What would I do If I wanted to design a first-person shooter with a 1980’s stylized horror feel and the original hardcore playstyle of early video games? What if I not only wanted it to be an FPS but also a game where stealth and communication were not only a given but a true key to the survival of my group? Then the only thing that could come to mind at this moment would have to be 10 Chambers Collective’s early access game GTFO.
Acting as both the publisher and developer of this game, 10 Chambers describes GTFO as a survival horror, first-person shooter cooperative game and man do they hit the nail right on the head with that description. This is by far one of the best nail-biting, white-knuckle horror games that I have ever experienced, and to top it all off, it’s an actual first-person shooter game to boot. This game for me can be quickly summed up with only two choices and those are you either “Work Together or Die Together.” GTFO is set in a massive underground complex where you as a player take on the role of a nameless prisoner. You are then dropped into the complex that is controlled by an AI program aptly named ‘The Warden.’ Yes, there are a lot of similar ideas that came to mind when I started this game, can we say, “The Red Queen.”
The Warden sends you into the complex to retrieve things that it needs, and your goal is to abide by these missions. Of course, what the Warden leaves out is that standing between you and your final goal are hordes and hordes of freakish monsters called Sleepers. Sleepers can swarm and slaughter an entire group of unexpended prisoners in seconds. This is where you realize that the key to survival is stealth, your first and foremost choice, and firearms, the last resort.
One of the best aspects of this game is that every time you complete a mission you get to dive deeper into the complex where you’ll find different varieties of Sleepers. These types become even more hostile and downright freaking terrifying at times. Not only do Sleepers become more difficult to deal with but so do the puzzles that you have to solve to achieve your goal. So, the continuation of the game is a strong drive in me to see if I can complete all of the levels. I’ve been lucky to play with the same squad of players, so we want to try to get end game-killing under our belts.
GTFO did change up the start of the game from your run of the meal first-person shooters. Usually, you have your basic starter weapon and try to level up to get the next weapon to do more damage. Instead, right out of the gate, all the players have access to a sizeable inventory of different weapons and tools. Weapons included are you typical: rifles, pistols, and shotguns. It is the tools themselves that make it where each teammate can contribute to the squad better. Two of the tools that come to mind are the Bio Tracker that can locate and tag Sleepers through walls and the C-Foam launcher that can slow enemy movements and reinforce doors. Most of the time, the squad will sneak around and take out any unsuspecting sleepers with melee weapons to not attract attention. However, when all hell breaks loose and the swarms come, that is when you will see how well the team can work together with their firearms and tools.
GTFO separates itself in another way that a lot of other first-person shooters usually haven’t. They make Health, Ammo, and Resources very limited, just like if you were in real life. Unlike a lot of other first-person shooters, you are unable to do the typical run and gun technique for two reasons. The first reason is that you will attract more swarms of Sleepers than you could ever manage. The second reason is that you will run out of ammo quicker than you could explain. 10 Chambers has made this a very difficult and enjoyable game for me this way. I am very pleased that I have to plan on when to fire and when not too.
This game is dark and spooky as hell and for early access, I am very excited about it. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me want to see what was around the next corner, very quietly and sneakily of course. This game drew me in, even more, the first time I killed a Sleeper. The blood splattered all over my visor and dripped down. I know people will say a lot of other games do the same thing, but after the blood looks to be off your visor, if you hit your visor just right with your flashlight, you still have the residue on it. It gives you like a tainted stain and for me, this is the first time in any game that I got that kind of detail of love from a simple kill.
Now being that this game is still in early access, I came across a few issues that I noticed, and I’m not the only one having these bugs. First off is that the menu glitches constantly for me. With this, I noticed that it resulted in my game freezing while loading and while I was in the game, the menu was still covering my screen. My squad did figure out that it will go away most of the time if you keep spamming the menu button. Before I got a squad that I could find balance in, I was using Discord to get into a group, and it paired me with either brand new players or people with hours and hours of experience. This made it difficult to get the teamwork going well since the veteran players would just sprint from one place to another not explaining what is going on, where they are going, or why they are doing it and then they became upset since that I was unable to keep up.
GTFO is a very brutal and nerve-racking game, particularly for a new player. Silence and stealth are keen over your normal run and gun tactics, especially in the deeper levels of the complex. Players must synchronize attacks, spot roaming enemies, and effectively use their equipment for any chance of success. Swarms of sleepers are unavoidable, and players must have conserved enough health, ammo, and resources to survive. Hostile sleepers are not the only hazard, in GTFO, there is also radiation, pitch darkness, and sudden drops as well to help make this very tense experience. GTFO is available on Steam now for early access for $27.99 for 20% off till 10/29 then it will go back to its original price of $34.99.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of GTFO for PC provided by 10 Chambers Collective KB.