​GTFO (Early Access) Review

​GTFO (Early Access) Review
By Kevin Mitchell Posted on May 12, 2020

SelectButton’s Early Access reviews provide valuable insight into a work in progress. The game will be reevaluated once officially released, as the review below is based on the Early Access build of the game at the time of the review’s published date.

A highly atmospheric survival horror game, GTFO, drops you and three others into the terrifying pits of hell against your will. The nightmarish underground complex has been abandoned for years, and now grotesque creatures wander the halls looking for their next meal. Although each prisoner comes packing multiple weapons and gadgets, death is inevitable. GTFO forces players to explore, gather resources, and use teamwork to solve puzzles if they are to escape.

A unique selling point for the game involves the work order tasks given to you by the unknown entity known as The Warden, known as a rundown. Each one has a set number of expeditions, divided into different tiers taking you into various parts of the complex. The deeper you go into the complex, the more difficult the challenge. When the timer runs out on the current rundown, a new one begins, replacing tasks with newly tailored expeditions. With no way to play previous rundowns, 10 Chambers Collective ensures that the game will always be evolving, as they fine-tune the experience every time. As a Steam Early Access title, GTFO's focuses on community building, and with it, community goals for releasing new expeditions. When the target number of players survive specific expeditions, new ones may appear. As it stands now, the final two tasks for the second rundown are now available for those tortured souls that have survived until now.

Only certain aspects of GTFO are procedurally generated; namely the enemy spawns and location of items. This does mean that you can expect the environment itself to feel quite familiar if you attempt a single expedition multiple times. Given the nature and sheer difficulty of the game, you can expect to lose many times over. However, as a survival game, you'll need to explore the vast darkened and moody halls and rooms to locate as much ammunition and other essential items as possible. With the spawn locations, and the type of enemies that spawn being varied, every run does feel unique enough to keep from feeling stale. Currently, there isn't any progression system, but you are free to alter your loadout before dropping back into the underground prison.

With resources kept to a minimum, stealth plays a significant role in GTFO, even if it's not readily apparent. I mean, who wouldn't want to shoot unholy monsters with a submachine gun or rifle? Given most appear in a dormant-like state, you may think you'll have an easier time-fighting sleepers, but it's best to access the situation and synchronize actions with other players. Guns are noisy, running is loud, and therefore, you'll want to slowly approach enemies and hit them while they are dormant with your chosen melee weapon. A direct hit to the weak spot with a charged attack should kill the basic sleepers with one swing. While in their dormant state, the sleepers will intermittently pulsate. If they catch you moving, or your flashlight comes into contact with them while glowing, they will awake and pounce on you quickly. Certain enemy types can be found in groups, and waking one wakes up the entire group, forcing you to deal with taking them out simultaneously. Other variants such as the big hulking striker should be avoided where possible, as they soak up attacks with ease, draining your resources. Scouts with their extended tendrils can alert enemies to your position and have ended many runs by spawning new monstrosities. Trust me, you do not want to accidentally come in contact with a tentacle and hear a thunderous cry echoing in the depths of the underground.

The more you explore the dangerous corridors within each expedition, the more likely you'll gather essential resources; however, every additional room increases the chance you'll have to deal with fearsome creatures. Gadgets provide assistance, especially during rooms that require you move around the room while dealing with waves of foes. Turrets can protect hallways and doors, but run out of ammunition too quickly. Hardening foam can strengthen doors, with the chance to prevent enemies from ripping them to shreds. The foam can also be used on foes to freeze them in place, letting your crew take them out. When you start, you are given a specific task, usually requiring you to locate a keycard within a particular section of the prison. Coordination is a must-have in GTFO, and at this point in development, the game doesn't feature direct matchmaking. Instead, you can copy your lobby code and send it directly to the game's accessible official Discord server or invite friends directly on Steam. While text chat is included, voice chat is required if you want to have any success with synchronizing attacks and calling out for healing, supplies, etc. Generally, you'll want to coordinate loadouts while in the lobby, ensuring one person has the tracker gadget, and others use the foam and/or turrets.

Simply Put

GTFO is a highly atmospheric and terrifyingly brutal online cooperative action horror first-person shooter. The creepy environments and nightmarish monstrosities haunt my dreams to this day. The evolving nature of the Rundown system ensures a carefully tailored experience that stays fresh. Can GTFO be played with less than four? Sure, but you'll probably not survive. Frightening and suspenseful, GTFO is already quite polished for a Steam Early Access title, and it keeps improving with every update.

Note: ​GTFO (Early Access) was reviewed on PC. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.

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