Platform: PC (initially)
Developer: Jaw Drop Games
Genre: Survival Horror
Deathground caught my eye on a random scroll through the internet one day. It's funny how often your shower thoughts come back to haunt you and this game is a perfect example of that weird analogy in the best way. Thinking to myself "Man I'd love a Dino Crisis Remake" every now and again, for years, getting briefly annoyed it doesn't exist and brushing the thought aside only to stumble across this Kickstarter and think "Jeez, how come NO ONE thought of doing this until now!?".
Developed by London based Jaw Drop Games, Deathground is an upcoming first person co-op survival horror game that aims to blend the horror of prehistoric creatures coming back to literally bite you in the ass with the equally horrifying idea of working together with *shudders* other players in objective based scenarios. Promising to put players "through the ultimate test of cooperation as they travel through darkened and anxious environments overrun by deadly dinosaurs, in order to survive."
It's been a hot minute since we had anything dino related at this level. Besides a HD port of Turok, the obtuse survival sim Ark: Survival Evolved and murder park simulator Jurassic World: Evolution, there’s a distinct lack of Dino love of the survival horror variety. What I'm talking about here is the straight up Jurassic Park / Dino Crisis run for your life kind of stuff. Dinosaurs are cool but also scary and while we've had other genres include these prehistoric beasties in recent years none have really capitalized on what made them so captivating all the way back in 1993.
The approach Jaw Drop are taking is the point I'm trying to make. Between the asymmetrical multiplayer horror games like Dead by Daylight and Predator: Hunting Grounds popularizing the work together concept. Coupled with the revival of horror as a genre in general thanks to some stellar titles like Alien Isolation, Soma and the Outlast games, we've never been more primed for this.
Players are put through the ultimate test of cooperation as they travel through darkened and anxious environments overrun by deadly dinosaurs
Deathground looks to be drawing directly from those experiences with the promise of "suspenseful gameplay and constant mortal danger" and "dynamic and reactive dinosaurs that hunt you down, influence decision-making and drive a tailored experience". To say I'm not excited would be a deadly misnomer on my part. In particular their intention of creating "adaptive AI" screams Alien Isolation and if they can capture that feeling of absolute dread that Creative Assembly achieved with their title then we could have something truly special on our hands.
As if I wasn't going to use that most infamous quote as a header...
If there is one thing I love in games it is one that is dripping with atmosphere, scenery so atmospheric its chewing itself and what I get from the screenshots and brief gameplay snippets we've shown is exactly that. Atmosphere. An important aspect in any game but especially so when it comes to horror. Everything has to gel together just right to help sell the illusion and the game needs to look the part as well as play the part. The AI, which is being worked on by none other than Tommy Thompson from AI and Games is another factor.
For those that don't know, Tommy is often brought in as a consultant on AI in games and for me that's as much a seal of approval as much as the talented developers (some ex-Creative Assembly alums in the mix) that are bringing this game to life. The idea of being hunted by intelligent raptors, hiding in lockers, creating distractions and running for dear life from a raging T-Rex mixed with the promised teamwork based objectives, is almost mouth watering. I am a sucker for these kind of reactive, tense experiences and what has been shown ticks all the right boxes.
The premise alone is intriguing enough and looks set up to occupy a sorely missed spot in survival horror gaming but it's the caliber of the crew behind it that feels most promising. As of this writing, the team just got funding and with two weeks left to spare there's plenty of room to break out some stretch goals. If it wasn't obvious previously, I'm excited and full disclosure I backed the project because I want to be their day 1 when it goes live. If anything you've read here peaks your interest, follow the socials below and of course if you can, take a look at the Kickstarter campaign!
Campaign Page and Socials
All images taken from kickstarter campaign page
Be sure to sign up on the site for all things Casual, and create your own Casual Game Community profile.
Have a great content idea that would be perfect for CGC? Contact us here and we’d be happy to chat!