It’s Like Left 4 Dead, But With Better AI — And More Style, Too

It’s Like Left 4 Dead, But With Better AI — And More Style, Too

The Anacrusis was revealed today during Summer Game Fest 2021’s E3 2021 kickoff stream. Stray Bombay, the developer behind the co-op shooter, is an indie studio created by former Valve writer Chet Faliszek.

The Anacrusis stars four survivors, Nessa, Guion, Liu, and Lance, who are trapped aboard a large spaceship that has become infected with deadly hordes of aliens. One to four players will have to work together to survive the waves of extraterrestrials while scrounging for weapons, ammo, items, and health kits.

Like Left 4 Dead, the game will be different each time you play thanks to the AI Driver. The Driver spawns in every enemy, controls bosses, places all items, and monitors players’ progress and health. It even keeps tabs on what story beats players have and haven’t seen, so hopefully, each time folks play they get a new experience. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s a very similar system that Left 4 Dead and its sequel employed. In that system, the Director could control enemies and item spawns while making adjustments to the layout of the level. The AI Driver in Anacrusis sounds like a natural and smart evolution of that fantastic system.

The Anacrusis is being developed by Stray Bombay, a new indie studio that was founded by Chet Faliszek, who was also one of the lead writers on Left 4 Dead. He spent over a decade at Valve, working on numerous games and even helping with some of their VR output. But in 2017 he left the studio. In 2019, he teamed up with ex-Riot Games technical designer Kimberly Voll to create the new indie studio. At the time, they announced that the company would develop games that “change each time you play them” and “…where AI drives not just the enemies but helps drive the entire experience.” That sounds a lot like The Anacrusis.

The Anacrusis will be out this spring on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Game Pass. The game will also be available on Steam.

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