Enemies are constantly capable of surprising players in third person shooter Rail Theory, as the game evaluates how well the player is doing and can add new weapons and defenses to its monsters to ensure the game stays challenging.
The various strange monstrosities in Rail Theory all feature a pool of components they can draw from, growing horns, metallic growths, and other elements that will change how they fight and protect themselves. This will keep the player from getting to know any given creature too well, adding new surprise elements onto each encounter with them. Likewise, the game evaluates player skill based on accuracy, damage taken, and other aspects, increasing challenge (and giving enemies more dangerous tools) should the player be doing a little too well.
As monsters are capable of so many different variants, the player’s weapons are all very flexible tools. The Foyl Dredge is a gun that can be fired normally with accuracy, charged for a high-damaging shot that is less accurate, or used like a club for quick melee combos. It can also be used for contextual attacks on weakened or staggered enemies, smashing them without having to switch weapons. This tool can also be upgraded to better suit the player’s combat style.
Players who miss their shots will find themselves hit with several kinds of damage that can affect play. Players will have to manage health (armor), trauma, and stamina. Stamina is drained by melee attacks and sprinting, but recharges with time. However, trauma damage eats up part of the stamina bar, tiring and slowing the player as they take damage.
Rail Theory offers an open level design, allowing players to tackle its areas as they see fit. Depending on which order they tackle them, certain aspects of future areas, including enemy makeup and bosses, will change. It can also add new elements, such as corrosion, that can make some bridges unpassable but other doors easily breakable due to rust, changing how the player progresses.
A demo for Rail Theory is available on the game’s site, and players can also sign up for developments on the game there as well. A Kickstarter for the game is set to begin on July 18.