XO will drop players into a hopeless conflict where they command the "last remaining battleship" against unstoppable alien invaders.
Space, in many ways, is the ultimate high stakes environment. When you're in space, every danger and threat is amplified. The slightest mistake can lead to your doom and choices that might have already been hard on Earth can be elevated to matters of life and death. In the realm of fiction shows like Battlestar Galactica and games like FTL have done well at exploring how this might challenge characters and players. Now, if Jumpdrive Studios has its way, gamers will soon have a new way to test themselves against the merciless void.
This opportunity will come by way of XO, a single-player turn-based strategy game currently seeking funding through Kickstarter. Putting players in command of humanity's "last remaining battleship" the game will pit them against "a relentless overwhelming enemy" bent on harvesting the human race. "Outnumbered, out-gunned, and low on resources" the player will have to navigate a web of conflicts as they struggle to keep the fleet under their protection safe and intact.
And as you can imagine, the developers don't intend to make this easy. In addition to space battles based in Newtonian physics, the game will include resource management and "a complex political system" that will force players to deal with internal threats in addition to the aliens. Combat itself will also involve tough choices both tactical and moral. "You won't be able to save everyone," says the Kickstarter. "As fleet commander, it's your job to make the call: do you save the damaged military destroyer to add more firepower to your fleet, the tanker that will extend the fleet's range, or rescue a freighter loaded with enough food to keep your people alive?'
If that sounds at all interesting to you, you might want to pop over to XO's Kickstarter page and maybe even throw in some money. Its campaign has only been going for about a day but it's already raised nearly $17,000 of its $40,000 goal. The game also has the support Square Enix's Collective program and is vying for votes on Steam Greenlight. Versions are planned for PCs, Mac and Linux platforms.