Flying Wild Hog’s Space Punks Heads To Early Access On July 14
The recently revealed Space Punks from developer Flying Wild Hog is a new free-to-play action RPG that blends top-down shooting action with co-op gameplay, and it’s launching as an early access title on July 15 exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Along with other games from Flying Wild Hog, which includes Shadow Warrior 3 and Trek To Yomi, Space Punks is another title in the developer’s tradition of fast-paced action titles that have some clever gimmicks to offer rewarding combat. Described as a “living game” by its developers and publisher Jagex–known for the Runescape series–Space Punks will see new content and evolve over the course of its development.
For the uninitiated, Space Punks is a sci-fi co-op dungeon crawler starring a crew of space-exploring misfits who take on different jobs to gain glory and score some sweet loot. In a similar vein to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, this ragtag crew is often at odds with one another, but when things go south when facing off against rogue targets, their unorthodox and weird approach to action make them quite a team. Each of the four playable characters at launch has their skills and arsenal of weapons to upgrade and advance, which opens up different possibilities to use special combo attacks with other players during online missions, such as pairing one hero’s alien tentacle attacks with another squadmate’s tech-focused gadgets.
Though Space Punks is planned to be a free-to-play game, it will debut in paid early access, which you will have to buy into with the different founders packs at launch. This does put a clear barrier for entry for those looking to check out the game early, but the developers are looking to incentive those who are down to make the jump at the game’s debut. During the early access launch on July 14, players will be able to dive into the game’s missions with its slate of characters. Eventually, the game will enter open beta during Winter 2021, which will see the beginning of the game’s free-to-play model for all players. Later in 2022, Space Punks–and all of its new content released thus far–will launch on consoles. If you don’t want to spend money on the game’s packs to dive into the game’s early access launch, you can also sign up to register for the chance to get a free key on the game’s website.
Just before the reveal of the planned roadmap for Space Punks, we got to spend some time checking out a deeper look at the game and spoke with the developers about its inception. This new action game channels a similar sense of hectic bombast from first-person games like Shadow Warrior or Hard Reset. Yet, the action RPG reincorporates that pace and tone into a game that feels like an ode to the retro action games from the arcades, with a more modern twist thanks to its live-service leanings. With the making of Space Punks, the team at Flying Wild Hog wanted to focus on a game that was easy to pick up for quick games and deep enough for players to invest time into their favorite characters.
In our chat with Flying Wild Hog lead game designer Bartłomiej Schweiger, he spoke about their plans for the game’s approach to building an online, co-op action experience.
“What we wanted to focus on, above all, was to create a new living game–a game that will be played by the community and be shaped by the community, and will be active for years,” he said. “We figured that the free-to-play model would be best for that. We actually looked at other games on the market, such as Warframe and Path of Exile, that succeed very well with this model and thrive. Those games were our role models when it came to how to monetize this game and how to see it grow in the years ahead, along with taking on advice from our partners at Jagex.”
Flying Wild Hog plans to add new content and active events for its evolving game, one of which will be a story campaign for its cast of playable characters. This story mode won’t come until the month after launch, however. Players can purchase the different tiered founders packs on the Epic Games Store now (ranging from $30 to $50), which includes opens access to all four characters, added cosmetics, and the full Season 1 battle pass. Below, you can find a complete list of what you get with the game’s premium founders pack–priced at $50 on the Epic Games Store.
Splendor Pack Content:
- Early Access to Space Punks
- All 4 Space Punks characters unlocked
- The full Season 1 Premium Battle Pass
- Exclusive Swag and Splendor Avatar Backgrounds
- Exclusive Epic Cape
- Exclusive Epic Dash VFX
- Exclusive Epic 4x Emote Pack
- 4 Exclusive Epic Character Skins
- Exclusive Epic Player Entrance
The developers stated that microtransactions for the game would only focus on cosmetic items and content for the game’s battle pass, which unlocks additional characters. This approach ensured that there wasn’t a gap in progression between players who choose not to engage with the monetization. As stated during our interview, the early access period will allow players to get a feel for the game and offer feedback during its opening months.
From our early look at the game, Space Punks is shaping up to be a fun and accessible take on the action RPG set up, with a noticeably fun, pulpy vibe that echoes the space-faring adventures of classic sci-fi comics and television shows. Though the early access period may be a bit of a squeeze, Flying Wild Hog’s Space Punks could be a nice change of pace for those looking for a co-op focused action to sink your teeth into.
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