Concorde Preview – Concorde Feels Like Destiny Meets Overwatch

Last month, PlayStation released the first big look at Concorde, its upcoming 5v5 multiplayer hero shooter from Firewalk Studios, which it acquired last year. Although recent cinematic footage has been teased as a single-player, narrative-driven heist game Guardians of the Galaxy The movie, a post-game reveal, showcased the strictly multiplayer experience in a new light. Admittedly, this revelation left me feeling blasé; It looks good, but nothing I haven’t seen before. However, after playing the game for a few hours at a recent preview event, I’m excited for more action. It feels like a mix of Destiny and Overwatch, but I’m wary of the team’s emphasis on lore and storytelling, and if that pays off in a multiplayer-only format.

Before teaming up with Concord, IP Kimberly Crains’ Firewalk Director and Lead Gameplay Designer Claude Jerome walked me and my peers through a presentation to highlight the game’s sci-fi world. Crains explains that Firewalk set out to do something “unlike anything out there today”: a multiplayer experience that felt tactile and visceral, “like taking an action game and hitting it with a shooter,” and characters that felt real. He explains that players will control various freegunners in Concord, among an outlaw crew of mercenaries who take on jobs played in the game’s multiplayer matches. The government of this universe, the Guild, controls the freedom of the stars, but recently, the crew stole the Guide to the Galaxy and our crew gains access to it, giving them (and you) access to this special map.

I was impressed from my first viewing of this map – it’s expansive, colorful, bright, and full of locations, planets, points of interest, and more. But I later learned that this isn’t something you interact with in a single-player RPG (like I expected). It’s essentially a massive library, with each point intersecting an entry to learn more about Concorde. It’s a neat feature, and while I’m a sucker for knowledge, I can see a lot of players ignoring it. The same goes for Concorde’s opening vignette, which players watch when they first boot up the game. It’s well narrated with excellent voice acting, and it’s a short and fun burst of personality that gives some insight into the game’s various characters. And while Firewalk promises something new every week, I struggle to see a future where players tune in to something new, anticipating what’s next, at least in the game’s early launch. When I ask if these vignettes could tell a broader narrative, perhaps across an entire year of play, Crane explains that they’re a mishmash of episodic stories, crew insight, and more — so maybe not.

Character work, world-building (such as map graffiti and props telling of the latest rebellion and skyboxes warning of incoming storms) and lore Firewalk tries to inject into Concord of the Rip. It’s clear that the team wants its players to feel the same love for these freegunners as the Overwatch community does for its heroes. Throughout my time with Concorde, I’ve been thinking about the idea that a developer can create this love from the jump. Sure, Overwatch certainly has that, but Blizzard has earned it through years of work with incredible gameplay at its core; It didn’t force the experience with abundant lore entries, a huge library of in-universe mythology and more.

Fortunately for Firewalk, the 5v5 multiplayer shooter doesn’t rest its laurels on lore and storytelling — it’s all about gameplay, and so far, Concorde has been good.

Destiny is the closest comparison I can make, especially regarding its time-to-kill (TTK), map layout, first-person management, and matchmaking progression. Although I was surprised to experience this (no doubt influenced by my recent journey to catch every Destiny 2 expansion), I probably wasn’t. Director Ryan Ellis, design director Josh Hamrick, lead character designer John Wysnewski, and Jerome all have experience working on Destiny 2, and it shows.

I immediately like Jabali, a machine gunner who can shoot Life Pulse Orbs at teammates and Hunter Orbs to deal damage on enemies (you probably already see the Overwatch comparison). Targeting enemies with Jabali’s aim-down sights is good fun. With a longer TTK than fast first-person shooters like Call of Duty, I have to focus on accuracy (and headshots) to eliminate enemies before they eliminate me. Since each hero has unique abilities, it’s crucial that I use my orbs in the heat of battle. Taking out Handgun Specialist Lennox (a Starlord-esque character from Reveal ), without the damage of a Hunter Orb, whose bullets melt my health bar, is tough. And even then, I have to watch out for Lennox’s exploding knife and self-healing ability.

As I play match after match, I enjoy having to think about each freegunner’s loadout. Will the fire wizard’s hammer float over the field to throw firewalls and blinding flash grenades? Is Soldier Tio, who plays like a typical first-person shooter hero, peering through the smoke bomb fields he’s laid with blurry vision as I struggle to see anything but gray clouds? Sniper Whale has a trip mine around the corner? And does the previous recycled robot 1-off have an air barrier to block incoming projectiles like my orbs, both deployments that continue every round unless destroyed? These are seconds-long adjustments that I must consistently consider in every engagement. I enjoy this added strategy, and it sets Concorde apart from the who-shoots-first-wins experience typical of the FPS genre.

These considerations are critical in Trophy Hunt, a team deathmatch variant where you must take the trophy of a killed enemy to score points. In Cargo Run, where players have to secure the Blue Buddy robot and bring it back to one of two zones, and in Clash Point, where players compete for control of a single capture zone, these considerations are still very important, but not how Firewalk is. intended The latter two modes are round-based and feature a zero response. If killed, you’re out until the next round. As a result, the other four players on my team (and five enemy players) largely ignore mode-specific objectives and instead focus on taking out the other team first. It’s a typical problem with these game modes – see you, search and destroy in Call of Duty – but I still hope Firewalk finds a way around it in Concorde. Otherwise, I can see myself sticking to Trophy Hunt and other team deathmatch-adjacent modes where I’m always in the action, thanks to the ability to recover.

Fortunately, regardless of mode, I had a great time with the Concorde’s action. It’s frenetic with lots of variables between well-designed maps (I enjoy the game’s final 16) and 16 freegunners, each with unique abilities.

Firewalk says there aren’t designated Freegunner types, such as tank, DPS or support – instead, characters will feature a mix of skills and weapons that allow them to float between these traditional archetypes. In my experience, though, some characters definitely play like tanks, healers, and attack-focused heroes, and it didn’t take long for my team to consider these builds when creating a crew for a match. On top of all of this, there are a lot more systems I couldn’t wrap my head around, such as personal crew building that acts as a subset of your roster, crew bonuses, freegunner variants and more. But if the post-match summaries that light up with unlocks and experience bars are any indication, there’s a lot going on under the hood of this shooter, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how it all comes together.

This Concorde preview makes me significantly more excited for the game’s upcoming release on PlayStation 5, which will hopefully increase its player base with a simultaneous PC launch. I have a lot of questions about progression, seasonal content, crossplay checks and balances between controller and mouse and keyboard players, and whether the emphasis on worldbuilding pays off, but Firewalk seems to have nailed the most important part: gameplay.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top