Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt studio Sharkmob reveals a new ‘tactical open world extraction shooter’ at The Game Awards

Sharkmob, the developer of the World of Darkness battle royale Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt, unveiled its new game tonight at The Game Awards: Exoborne, a “tactical open-world extraction shooter” set in a devastated near-future world where the remnants of humanity use powerful “Exo-rigs” to survive, scavenge, and—of course—shoot at each other.

At first glance, Exoborne looks to me like a cross between Anthem and Far Cry 5. It takes place in a region of the southwestern US where the forces of nature run amok thanks to a supposed world-saving project that—whoops!—was actually not quite as altruistic as it appeared. That leaves you and other survivors, known as Reborn, to suit up in high-tech exoskeletons and venture out into the storm in search of technology that will enable the creation and customization of new and better gear.

The bad weather isn’t the only problem you’ll be facing. As usual, humanity just cannot get along, and sooner or later everyone is going to start shooting at everyone else as they scrounge for . Getting out alive is a big part of the process: Higher risk means better rewards, but if you get wasted before you can get out, all that sweet scavenged loot is lost.

The Exoborne trailer at The Game Awards focused primarily on Sharkmob’s “world and vision,” so we’re a long way from getting any sort of gameplay impressions. Still, I can’t help but wonder if Sharkmob is a little behind the curve here. The extraction shooter genre, like battle royale, is already pretty well crowded, and more is on the way: The promising Hawked launched just a week ago, a PUBG spinoff is coming in 2024, former EA boss Patrick Söderlund and a bunch of ex-DICE folks are working on one called Arc Raiders that we’re really looking forward to, and Bungie is bringing Marathon back as an extraction shooter. Sharkmob CEO Fredrik Rundqvist said, “Since the founding of the studio we have had the ambition to create our own original game concepts,” but whether Exoborne will be able to stand out from the crowd and find success is a big question.

Sharkmob’s previous game, Bloodhunt, is a good example of how hard it is for latecomers to game traction. It’s an excellent battle royale that does a surprisingly good job of nailing the Vampire ambience, but after a strong start the player numbers tailed off quickly, and Sharkmob halted further development of the game in May, just a year after it launched. Hopefully Exoborne will have a better outcome.

Exoborne will be a “premium game with regular live-ops updates,” featuring public events and missions, unpredictable changes to the game world driven by the environmental apocalypse, and plans to evolve the story through future content updates. A release date was not announced.

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