The Thinking Person’s Shooter – Eximius Inbound

PC •

Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die.

If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.

Eximius is an upcoming team-based 5v5 multiplayer affair, whereby each player has command of a small clutch of AI soldiers and aim to both build and destroy infrastructure in a post-apocalyptic urban environment.

An RTS heart beats beneath the steely carapace of Eximius’ clean, efficient FPS action. There’s economy and logistics to consider amid the chaos; one nominated team member is charged with the strategic elements, engaging with the game as one would a strategy title. Though they’re able to play Eximius like any of the underling squaddies, the top dog commander controls building defenses, calling in reinforcements, assigning AI troops and vehicles to his or her subordinate players and generally just directing the engagement.

They can also be assassinated. Which sounds delicious. More morsels from the Steam page:

Play as a Commander ( RTS ) ; build base, train an army and call down support abilities to help your allies on the ground to gain territory.

Play as an Officer ( FPS ) ; lead your infantry squad into combat and crush your enemies with your agile tactics or brute force. Capture resources for your team, upgrade weapons and equip your squad with suitable weapons.

Eximius provides a multi-role gameplay experience where each player could choose to play a diversely different role and fight not only with brawns but also with their brains. An expert shooter could be outnumbered, ambushed and overwhelmed if caught in a wrong position. While a scheming officer could be assassinated in the right moment at the frontline.

The objective of the gameplay is to win by holding down the most victory points. Alternatively , if your forces are powerful enough , you can completely destroy your enemy’s base and win the match immediately. The command headquarters cannot be rebuilt and the game will be instantly over.

Seamless Transition

As a commander , you are also an officer. But you have the extra capability to switch to top down RTS interface to build bases and command units. An aggressive commander can also join the battle in the frontline but they are normally expected to stay in relative safety and manage base development. Commander needs to be nominated by the team.

Base Building

As the gameplay of Eximius revolves around Team vs Team battles, each team shares a base, resource and technology tree. RTS Commander to support the battle operations by training infantry units and vehicles,building bases and call in airstrikes or support abilities.

Train Armies

Commander can train AI infantry and assign them to players. Leading them as a frontline officer; your squad will fight with you sensibly , taking cover and help you both offensively and defensively.

Tactical Battles

Decide your combat roles and purchase weapons suitable to your play style and tactics. Your weapon and equipment determine your roles in the team. Respond to enemy strategy with appropriate firepower and equipments; be it vehicles , massive amount of infantry or sneaky players.

Unlock Technologies

As your resources and technology grow, you can construct increasingly powerful units such as armored vehicles, gunships and elite soldiers. Your team can also gain powerful team abilities when you tech up to new tiers. Call down artillery, deploy quick-response force or launch EMP strikes.

There are also battlesuits or exoskeletons. This game, in my humble opinion and simple selection criteria, is already ahead merely on that bullet point.

Eximius is set to hit Steam Early Access in September, and if you’re salivating at the same rate as I am regarding this dream concept, you can follow the developers on Twitter or a myriad of other links. They’re often running dev streams of current builds, the likes of which can be found on their Youtube channel.

We’ve had interesting hybrids like this in the past — the foundered Nuclear Dawn and Natural Selection 2 springs to mind — but the interplay between strategic and tactical, and knowing that you and your little AI buds can call upon the head honcho for reinforcements is tantalising. It’s like that MechCommander intro, right? Right.

Can’t wait. But must.

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Notable Replies

  1. Much like when Full Spectrum Warrior was released (dating myself badly there), I look at this and think “Perfect for giving people a taste of modern C3i in an urban environment.” If you ramp up the lethality, this could easily be a training aid. The 5vs5 format is even suitable for the small class sizes you see for junior NCOs when it comes to unit training. I know it’s actually far too flashy, but still, the format is ripe.

  2. Should have known, fellow FSW fan.

    High hopes, given urban density and the command structure. As long as there’s enough give in how the AI squads operate, I’m very hopeful.

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