E3 2015: Sneak Peek at Goliath

Goliath is a single player survival game about building robots that happens to include co-op and even some pvp. It’s hardly an MMO, but the idea of building giant robots to survive is quite novel, and having a shared campaign mode that you can play online just isn’t something we find everyday. When MMOGames was given the chance to check out Goliath during E3 this year, we jumped at the chance.

One thing that immediately struck me about the game was the characters. First, the Goliaths, the mechs. Yes, we still build other necessities, like housing and eventually forts, but different kinds of mechs is a cool concept, especially when combined with weather. For example, mechs made of wood are the fastest and most versatile, but can catch fire if the environment is too hot. Likewise, rock mechs are super slow, but under extreme weather conditions, they can get flame damage from heat or shields in the cold (note: weather doesn’t affect the human). You can switch out parts from the same category (think metal explosive parts with metal sniper gear) to make a more unique mech. Heck, you can even give it a custom pain job (not “select a color” but “you can draw a happy face anywhere you want,” which the devs assured me is possible).

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Your goliath does most of the fighting for you. You can fight as it, or set it to patrol/protect you. In fact, your loadout allows you to equip 3 goliaths at once, each with their own health pool, able to be switched out even mid combat, and all three can be deployed at the same time to protect you as you gather flowers, if you want. On the other hand, if while fighting a mob as a wood golem and you find out that the mob shoots fire, you can immediately switch mechs on the fly to both save your current mech and bring out a goliath more appropriate to the fight.

The human… well, you don’t fight, but you gather, you craft (everything, from weapons to the goliaths), and you can manipulate the world a bit, from diplomacy to luring bird mobs to spider mobs so the birds will kill the spiders for you. Other mechs may ignore the human at times though since you’re just so small to them. This allows you to, say, set traps, bring out a goliath as bait, and watch enemy goliaths fall for your scheme.

The AI system is quite smart considering the genre though. If you have lights on a mech and it’s night, you may attract something that doesn’t normally appear during the day and only comes out if there’s enough light. If you find an invisible mob, you may be able to get a nearby mob to aggro it and help you fight it, as I saw in my demo.

You also have factions, so if you’re attacking the wrong person, they may call bigger and better baddies at to fight you.That, or you can potentially help them. As the game goes on, you’ll find various factions, and eventually, they’ll go to war. While the world and a lot of the content is procedurally generated, there is a main story talking about how you and people from other worlds, times, and dimensions found your current habitat and how they’re dealing with it.

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While a lot of the promo material shows a boy with the bots, he’s only one potential male character. There will be several different characters, each with their own unique story, each being treated in a different manner. For example, rather than just having a girl with a mech arm, the female character is from the middle ages, so she’s quite different from the male’s more future oriented personality. When you play with your friend, you’ll be joining their story or they’ll be joining your story, and any content that’s available in your game will be solved as you do it in your friend’s game and vice versa. Even when you beat the game, there will be the ongoing faction war, so there should always be content for you to tackle.

Now, this is a survival game, but there are a few differences. For one, you can’t starve. You don’t need water. The idea is that the game should be fun and there’s nothing fun about needing to stop mid-fight to think about where to go to find some berries. You will, however, need to find a way to heal yourself and manually repair your mech since there’s no healing over time for either of you. Failing to do so, the mech can break, making it unusable. You will get about 80% of the materials back as salvageable material, but you’ll need to wrangle-up the rest of the supplies. As you may guess, night is generally more dangerous, but luckily, at one point in the game, the human faction becomes interested in you, and you’ll be able to send humans to your fort, where you store spare mechs, to help you build a town, which your friends can see when they join your game.

The way you play the game also opens up different options. For example, just playing will help you discover rare mech recipes via drops. However, if you constantly use explosives, you can unlock an explosives design that will give you a bonus to that damage type. If you explore the map a lot, you may get an achievement that also has some small bonus attached to it.

As I mentioned, there is going to be PvP, but it’s in arenas. You’ll know what you’re getting into. Specifics are still in the air though. For example, at the moment, when you select moves in the game, it slows times so you have some breathing space. The devs aren’t quite sure how this will work in the finished product, but the current plan is to have this slowness affect everyone in a certain radius. Again, this isn’t an MMO though, so don’t expect monthly updates or something like that. There are plans for DLC if the game does well, in addition to support for player made combat (not just skins for golems, but creatures and weapons as well).

The game is currently planned just for Steam, but there’s a desire for console release since there’s already controller support for the game.

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