Trident’s Wake looks to join in on the Diablo-esque co-op ARPG experience. Instead of running through fantastical worlds though, you’re secluded to dark and dingy space station hallways. Fortunately for the developer, this title is still in Early Access, because this game could use some work.

For starters, the menu system could benefit from some quality of life tweaks. In-game, when you pause, your options are to continue, quit mission, or return to title screen. There are no options to tweak screen resolution, ambient occlusion, motion blur, or the like. Instead, you need to back out to the title screen and then access the options menu for these changes. On top of that, there didn’t seem to be any way to control mouse sensitivity or movement either, I don’t often play PC titles, but it seems like these things should be common sense by now.

When you jump into a match you have the options of either online or local play. Clearly, this game is meant to be played with 3 other people, which is fine, except every time I logged in, the servers were ghost towns. A couple of times I was lucky enough to find one other person to play with, but ultimately, it ended up being a rather lonely experience. “Alright, fine, I’ll go out on my own”, I figured. I was sorely mistaken. It would appear this title is ONLY meant for 4 people to play at once, because trying to get through this alone is damn near impossible. What starts off as a solitary experience is quickly turned into a blood bath, as you’re generally rapidly overrun by enemies. There needs to be an option, if you’re choosing to play solo, that tells the game you’re going in solo so the necessary stat changes can happen. Attempting to play this by yourself is suicide.

Let’s assume that you get the chance to play with others in Trident’s Wake. When it comes down to the gameplay, the mouse and keyboard options offer little support in making you feel like you’re in control. The mouse sensitivity needs to be knocked down quite a few pegs, and the keyboard side of things suffers from input delays. Trying to play with a controller makes things a lot easier, but there were a handful of times I was disconnected from my controller, ultimately ending in my demise.

Looking past these for a moment. Your mouse has a cool option to cycle through weapons using the middle mouse button. While I enjoyed this aspect, again the sensitivity was pretty overzealous here as well. Also, an auto-reload feature would benefit the game immensely. It took a couple of runs before I realized I had to hit the R button to reload, and another round before I realized the “Out of Ammo” icon was a liar. That indicates your gun is out of ammo, not that you don’t have reserves. Would’ve been nice to know.

Lastly, while I’m all for a Sci-Fi top-down shooter with similar mechanics to Diablo, being able to see the details of the room you’re moving through would be a nice touch. Every room in Trident’s Wake ends up looking like the last thanks to randomly slapped together rooms and overly dark lighting. Combine this with a boatload of particle effects and it’s rather easy to feel disoriented after a skirmish.

Honestly, this game has the potential to become enjoyable. The biggest issue as it stands is the lack of people in the servers. Playing by yourself is basically impossible, and the fact that there is no option to play single player, and have that choice affect the number of enemies you face makes this an extremely inaccessible game for single players. Hopefully, the devs work on these issues, because I can see the premise of this game becoming something that a lot of people would enjoy.

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