3 Thoughts About Outpost Game’s SOS – A 16 Player Battle Royale For The Cameras
You may have heard about the game SOS. It’s a 16 player battle royale – before you groan – that tries to be different and I feel it succeeds. We’re well aware of how popular this genre has become. Games like PUBG and Fornite are flying the flag high. Naturally, that’s got a lot of developers working to throw their ideas out there, and SOS is a result of that. Developed by Outpost Games, SOS is currently in closed beta. What’s it about?
In short, an online survival multiplayer game. SOS players are tasked with retrieving a valuable relic in order to claim one of three seats on an escape helicopter. Survival is key, but winning isn’t as simple as outlasting the competition. In order to escape the island, players will need to use the power of both voice and personality to build bonds with other contestants and navigate the dangerous terrain. Scheming, strategizing and even backstabbing are commonplace and the contestants who do them most skillfully often have the best chance to escape.
#1 It feels like an interactive TV Show
The performing aspect of SOS blew my mind. The game senses your mic’s voice activity, and your avatar or cast member moves their mouths in-game accordingly. You’ll also have taunts and hand animations to complement what you’re saying. This makes for an intriguing watch at the beginning of each match, as the game takes turn interviewing all players. The outcome is hilarious and it’s fun. You’re not required to perform, but trust me – it’s infectious. Taking part will only enrich the experience. When the match starts, the real fun begins.
#2 Gameplay works but can be improved
When you look past the TV show gimmick, the gameplay feels really ordinary. To find the relic and get off the island, you’ll need to explore, gather weapons and healing supplies and of course, interact with others to build groups which you can later betray. You have a weapons and equipment inventory to select your primary gear. The left mouse click will fire off attacks, while RMB aims and blocks incoming attacks. There’s native monsters on the island where you’ll need to find one of three relics to get off safely and win the match. The whole ‘episode’ can take between 30-40 minutes, depending on the ebb and flow. Once you die, you get to stay on and watch the rest of the cast members including hearing what they’re saying.
In truth, it feels clunky. Animations for attack and running can be improved further, and the graphics aren’t the best out there. However, with SOS still being in closed beta, I’ve got hopes that they’ll continue to fix and add more stuff to the game.
#3 It’s More Than A Game For Streamers
How SOS truly differentiates itself from the current battle royale roster of games is through its connectivity between players and viewers. Outpost Games have created Hero.TV, a website where folks can view all games and players live. Content creators can link their Twitch accounts too, and that integrates their Twitch audiences to join the fun in interactive ways. For example, shooting flares will allow viewers to cast votes and decide what goods you’ll receive. That level of interactivity is pretty cool, and plays into the TV show theme that SOS has got going on. For creators, it’s another way to build audiences and exposure, especially if you have the personality for it.
Overall, SOS is fun. I’ve had a blast in the CBT, and whether or not this thing takes off at release will come down to how much marketing SOS does. This game’s gimmick is refreshingly cheesy, but incredibly fun for both players and viewers.