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Jump Ship

Jump Ship: A surprising space multiplayer from Keepsake Games published by ID@Xbox

Has Microsoft found its answer to Helldivers II with this indie?

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The big companies may be the ones grabbing the headlines, but the power to move the games industry forward lies with the indies. This may not be the best time for the industry, but Microsoft's ID@Xbox programme seems to be hitting the nail on the head with the indie projects it plans to release. Last week we had a closed-door session where the ID@Xbox programme presented a new multiplayer action offering called Jump Ship, from Sweden's Keepsake Games, and it simply caught us off guard.

Jump Ship

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The presentation we attended and the subsequent Q&A with director Filip Coulianos was extensive and began with an interesting trailer in which we saw a squad of four players explore this space action shooter with ship control, first-person walking missions and resource management. The objective is to complete missions through space and on the surface of planets and structures such as space platforms where we gather resources and collect weapons to improve our character and our ship, which can also be piloted as a team. The first impression of its first-person action was somewhat similar to No Man's Sky's co-op mode, but soon both the gameplay and the speed were much more reminiscent of the recent Helldivers 2, only much more open.

Jump Ship, as I've already indicated, also has the element of spacecraft travel and combat. This was the least of what we were shown in the presentation, but it seems that each of the four squad members will control one of the ship's systems as we battle the AI. Upgrading the ship will be at the heart of the progression, and the developers likened it to the character build system in the Diablo series, with different levels/colours for each piece for rarity and perks.

Jump ShipJump Ship
Jump ShipJump Ship

But what was most surprising was how the gameplay experience felt. The video featured a four-player game with an open mic where players were giving each other directions to solve the simple cooperative puzzles and quizzes, as well as coordinating when threats appeared on screen. It felt really fun, and everything on screen showed speed and a certainty that they've paid a lot of attention to what these kinds of multiplayer games look like. Although I mentioned other titles earlier as the first reference that came to mind, the game's director said that the main inspiration for the gameplay was taken from Left 4 Dead, so you can also get a rough idea of what Jump Ship's gunfights are like. Unfortunately our question to the team about whether friendly fire exists was not resolved, but hopefully now that the game is in the public domain we'll know more about it.

Although Keepsake Games only consists of ten people, the title they showed evidences production values almost worthy of an AA. And while Microsoft is handling the publishing, there's still no confirmation as to when the game will arrive or the confirmed platforms. Expect Xbox (and Game Pass) to be on the list in addition to the obvious PC, but we're confident this one will also be stamped in the passport for PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch 2 access.

Jump ShipJump Ship
Jump ShipJump Ship

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