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Upcoming Tarkov and Warzone rival is “a different level of commitment”

Open-world extraction shooter Exoborne looks to rival Escape From Tarkov and Call of Duty Warzone DMZ, so we spoke to its developer at GDC.

Exoborne is a Tarkov rival all about natural disasters - A man with scruffy hair and a beard looks up, weary.

New tactical open-world extraction shooter Exoborne is developer Sharkmob’s answer to the likes of Escape From Tarkov and Call of Duty Warzone DMZ. Set in an apocalyptic United States where extreme forces of nature run rampant, you’ll have to head out and scavenge for supplies and resources, bringing back what you can find to craft more powerful gear including the signature Exo-Rigs worn by your squad. At GDC, we spoke to narrative director Martin Hultberg and executive producer Brynley Gibson about its plans for the game and why players should be interested.

The dynamic weather system of Exoborne is key to the unpredictable experiences you’ll face, Gibson tells us, explaining how they’ll interact with other elements such as world events, the way NPCs spawn in, and of course other players. “They add that true randomness, the other players in the world – what we really want to achieve is this idea of emergent player stories,” he says of the multiplayer game.

It’s definitely an exciting premise – the current rise of Helldivers 2 proves that the addition of dangerous natural hazards can help to create truly memorable moments, so it’s a smart inclusion to the peril of an extraction shooter. “Obviously the bigger things like a tornado are very dangerous; lightning strikes, very dangerous,” Gibson remarks. While these are a threat, you can turn them to your advantage with clever use of your equipment.

“Then we have this giant mega storm that can come and you can’t see, it’s really windy, [you’ll face] the most dangerous threats of all. Players need to think about how they can engage with this, both to their advantage and to protect themselves. But also are there scavenging opportunities? We try to interlink forces of nature with various things that can only happen when that particular force is happening.”

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With Sharkmob’s previous game Vampire the Masquerade Bloodhunt shutting down active development just over a year after launch, we ask what the team would say to players who might be worried about committing to Exoborne in case something similar were to happen.

“That’s a super fair question to have,” Hultberg responds. “I think the thing that I would tell those people is that when we worked on Vampire the Masquerade, that was a licensed product. This is something that we have developed on our own, that we fully own by ourselves.

“It’s a different level of commitment, in that sense, and it’s a different level of project. And this is also a project that is fully backed by our current publisher, which wasn’t the publisher we signed the deal for Bloodhunt with.”

Exoborne is yet to announce a release date, but you can visit its store page on Steam to add it to your wishlist if you want to be kept up to date with the latest information.

Alternatively, we’ve picked out all the best FPS games to play in 2024, along with rounding up all the biggest and best upcoming PC games that still lie ahead of us.

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Additional reporting by Nat Smith for PCGamesN at GDC.