What if you took Halo, stripped away one dimension so it was a 2D platformer, and switched out Master Chief for Bionic Commando? The result might be something like Fallen Frontier, the first effort from developer Moonshot Games. Moonshot consists of three veteran Bungie developers and an artist. I played a bit of Fallen Frontier today and am ready to add it to my anticipated games list. It will feel familiar to fans of stuff like Shadow Complex but has its own look and gunplay.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl4n9UVjZsk
Moonshot isn’t saying too much about the story, yet, but our hero has traveled from Earth to Alpha Centauri on a mission of vengeance. The distance between our planet and the far off solar system is 4.3 light years, but in the 25th century when Fallen Frontier takes place it’s a twenty-five year trip spent in frozen hibernation.
Fallen Frontier borrows some fun tricks from a variety of 2D platformers. You can bounce off of walls to propel yourself up shafts. Our hero has a grappling hook he can use to swing across gaps Bionic Commando-style. The grapple can latch onto enemies and pull them towards you and you can even grab your partner and carry them around with you. The action is very fast-paced and arcade-like – you move quickly, jump high, and can fall great distances.
Fallen Frontier is meant to be played cooperatively, either online or locally. When playing with a friend on one TV, it has a rather strange way of splitting the screen. As long as the two of you are close together, there is no split. But as soon as one of you strays off, a dynamic split line will appear and spin around to indicate which direction your buddy is in. So if your buddy is below you the line will cut horizontally along your screen. But if you move forward and your partner remains where he/she is the line will spin until it’s a vertical split. It was a little confusing, but maybe it’s one of those things you get used to after playing for a while.
Your guns and health behave much as they do in Halo. Ammo is unlimited but a weapon will overheat if used too much and you’ll have to wait through a short cool down period. In the early level I played today I found machine guns, a shotgun, and grenades. Health will regenerate if you can get yourself to safety.
Fallen Frontier has been in development for a little over a year and is planned for release in the first half of 2012. Moonshot is hoping to release on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Steam, but is still looking for a publisher.
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