With DayZ Standalone just around the corner, numerous zombie MMO’s have been popping up, hoping to become a success and grab their share of the audience. Some you will admit, are more likely than others to succeed, while others are just mere copycats, but one game which we are confident will take the open-world zombie MMO to a place it hasn’t been before, is Lifeless, being developed by the folks over at Rigid-Soft.
As with most zombie games on the market, or in development, Lifeless puts you in the role of a survivor as you try to survive day and night against the undead, and of course those other survivors. You know, those survivors who are rarely ever nice? Well Lifeless aims to bring back co-operative play between fellow survivors. For once, you may need to think first if that guy will give you a better chance of surviving than if you put a bullet between his eyes. A major feature of the gameplay will be fortifying buildings you come across to survive the night. Zombies will actually be a challenge, and will be at the center to how the game is played, so team work is going to be crucial to survive. That’s not to say however that they are against PvP, but the aim is to have something which is worth working together for which benefits everyone, something we haven’t really seen done before.
What really caught my eye however about Lifeless was the RTS Influenced Building Elements. During the day, zombies will still be a threat, but they will be calmer and less aggressive. Come night however, you are going to need your shelter! When you enter a building, you can enter a RTS style interface, which allows you and your friends to fortify that building and make it your shelter. In order to build, you will need resources, which gives survivors an objective during the day to aim for.
Lifeless isn’t just a one trick pony however, with many other features catching our eye and making us excited for the game. On top of building, you will be able to progress your character by earning XP by killing zombies and can customize your character via different clothing. It will also be free-to-play, which at first I was unsure about, but after hearing from the developers themselves about the matter, Lifeless will not become a cash cow or Pay-to-Win. In fact, lt may be better to hear them from the developers themselves, who we did a Q&A with to gain more information about Lifeless.
Q: What made you want to create Lifeless?
A: We’ve played all zombie survival games out there, and there were always some aspects that we just weren’t too fond of. We wanted to create Lifeless because no other game out there offers the experience we’re looking for. We wanted to create a game that we, as gamers, want to play.
Q: Is there a back story to the game you wish to share?
A: Lifeless will have a back story, though we don’t want to disclose that just yet. All that we’ll hint at is that the zombies are not undead, but infected. Ingame, we will be telling many stories connecting to the back story. Stories won’t be told linearly, but through our random world event system. For example, NPCs may spawn in the bush, asking you to help them out. If you help them out, you may learn more about the world, and it may even activate more events, all connected to the same general
Q: As there are plenty of zombie survival games now on the market and in development, what makes Lifeless stand out from the rest of them?
A: Lifeless is created from the ground up with survival in mind. We’re not built on top of a preexisting FPS. We refuse to become a cash cow. We aim to provide players with new experiences. The zombies will be challenging, and you’ll find yourself and other players wanting to mindlessly kill each other less and work together more. We want both the PvE and PvP experiences Lifeless offers to be meaningful and challenging.
From an extensive traps system, to in-depth weapon customization, to a fresh and ever-changing world, to our fortification building system and beyond – we want people to experience a non-trivial world where they have to make their own decisions and keep their wits about them in order to stay alive.
The features Lifeless offers aren’t just one-off ideas. Everything about Lifeless is created with this one-of-a-kind experience in mind. How you play the game and how you behave in the game matters, not just how it affects your experience , but in how it affects the experience of everyone around you – NPCs and real players.
Q: How will the free-to-play model work? Will there be an in-game shop and if so what will be sold in it?
A: Once Lifeless is released, you will not have to pay money to create an account, to play the game, or to access any of the content. We are very aware of the stigma associated with the free-to-play model, and want to make it very clear that Lifeless will not be pay-to-win.
We are gamers ourselves, we’ve played a lot of games,and we despise games that are pay-to-win. We’ve done our research, and found that Lifeless can be free to play, not pay-to-win, and we can indeed support it for years to come. Lifeless won’t be a cash cow; we just want to create a fun game that gamers everywhere will enjoy playing.
There will be an in-game cash shop. You’ll be able to buy currency for it using real money, and occasionally, get some just by playing the game. The cash shop will feature primarily aesthetic items. We have an amazing graphics team, and will offer many weapon skins, character skins, and we’re even thinking about skinning entire maps.
We are looking at other possibilities as well, though it is our utmost priority to ensure that nothing offers an advantage, and that Lifeless never becomes pay-to-win. Content will always be free.
We’ll be analyzing every single cash shop item that we add, as well as taking feedback from our players. We want to keep everyone happy. If players don’t like something, we’ll look into rectifying the problem as soon as possible. If that means removing a cash shopt item, so be it.
Q: Is Lifeless solely first-person, or is there an option for Third-person?
A: In Lifeless, you will usually be playing from the first-person perspective of your character. However, when you go into fortification building mode, you will be in an RTS-like setup where you will be able to see your character and the building from a third-person perspective. There are numerous reasons for this, one of them that we want to encourage people to play together. Ideally, you’ll want a friend watching your back while you’re building your fortification.
Q: How in-depth will weapon customization be?
A: Lifeless will feature a very wide array of weapon customization options. There will be many weapons to choose from, all that you can add numerous different types of attachments and accessories to. These attachments can be crudely created with supplies you find on the ground, for example, a sharpened stick that you use as a bayonet.
You can also find market weapon attachments, such as red-dot sights, throughout the game. We want there to be dozen of options, allowing you to put together a gun that suits your play style.
Q: I love the idea of building houses and shelters, how will this work and what exactly can we build?
A: Lifeless will feature numerous maps, each with numerous buildings. As a player, you can go into these buildings, enter building mode, and then you’ll be able to place fortifications, such as wooden boards, throughout the building. At this time, we are not planning to allow the player to build a house from scratch. After all, in the middle of an apocalypse, who would build a house from scratch when they could just fortify an existing one?
Q: Will there be character customization and progression?
A: Yes! Lifeless will have character customization, and we will make it a point to not only have numerous options by release, but also to further expand players’ options post-release. You will be able to buy clothes, as well as find them in the world.
There will also be player progression, in the form of experience points and levels. You’ll be able to gain experience points by doing pretty much anything. Killing zombies, interacting with other players, and just playing the game. We want to allow players to progress just by playing
the way they want to play. Once you gain enough experience points, you level up. When you level up, you gain rewards. We don’t have all the rewards completely threshed out yet, but we’re planning to allow the player to further differentiate themselves from others.
Q: Will Lifeless receive constant updates after release? i.e new maps, dlc, characters, weapons etc?
A: Yes. We will be regularly releasing new content, e.g. maps, characters, weapons, as well as constantly improving and polishing all aspects of Lifeless. These updates will be free – we don’t want to charge for content.
Q: When can people who support you expect to receive access to the Alpha & Beta? When do you hope to have the full-release?
A: We’re aiming to get the alpha out by January 2014, and the beta out not long after that. The game will likely stay in beta for a little while, and we will fully release Lifeless when we feel it is ready.
Lifeless is currently trying to get funded over on Indiegogo, so if your interested in supporting the game, head over to their Indiegogo page. We will for sure be following the progress of the game, and we will aim to provide more coverage of the game in the future. Lifeless is also being developed to support Oculus Rift! Check out a video of it in action below!