releases on TBD
Selaco is a brand new original shooter running on GZDoom, featuring thrilling action set pieces, destructibility, smart AI and a fleshed out story taking place within an immersive game world.
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Saw this pitched as a F.E.A.R successor, and while that’s totally accurate, with Merc radio chatter ASMR and a shotgun so good it caused my FPS to drop every time I fired it, that isn’t the whole story. Levels are pretty massive, marrying naturalistic design that really sells you on the claustrophobic reality of life on Mars, with spaces packed full of secret weapons and armor pickups- and, maybe most importantly, where you can indulge your Build Engine tendencies of messing with everything that isn’t nailed down. Even just the demo, where most doors are locked until the full release, was sprawling and interconnected enough to get well and truly lost. It's a cool combination, and with the tasteful inclusion of more modern elements, like having your health regenerate just enough that you can scrape through fights that a more strictly faithful title might have you savescum through, it pushes past some of homogeneity that’s been creeping into the Retro Shooter revival, and certainly seems like more just a spiritual successor.
But yeah, the shootouts are surprisingly tense, forcing you into these great cat-and-mouse encounters where you’ll have to track enemies through sound design and their increasingly frantic callouts alone- and it’s balanced well against their hitscan weapons, levels so densely packed that you can always break line of sight. Definitely recommend pushing difficulty high enough that even a lone soldier is something you’ll have to psych yourself up for.
Hard to say if it’ll follow through with some of the big ideas it’s hinting at, but one worth keeping an eye on.
only played the demo, which has a lot of features locked away or elements stuck in as a placeholder so it's not exactly even a full complete demo either. incredibly promising, combat is punchy as fuck, feels very much like a Build engine game (even though its running on GZDoom). world building and level detail is immaculate, theres a really painstaking amount of time put into little things like birthday cakes around a birthday party that act like health pick ups, and all the ways you can interact with the environment like petting roombas or using a fire extinguisher to blow up an MRI machine. most things in the environment react to gunfire and the combat scenarios are all dealt around incredibly tight corridors with lots of space to move around between rooms and get the drop on enemies, and its all so fucking satisfying.
game also has a 10/10 shotgun, just totally fucking explosive and brutal. theres a really good balance for most of the demo regarding not giving you enough ammo or health to really coast by most combat situations carelessly (bar for later on when the game hands over a shitton of assault rifle ammo to you, probably in preparation for the boss). there's a satisfying degree of challenge to this.
overall, the potential here is staggering. i think if the level design is tuned up a bit more and theres more space to move (and if they move away from the system shock 2-esque and doom 3-esque vibe of the demo levels) this could turn out to be a stellar boomer shooter. am very curious about all the additional replayability features too, like the randomizer mode and the mutators, and mod support. they also need to work on the optimization a bit more, i did run into a lot of stutters (usually whenever i saved) and frame drops were pretty frequent during encounters, but it was never too much of a distraction.