Hey PlayStation fans. I’m Jason Koohi from Team Zanrai. We’re a very small team comprised of myself for direction, art, and sound and our programming guru, Simon Inch. We’re behind the retro-inspired, local-multiplayer battling game known as Stardust Vanguards — and today we’re very excited to announce that we’re bringing it to PS4 on January 19th, 2016!
Stardust Vanguards at it’s core is a swansong to competitive, free-for-all multiplayer. Two to four players will take on the roles as valiant military leaders as they equip themselves in giant robots armed with only an energy sword and an auto-targeting machine gun (with very limited ammo). You can dash right into a fight or play defensively as you use your blade to reflect bullets back at your enemies and slice through your friends.
Arcade action is the name of the game as you’re rewarded for skillful attacking and precision dodging as you weave through bullets. You’ll die in only one hit so every move counts. The twist on this formula is that we’ve added a reinforcement system. For every enemy you take out, you’ll earn RP (reinforcement points) which you can then use to summon allied NPC squadrons to help you out in the battle. You’ll even earn RP every second just for staying alive. The more RP you earn, the bigger and badder your summoned allies will become.
We proudly developed the game with high-precision, responsive arcade combat, but the game can become deceptively strategic in higher levels of play since you’ll have to decide when to backup your forces or to let them do the fighting for you. The biggest battles can get pretty huge, with nearly 100 computer-controlled units duking it out at the same time. While it might look intimidating to see all the bullets and explosions on screen, you can always retreat behind your allies to take a breather, so it’s important to rely on your troops once in a while, especially when the going gets tough.
We also developed a random event system to keep each battle unique to force the players to adapt to the ever changing conditions on the battlefield. We’ve designed dozens of scenarios where an entirely separate faction of computer-controlled space pirates will attempt to launch surprise attacks on the players. These scenarios range from a number of different attack strategies, like simple line assaults to pincer attacks.
We also included scenarios like passing transport convoys to give players an opportunity to restock their ammunition as well as missiles barrages and super tough capital-ship blitzkriegs. It’s in these moments that you’ll need to decide whether or not to briefly cooperate with other players to take down the pirates — or if you’ll use the chaos to your own advantage and stab a few rivals in the back.
Still, you’ll need to kill off the pirates one way or another because they can (and will) win the battle just like the players. It truly adds a new dimension to combat because it seamlessly shifts defense of your individual faction to the defense of the entire group. As the saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” We’ve had some great times during testing where even though we were in a free-for-all, we collectively wanted to defeat the pirates as a make-shift team of sorts.
We’re very happy Stardust Vanguards has found a home on PlayStation. This is a game tailor built for fans of couch-multiplayer and PS4 is perfectly suited for it. I’m always on Twitter, so feel free to drop us a line and I hope we’ll see you on the battlefield!