide what to keep, and what to trade or sell.
Its other primary focus, as you might expect from a team with a military background, is realistic bullet physics. In a developer blog, which you can watch below, programmer Eric talks about the challenges faced balancing between simulating physics to a high level of realism while also supporting many players shooting at once without placing a heavy load on the game’s servers.
As things stand, Eric says the team has currently implemented data for 12 bullet types across ten of the most common calibers, with 28 more calibers currently being studied for the future. “We want to support a wide variety of bullet types,” Eric explains, “such as hollow point, full metal jacket, armor piercing, tracer, and more.”
With no shortage of weapon customization that lets you adjust component parts on the fly, We The People promises “near-infinite loadout possibilities.” That, combined with the now-popular extraction shooter model where your gear is on the line every time you head out, means you’ll want to do everything to protect your perfect equipment. Thankfully, some exfiltration options let you get out more quietly than normal – but you may need to obtain specific items first to pull them off.
The team has big ambitions for modeling mechanics such as bullet deflection and ricochets, which it ultimately wants to try and simulate as closely as possible without any randomness. They acknowledge that this is something that will likely take a while to implement, however, so the current model does include a small random factor to the way bullets ping off surfaces. Eric’s bullet physics examples in the developer blog get quite complex, but show just how committed the team is to achieving its goals.
Following positive initial reception to the team’s first technical demo during Steam Next Fest, it lays out a roadmap for the future, with additional private tests and a closed public beta planned prior to the game’s launch in early access. The early access release will also include an arena mode, which allows for unranked play as a nice way to warm up before diving into the hardcore main modes and risking it all.
It all sounds very ambitious, and taking on the likes of Tarkov and Warzone, with their massive development might, is no mean feat. But the team at Small Indie Company looks to have its heart in the right place, and says, “We all saw what happened with projects like The Day Before [which has struggled to deliver on its initial promises] and our intention is to avoid that to the best of our ability.”
We’ll be keeping a close watch on its progress – if you want to do the same, you can head here to add We The People to your Steam wishlist.
Alternatively, take a look through more of the best multiplayer games for plenty of competitive action you can get into right now, or browse the best survival games if the digital thrill of staying alive gets you hot under the collar.