Areal depicts a future where civilization has fallen apart due to an unearthly material called Metamorphite, which eventually spreads, corrupts and infects the whole world. The source of Metamorphite comes from a meteor that impacted the earth long ago, and it is the site of constant conflict and bloodshed.
Ever since West Games launched their kickstarter campaign, looking for $50,000 to complete the development of Areal, it has been marred with controversy/suspicion, and after a sudden influx of funding in the past 2 days to surpass the $50k goal (and a sketchy letter from Valdimir Putin claiming his daughter loves the project and backed it) it seems the project is now suspended.
Whether this was done by West Games or Kickstarter itself is not clear at this point.
Areal's story is not linear – players can choose how their characters act and speak – everything from how you talk to who you kill changes the storyline of Areal. There is no morality system in Areal, so you are free to make choices that you think are best in any given situation, without being blinded and limited by a standard good/evil system.
Areal is a shooter that immediately stands out from its counterparts. Battles within the game are heavily influenced by many factors, which include your character's traits, your choice of supplies and weaponry, your current surroundings, whether or not anomalies are present, the possible presence of mutants, and the usage of various metamorphites that serve to enhance and upgrade your abilities.
You can modify your weapons to suit whatever play-style you are comfortable with. Every type of weapon has its own specific attributes as well as their own respective ranges of lethality. With the help of modifications, you can customize your weapons in any way you see fit, and that can mean either modding a gun to be overall well rounded, or customizing it for a very specific purpose. Even if a gun is the exact same model that you used before, each individual weapon still differs slightly from one another. That means that a random assault rifle that you found somewhere can turn out to be one of the best guns in your arsenal.
Areal's story-line is split into a variety of non-linear and branching missions. Every mission is made in such a way that the outcome varies for each individual player. In other words, your play style and choices drastically change and alter Areal's story-line and landscape. No matter how you choose to play Areal; you are guaranteed an absolutely engrossing and immeasurably grand experience. Areal also features a variety of unique side missions and activities that complement the game's primary missions. You don't have to complete them, but we highly recommend that you do, because they hold the answers to many secrets within Areal.
You can find and make use of a wide variety of vehicles within Areal. That includes everything from ATV's, military trucks, tanks and even helicopters. Most vehicles require fuel, can be damaged, and can be repaired.
The usage of metamorphites can greatly effect the outcome of battles. Meta have various capabilities that vary from simply altering certain characteristics, to granting you abilities that enhance your strength in battle.
X-life is a unique system that simulates life and adjusts to every action that the player makes. You can regularly observe and interact with the environment that surrounds you. Accidental encounters with mutants and other foes brings new and completely dynamic combat situations that always differ from one another.
This system dictates how enemies move and how they react within various environmental circumstances. With the help of X-life, enemies will move throughout various terrain obstacles with ease and extreme realism. They will dynamically adjust their play-style, combat characteristics and armor to suit the conditions that they are in.
The general behavior that is exhibited by mutants is also controlled by the X-life system. There are various types of mutants, and they all have unique traits and personalities. An example of this is that some mutants prefer to hunt in a pack, while others prefer to go it alone. In battle, mutants make use of various tactics that vary depending on the environmental circumstances that they find themselves in. For example, a lone wolf will try to ambush you, while a pack of wolfs will aggressively attack you from all sides.
Areal features an innovative approach towards A.I. and virtual characters. The most important principle that governs the A.I. within Areal is that an enemy's rank is dependent on its characteristics and behavior. The result of this is that enemies that are harder to kill do not have substantially higher health, but instead are smarter and more cunning. Enemies make use of their surroundings, use teamwork and adapt to your play-style so as to present more enjoyable and unpredictable game-play.
Areal is divided into 3 primary zones – green, yellow and red – the green zone has anomalies, but they are rare and move only when they appear or “erupt”. Various electronic equipment and modes of transport are usable within this zone. The yellow zone has a large amount of anomalies that move very frequently and at random. No electrical equipment works in the yellow zone, and means of conventional transport are virtually nonexistent. Every person who enters the red zone becomes irreparably irradiated and transforms into something that has characteristics that are akin to a zombie. Even from the very beginning of the game, you can venture into the depths of Areal, though you might be slightly unprepared if you go too far into the yellow zone...
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