Steam recommended Meltdown to me the other day. I thought, $3.99 (4 pack for $11.99), PC port of an Android game. Must be junk. I thought wrong.
It's so much fun in co-op already (they plan password protected server option and a lot of fixes/changes to make it a bit less frustrating when you die in co-op, it sounds like), I might stop fretting about Helldivers' release being so far off, for a while.
It's by a 2-person dev team, and here's the Steam page (in Early Access) fyi:Meltdown
Meltdown is a tactical arcade shooter featuring both singleplayer and intense online multiplayer.
Set against a captivating sci-fi backdrop, the action game invites players to follow its main character, Zed, as he tries to shoot his way out of the remote space station that he has been trapped on as a result of a system malfunction.
During the course of the adventure, players can collect loot and level-up their character as they make their way through randomly generated levels. They can choose to play single player or co-op multiplayer, while experiencing an engaging gameplay, matching their gaming skills and style.
Clear all the missions and run the prestige mode !
-Online Cross-Platform Co-Op Up to 4 Players
-30 Random Generated Levels
-3 Specializations (Specialist/Soldier/Medic)
-3 Big Boss Battles
-Wave-Attack arena challenges
Now to be fair, the randomly generated levels are sort of a generic sci-fi Legos set if you will. You'll recognize a fair amount of repetition, but the enemy variety is quite massive, and their tactics varied and devious. It has an automated cover-fire system (press against an object and you go into a squat). I do wish they'd fix it so you don't often "stay" in a squat when you move. Sometimes looks like everyone has a hernia and/or is imitating a gorilla.
You get a surprisingly deep and flexible weapons upgrade system and skills system. You get an SMG and shotgun to start. Later you can purchase a powerful pistol w/ laser sight, a grenade launcher, a flame thrower (not quite as flamey as I'd like but effective), heavy machine gun etc. Upgrades relate to things like ammo capacity, weapon's heat generation etc. I think you're limited to 9 points to assign down 3 vertical "trees," so you can't just have every upgrade, which makes for some neat variety/experimentation. You can reset the points to try different upgrade options.
While I wouldn't call it an action RPG per se, there is a lot of loot collection going on and for me and other fans it has that sort of addictive gameplay.
Currently if you die and don't have a "1Up" token, then you have to quit that session. And you complete a mission with a group, then the group's auto-disbanded at that point. I can cope with all that in single player but really don't think it's the way to handle co-op if you want to encourage folks to play with pals for more than one mission. The devs promise updates soon on that type of thing, and seem pretty active at the Steam forum on it.
Here's a fairly concise Twitch vid I took that shows off co-op pretty well I think. 3 Player co-op in Meltdownhttp://www.twitch.tv/blackjackgt/b/514776561
*Starts during an arena "defend against assault waves" segment within a mission. The missions are just long maps and usually there's one "arena event" where you're enclosed by force fields into a limited area and have to tackle some sort of nasty mix of enemies.
The game doesn't use Steam Worx for MP, they say they want to keep it cross platform compatible so they have their own system. While it works well in terms of pick up groups for now, you can't right click a bud's name in your Steam friends list and invite them into a game, alas.
I'll post more stuff, in my typical over-excited fashion, after dinner.
Hey it's $3.99 ($5.99 when released in final form). I promise if you have any interest in this type of old school game, or if you like stuff like Alien Breed or Alien Swarm, you'll probably have a good time with it.