SEATTLE—The makers of new game The Anacrusis, as revealed during today’s Summer Games Fest presentation, are happy for you to mistake it for something like Left 4 Dead, only transported to a ’70s sci-fi universe. The new game’s co-creator, former Valve designer and writer Chet Faliszek, is banking on it.
“I was the project lead on Left 4 Dead 1 and Left 4 Dead 2, and those are two of my favorite games ever made,” Faliszek says from his home office in Seattle. “Clearly they’re influential to me in deciding what does and doesn’t work in co-op games. Having done those, and having worked on Portal 2‘s co-op mode, I have a good understanding of how players interact and talk, and mistakes we made, in ensuring that people work together. If you like those games, I had a close seat on them, and we’re taking that to the next level.”
The resulting project, which Faliszek is leading alongside Kimberly Voll (Riot Games, Fantastic Contraption) at their indie studio Stray Bombay, is slated to launch “this fall” on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Steam, Windows Store, and Epic Games Store. All versions will be connected with cross-play. In a conversation ahead of today’s reveal, Faliszek emphasized the game’s social thrust, along with a new AI “director” that expands on a similar concept from the L4D series. The director’s goals are to satisfy players and scale to various play styles.