SOS the Ultimate Escape

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SOS: The Ultimate Escape
SOS: the Ultimate Escape official game logo, June Alpha 2017
The official logo for the SOS game.
Developer(s) Outpost Games
Publisher(s) Outpost Games
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Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Genre(s) Survival, Action Role-Playing
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SOS: The Ultimate Escape is a multiplayer, match-based, first person survival PC game developed by the independent game studio Outpost Games.[1] The game is currently unreleased in closed alpha and is scheduled for Early Access on Steam at a date that will be confirmed in 2017.

Gameplay[edit]

SOS is a survival game that focuses on ad-hoc team building and encouraging entertaining performances for a live spectator audience. Players take on the role of one of sixteen contestants set inside a reality show run by an authoritarian corporatocracy known as the Amarant Corporation. Only three contestants can escape the island and they have 30 minutes to explore the vast tropical La Cuna island in search of its most-valuable relics.[2] Once a player obtains a relic, they can use a flare gun to signal the helicopter to extract them from the island. The locations of the relics and item spawns are slightly randomized which encourages players to adapt to the map.[3]

While alliances are not directly encouraged, the island is lurking with deadly monsters known as the Hupia, which guard the relics and are extremely threatening to lone players. Every action in SOS has consequences and all human characters in the game are player-controlled. Players must carefully weigh the risks of betrayal while protecting themselves from the island's many dangers, from the roaming groups of other human players, to the Hupia that stalk you beneath the canopy.

SOS: The Ultimate Escape, Weapons and Items

Both contestants and Hupia are able to track your foot-prints, hear your movements, your actions, and even your voice off in the distance. SOS attempts to strike a careful balance between facilitating stealth while also rewarding aggressive play-styles.

Players are able to block other melee attacks and can charge up a more powerful strike to break through blocking. They may also utilize a wide variety of melee weapons, ranged weapons, and other items to aid them in combat. Some weapons and items currently include a radio, lockpick, flashlight, pistol, knife, skull, axe, papayas, mushrooms, and a flare gun used to signal for extraction.[4]

Plot and Characters[edit]

SOS: The Ultimate Escape character art for the June Alpha

The game takes place in the dense jungle island of La Cuna, where the mysterious Amarant Corporation guides players to collect the island’s most-valuable relics. Through the game’s iconic narrations and subtle environmental cues, players receive hints of Amarant’s questionable past. The Amarant Corporation is inspired by a wide variety of tone-deaf pop-culture corporations and seeks to take advantage of its many contestants in their search for money and fame. The light-hearted and tone-deaf nature of Amarant provides a stark contrast to the darker undertones of the SOS reality show, in which contestants are actually risking their lives for the sake of entertainment.

SOS contains a diverse and relatable cast of characters who all have unique motivations for seeking fame and fortune. The characters come from a wide variety of different cultural backgrounds histories, and customizable outfits, to encourage the players to tell their own story.

La Cuna Island is populated primarily only by Hupia and the player never encounters any other humans there besides the sixteen SOS contestants, the helicopter pilot, and the mysterious Amarant staff who narrate the story.

The Hupia are tall, gray, humanoid monsters that are capable of infecting human players with their melee attacks. As the infection worsens, the player’s UI changes and they appear visibly ill to other players. The infection can be temporarily staved off by consuming mushrooms and it can be cured by antidote syringes that are scattered across the island. If the infection is not cured, the player eventually loses control of their character and transforms into a Hupia-like creature that attacks all other players.

Integration with Hero[edit]

Hero.tv Live Platform Website

SOS is integrated directly with the Outpost Games live audience participation platform called Hero.[5] Hero is built on top of existing streaming services, such as Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube. Viewers can watch their favorite live streams as normal and still use their chat services, while also using the additional functionality that Hero provides.[6] Hero is still early in development and its primary feature is currently the feedback overlay. The feedback overlay currently consists of 25 different sentiments, represented by emoticons, that viewers can send to the streamer.

Streamers can either embed the Hero client into their existing live streams or they can access the feedback overlay in SOS by linking their Hero and SOS accounts.[7] Spectating a player in SOS will give you access to the feedback system in-game where you can respond to the player’s actions. Any feedback that a player receives on Hero.tv or in-game is tied to their SOS account.[8]

SOS currently has two different leaderboards, one for player skill and the other for player fame. Player fame is determined by the amount of time viewers have spectated that player, either on Hero or in SOS, as well as the combination and quantity of feedback that the player has received.

Development and Release[edit]

SOS Alpha Gameplay Screenshot

Outpost Games was founded in 2013 by game industry veterans from a wide variety of notable companies, such as Visceral Games, Crystal Dynamics, and Naughty Dog, and has since raised over $19 million from Benchmark and other investors.[9] The developers have stated that their goal is to create “games that focus on characters and have elements of storytelling, but also feature strong competitive and cooperative aspects” and that they felt “really compelled to go in a new direction… creating games that bring out people’s skill and creativity and allowing them to show it to the world”.[10] Outpost Games is currently developing SOS alongside its live audience participation platform called Hero.[11] SOS was first teased in 2015[12] and was officially revealed to the public at a GDC party in March 2017.[13] The game entered closed alpha on June 26, 2017[14] and has an upcoming announcement slated for 2017 on its Steam Early Access release date.

References:[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.sosgame.com/
  2. ^ https://assets.outpostgames.com/static/alpha/tutorials/20170224_SOS_F.A.Q.pdf
  3. ^ https://assets.outpostgames.com/static/alpha/tutorials/20170224_SOS_F.A.Q.pdf
  4. ^ https://assets.outpostgames.com/static/alpha/tutorials/20170224_SOS_F.A.Q.pdf
  5. ^ https://www.hero.tv/
  6. ^ https://feedback.sosgame.com/knowledgebase/articles/1182685-hero-faq
  7. ^ https://feedback.sosgame.com/knowledgebase/articles/1184650-how-to-activate-hero-for-sos
  8. ^ https://feedback.sosgame.com/knowledgebase/articles/1182685-hero-faq
  9. ^ https://corp.outpostgames.com/#team
  10. ^ http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-07-23-industry-must-adapt-to-gamers-as-performers-not-consumers-outpost
  11. ^ https://feedback.sosgame.com/knowledgebase/articles/1182685-hero-faq
  12. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/249364/Outpost_Games_nets_62_million_for_games_that_are_fun_to_watch.php
  13. ^ http://67.227.255.239/forum/showthread.php?t=1347074
  14. ^ https://www.reddit.com/r/SOSgame/comments/6ighbd/sos_closed_alpha_starts_june_26/