EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Johnathan Irwin
previewed on PC
Trident's Wake is a co-operative twin-stick shooter from developer Bacus Studios and publisher Graffiti Games, that lets groups of one to four players take on the overwhelming task of saving the colony of Trident from swathes of alien hordes (see also 'cannon fodder').
The gameplay of Trident's Wake is exactly what you'd expect from a twin-stick shooter — players venture from room to room in a top-down perspective, mowing down everything from massive hordes to larger lumbering enemies. Elements of light weapon and sentinel customization (sentinels are what the player characters are called) shake things up slightly, but at the end of the day it's a frantic spray-and-pray that is relatively run of the mill... almost.
What sets Trident's Wake apart from other similar genre experiences, is that the cooperative mode places a heavy emphasis on friendly fire. The more you play with, the more careful you'll have to be where you're directing your shots, and it can result in some really intense moments where players are effectively back-to-back in the center of the screen, just trying to hold the line against encroaching enemies. Stand together or fall apart. That being said, Trident's Wake shines most during a full co-op session, as playing one to three players just feels like a lackluster experience otherwise.
In terms of appearance, the game isn't much to write home about. Darkened metal sci-fi environments come off just a tad too generic, and the lighting leaves a lot to be desired. There isn't much difference in lighting changes when weapons are being fired and that grated on me honestly, when the game takes place in such dark spaces. The audio work on the other hand makes up for where the appearances fail, as the constant barrage of gunfire sounds weighty and hard hitting helps ramp up the tension of a prolonged encounter with enemies.
While only in Early Access, Trident's Wake shows a lot of potential. If you have a full party ready to go right now, it may be worth checking out. Otherwise, it's definitely one for the watch list, and I will be watching it closely.
The game has potential, but we're not ready to jump in with both feet. If the game interests you, look, but don't touch - yet.