“One team is invisible and the other is invincible.”
If you’re like me, that hook is enough to have you interested. That’s the premise of Aftercharge, Chainsawesome Games‘ new 3 v 3 multiplayer arena game with a pretty significant twist. While still early in development, having now played Aftercharge at PAX East 2017, I can safely say the concept is one to be excited about.
Aftercharge is a 3v3 multiplayer arena game pitting invisible robots against invincible security enforcers. The robots must sabotage the generators dispersed all over the map while the guards are tasked to spot them and stop them. Both teams have to coordinate their attacks, create distractions and combine their abilities in order to achieve victory!
As stated above, the main hook of Aftercharge is that one team, The Robots, is invisible, while the other, The Guards, is invincible and cannot be killed. Mechanically, this makes for a surprisingly tense and tactical game where communication is key.
The demo presented at PAX East saw you playing one round as the Robots and one as the Guards. Each side had only one class to pick from, but Creator Laurent Mercure confirmed with me that a number of other classes are already in the works (some are even feature complete, just not in the PAX East build of the game).
The Robots goal in a match of Aftercharge is disable the six generators doting the landscape. The Robot that was able to be played would turn invisible as long as it wasn’t being tracked by a guard, or are not in Range of one of the Guards Ion Grenades. They have very small health pool, and can only restore health by hitting a generator. Robots are able to knock back guards, can revive other robots as much as they’d like (as long as they are in a very short range), and can expend some energy to create a shield bubble for a short time.
The Guards are looking to shut down all three robots at the same time. The playable class was equipped with SMG-like guns, a tracker that can identify nearby robots, an ion grenade that deals no damage, but pulses to reveal nearby robots, and an airstrike which has a long cool down, and is very easy to avoid, but does a lot of damage. Additionally, the guards can physically push the bodies of deactivated robots around the map to position them strategically.
What this all breaks down to is a game where the three guards play focused on defense and area denial to herd the robots into a crossfire, while the robots are focused on playing a game of hit and run, trying to distract the guards into making a wrong move and leaving a generator undefended. Both teams play very differently, but I think that the game feels balanced
Aftercharge is still very much in development, but I think it is one to watch. Chainsawesome Games have a great track record with Knight Squad, which remains one of the best party games out there, and they are definitely flexing their design muscles.
Aftercharge is currently expected early 2018 on Console and PC.