GTFO has been in Early Access since December 2019, but somehow this title slipped through my radar. It wasn’t until Jimmy and MEF TECH’s adopted son- Chunky Fish Whisper, mentioned GTFO as an option for us to smash out at our next LAN. Fast forward 48 hours and we quickly gathered the troops (including the MEF TECH muscle, Chris) and booted up the four-player cooperative first-person shooter that is GTFO. Despite a solid 100 years of gaming between us, we soon realised that we were still not quite prepared for what GTFO had installed for us…
GTFO is a horror driven first-person shooter that is certain doesn’t target the casual gamer. Instead, developer 10 Chambers Collective focuses on challenging gamers by offering a hardcore, cooperative experience that requires teamwork, patience, and a few pairs of underwear. Lucky for us, we all had no problems with turning our underwear inside out
Despite being in Early Access, GTFO is a very polished game that doesn’t hold your hand. This was a bit frustrating at first, but once we discovered the basic mechanics of the game, began listening to
me each other, and coordinate our movements and attacks as a team, we soon began to reap the rewards and enjoyment that GTFO has to offer.
Teamwork? What Is That?
Teamwork is the foundation of GTFO — This may of took us longer to work out than we would like to admit, but as soon as we began discussing our load outs, strategically placing our tools, distributed the in-game items evenly, and took a patient and stealth approach and finally completed the R2A1 — the first work order. Embarrassingly enough, it took us nearly 3 hours to finally complete the first work order of the game — We didn’t help ourselves as you can imagine, we spent more time sabotaging each other than working as a team. But once we got over that, the satisfaction of completing the mission was reward in itself and all lead us to draw the same conclusion — GTFO is f*cking hard!
In GTFO, players find themselves exploring a large terrifying underground complex called ‘The Complex‘. You are a team of four prisoners held captive by an entity called ‘The Warden‘ who has compiled a list of tasks for you and your team, documenting them as works orders within your team’s rundown. Your rundown is divided into 5 tiers at the time of this review, with each tier increasing with difficulty.
Your objectives are pretty straight forward in each workorder, usually revolving around ‘go to X, then Y, while trying not to die’ — Nothing too complex but the scarce amounts of ammunition, minimal ways to regen health, and
incompetent team mates dangerous enemies all create to a challenging, but rewarding experience. You begin each work order by selecting your loadout compromising of a primary weapon (a selection of automatic and semi-automatic pistols/rifles), special weapon (a few weapons that pack a bit more of a punch such as shotguns, revolvers, and a sniper rifle), tools (deployable sentry/shotgun turret that are almost like competent team mates, C-Foam Launcher for slowing enemies and barricading doors and a Bio Tracker that tracks movement and enemies), and a melee weapon — basically an assortment of sledge hammers to whack enemies with.
Can I Shoot Stuff?
You can pick up a variety of consumables through each work order such as glow sticks (disco, disco), C-Foam grenades (grenade form of the C-Foam launcher), fog repeller (similar to the Proton pack from Ghostbuster’s except sucks up the fog to increase vision), long range flashlight (Chris was quite disappointed it was only a flashlight), and a lock melter for a quick and silent approach to removing locks. Oh, and the holy grail of consumables – Ammo, health, and tool replenishment kits. Across each level there are several terminals that test your DOS programming skills and knowledge. OK, it isn’t quite that difficult, but you can use these terminals to find which zone certain items are (keycards for instance), along with the ability to list all the consumable and boxes in each zone… If your DOS skills are good enough!
The ‘all guns blazing’ approach won’t work well, in fact any noise will alert your enemies who are usually found in a dormant, sleeping state — hence the name Sleepers. Sleepers come in various forms such as Striker (common foot soldier so to speak), Big Striker (tanky version of a Striker), Shooter (shoot things from… interesting positions), Big Shooter (tanky version of Shooter), and a Scout (can wake up Sleepers when alerted).
To be successful in GTFO, I found it most beneficial to scout the area using a Bio Tracker or at least throw glow sticks in dark areas where you have little vision. Glow sticks won’t wake Sleepers up, unlike your flashlight and are quite useful as the difficulty begins increasing. From here patience is the key — Sneaking up on the Sleepers in a coordinated approach to silently ‘dispose’ of the enemy using your trusty sledgehammer is option A. If you must use option B of opening fire on the alien scum, then your task becomes much harder. single player experience is quite average. Not only is it quite boring, but I also found it quite a step-up in terms of difficulty; As soon as you are downed, the work order is over as there is no one to revive you. I would have liked to see AI teammates, like Left 4 Dead that have the ability to revive you, if nothing else.
But, I Have No Friends…
As intense and rewarding as multiplayer is, the single player experience is quite disappointing. Not only is it quite boring, but I also found it quite a step-up in terms of difficulty; As soon as you are downed, the work order is over as there is no one to revive you. I would have liked to see AI teammates populate the remaining characters, like Left 4 Dead so you at least have some form of help. This is the same when you only have 1 or 2 other friends join you, there is no AI support for the 3rd or 4th character. 10 Chamber Collection currently have a Discord channel purposely for meeting other gamers (this is mentioned on the title screen of the game) and organising games until matchmaking is implemented. This is a much better option that playing alone, at least some people try to revive you…
I was disappointed with the absence of any real progression system regarding weapons, items and characters. 10 Chamber Collection have said that they plan to address this by adding gear progression and improving character customization with their road map (which can be read here) — Matchmaking won’t be part of their current ‘Rundown #2’ stage of development, instead focusing on foundation features that will ultimately improve matchmaking a sturdy matchmaking backend, voice chat, vote/kick system and server migration.
Speaking of GTFO’s road map, 10 Chamber Collection have listed a number features they are currently working on and will be implemented either in this stage of development, or in the near future such as:
- Level design and testing iterations for tiers D and E
- Gear progression
- Character customization
- New enemies
- More hacking minigames
- More consumables and objectives
Everyone at MEF TECH agrees that GTFO looks amazing and takes full advantage of the Unity engine. Each map is dark, yet extremely detailed thanks to some excellent use of lighting. Character models are finished well and animations are quite fluid and compliment the game’s surroundings — Basically, it is a gorgeous game to look itam basically saying that is a gorgeous Sound effects are really where horror themed games such as Outlast can really make or break the game, and GTFO doesn’t disappoint here either — I often found myself sh*tting my pants at random noises that came from a dark corners of the room.
Shut Up and Take My Money!
I had to keep reminding myself that GTFO is still in Early Access, such is the quality of the product at this stage of development. This a big compliment to the small development who should be proud of their product. There are still many improvements on the horizon, most of which 10 Chamber Collection are either working on or are aware of, but the future is definitely bright for GTFO and I have no hesitation is saying that this game will be one of the best in its genre upon full release.
- GAMEPLAY - 84%84%
- POTENTIAL - 90%90%
- GRAPHICS - 89%89%
- AUDIO - 85%85%
GTFO will test even the most seasoned players with its team-first, stealth mentality that rewards patience and persistence. Players who prefer the run-and-shoot action of a battle-royale or a Call of Duty title won’t last long within The Complex, but for a group of mates who want a challenge and help support an already great title GTFO will not disappoint.