Preview: The Anacrusis  Has Great Artistic Direction and Loads of Potential

Screenshot: The Anacrusis I’m a sucker for great four player co-op games. So much so that I play games like Vermintide 2 and Deep Rock Galactic multiple nights a week with friends. Something about the Left 4 Dead formula is incredibly fun for me. That’s why when The Anacrusis was announced, I was excited. This brand new co-op title is being made by developer Stray Bombay, helmed by ex-Valve game designer and writer Chet Faliszek—a man who, at least based on his Twitch channel, has the same love for four player co-op games as me. It’s safe to say, the vision behind The Anacrusis is solid—and it shows. The Anacrusis is a four player cooperative first person shooter.  It’s set in the vast, titular spaceship, The Anacrusis. Aliens have taken over the ship, and you have to wield sci-fi weapons to stop them. These weapons are ripped straight from retro ‘70s nostalgia, as is the rest of the décor aboard The Anacrusis and I absolutely love the artistic direction. Fighting through the often colorful corridors of The Anacrusis is a wonderful reprieve from the often apocalyptic settings of many four player cooperative games, and it gives Anacrusis its own unique and funky style. Screenshot: The Anacrusis If you’ve played Left 4 Dead or any other four player co-op game with a similar formula, you’re already familiar with The Anacrusis. You and three other players are tasked with fighting off hordes of aliens with a selection of different weaponry and gadgets, all while using Matter Compilers to give yourself extra skills to use against the alien threat. The aliens have a set of “special infected” as you would expect, but the formula is (thankfully) changed up a bit here. There’s a Grabber, which is pretty standard, and there’s a Gooper that pins you with goop (somewhat like Back 4 Blood’s spitter) as well as the insidious Flasher that emanates a bright light that makes it hard to see. There’s also the evasive Spawner that drops turret-like pods until you’re able to find it and kill it. Each level is divided up by safe rooms in the form of futuristic air locks, culminating with an event where you will have to fight off swarms of aliens. Screenshot: The Anacrusis The Anacrusis is releasing today in Early Access on Steam alongside other platforms. That means it’s not quite finished being developed. According to the Early Access information box on the Steam Store page, The Anacrusis will be in its Early Access phase for nine to twelve months, culminating in a planned quarter four 2022 launch. Right now, The Anacrusis looks and plays great even in Early Access, with three episodes currently available. Even better, developer Stray Bombay is also a fan of modding, something that Back 4 Blood is sorely missing—so perhaps The Anacrusis can pick up the torch. I’m definitely enjoying my time with The Anacrusis so far, though it feels like it will benefit from time in Early Access. There’s a great foundation for an excellent co-op game, and I recommend picking it up—but developer Stray Bombay will have to do a little work to make The Anacrusis the classic it can potentially be. Screenshot: The Anacrusis The Anacrusis is entering Early Access today on Steam, and launches simultaneously on Xbox Game Pass.       A Steam key was provided to us for the purposes of this review. 
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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.