First-person shooters are a staple genre for PC gamers, but it’s no secret that innovation in the space has slowed in recent years. More and more games are choosing to focus on tried-and-true concepts or chasing the latest trends – we’re looking at you, battle royale games.
As such, it’s always refreshing when a developer tries something genuinely original with an FPS game – which is just what indie developers Ammobox Studios have done with sci-fi shooter Eximius: Seize The Frontline. The game presents a combo that shouldn’t work – mixing real-time strategy with first-person shooting. But like mixing peanut butter and jelly, the results are surprisingly enjoyable.
Eximius is set in a dystopian future where humanity has been pushed to the brink by a deadly virus, forcing society to collapse… so not all that far-fetched. The chaos has given rise to two warring factions – the Axeron Corporation (AXR) and the Global Security Force (GSF). At the start of the game, you’ll have to choose where your allegiance lies and fight on behalf of your chosen side. Don’t worry though – you can still play as the other faction regardless of which side you choose.
Axeron is a private research organisation turned security contractor, leveraging advanced technology to achieve its goals. This wealthy industrial complex uses drones and robots in both its workforce and military operations, waging futuristic war with cold precision. Choose this option to get the might of technology on your side.
Two sides to every story
The GSF, on the other hand, was built upon the principles of securing the walls, recovering human survivors, and rebuilding the civilised world. They command the largest military force on the planet, made up of human soldiers and military hardware like tanks and aircraft. If you’re a fan of boots-on-the-ground fighting, choose this faction.
These factions come with their own playstyles, with different soldier types, weapons, and technology that you can utilise. But the mechanic that truly changes how you play is which role you pick. Players can choose between being a squad officer or a commander, as they head online to do battle with other players around the world.
Officers are the boots-on-the-ground soldiers, firing the guns and completing objectives in the trenches. Meanwhile, commanders watch from above, in an RTS-style game mode that sees them deploying AI units and supplies to assist the players in the field. As your team’s sole commander, you’ll have the huge responsibility of managing the war effort, directing your team, and providing essential battlefield intel as the fight unfolds in real-time.
While the commander is watching from on high, officers carry out the dirty work. As an officer, you’ll use a variety of high-powered weapons, all of which can be upgraded with various tactical features to make you even stronger. As you play you’ll earn cash, which can then be used at upgrade stations to improve your gear – stations which can be placed by your commander. Make sure you communicate with them to place it in the most advantageous spot.
Get far enough through a battle and you’ll gain the option to call in a battlesuit, which greatly increases your combat power. Battlesuits add a whole new layer of strategy, giving players increased survivability, as well as powered-up abilities to use. These abilities include defensive abilities like shields, offensive abilities like enhanced weaponry, and tactical abilities such as creating copies to deceive enemies.
Matches take place on large, intricately detailed maps based on the lore’s post-apocalyptic depiction of Earth. Each map contains three Victory Points, which must be captured and held to decrease the enemies’ score. Deplete the opposing team’s 500 points and the win is yours – but don’t rush to those Victory Points without thinking. Careful planning and tactical communication are paramount in Eximius. The role of your commander is essential to understanding the flow of the battle, with their bird’s eye view contributing essential intel to the rest of the team.
You can also team up with friends (or strangers) in co-op missions. These specially-designed operations pit you against fearsome AI enemies, who will stop at nothing to halt your advance. With four difficulty tiers to attempt, you’ll need to come equipped with quick wits and even quicker reflexes to conquer them all.
All of these features work in tandem to create a shooter experience like no other. Eximius is available to buy right now on Steam, and you can get involved with the ever-growing community over on Discord, where you can help strategise and organise game nights with other fans of Eximius.
So what are you waiting for? Choose your side and join the fight today.