Dead Star is Armature Studios first original property and was announced for PlayStation 4 and PCon the 6th of October 2015. It was released on the 5th of April for both platforms and was included as part of the PlayStation Plus service for PS4 owners. Dead Star mixes together mechanics from RPGs, MOBAs and twin stick shooters.
It takes place in a region of space at the edge of the universe which is used as a prison.
On October 18th, 2016 Armature Studio announced that online functionality (including multiplayer) will be shut down on November 1st, 2016. After the online component is removed owners of the game will only be able to play the in-game tutorial. Jack Matthews, Operations Director for Armature Studio sites that the cost of running the servers simply eclipsed the revenue generated by the game and forced the studio to make a tough decision ending Dead Star's short seven month run.
There are two primary gameplay modes.
Games consist of 5v5 or 10v10 matches played on procedurally generated maps. Players select three ships as part of their load out which they can swap between during games.
During each match players ships start off at level 1 and as they complete tasks such as killing opponents, taking outposts and gathering resources they can level up their abilities similar to other MOBA games such as League of Legends and Dota 2. Similarly to those games the object of each match is to destroy the opponents base. Players will game "fame" for these actions too, which will be reflected on their player profile. Fame will increase a players level which will lead to more rewards.
Players can earn different rewards based on the outcome of matches. These rewards include portraits, skins for ships, components that offer permanent upgrades to ships, specialist crew members and escape run contracts which are used as tokens for a different game mode.
In addition to players being able to destroy the enemy base themselves each match features a Guardian Defense Cannon. Teams fill up a meter by capturing and upgrading outposts. Once the meter fills the cannon will fire at the opposing teams base to destroy it.
If a player earns an escape run contract they can use it to play the escape run mission.
The contract points the player to a capital ship which they can attempt to escape the prison sector. Players can use specialists to man different control stations. Other players can be invited to the game to escort the ship and aid in it's escape. To win the mode, the ship must make a series of jumps through the prison sectors.
When a ship jumps between sectors, the escape run players will find themselves in a live 10v10 match from the Conquest mode. The other two teams playing Conquest can either ignore the capital ship or band together to try and destroy it. If the ship is destroyed, players who contributed enough damage earn rare rewards. If the capital ship escapes the players who escaped with it earn rewards unobtainable through any other means.
Ship types and Factions
There are currently three alien factions which have three ships each and players can mix and match between the factions. The factions include
- Valant - offensive based, focusing on firepower
- Ithid - stealth based, have access to teleportation and cloaking
- Estari - support based, focusing on repairing ships and collecting resources
The three ship types are
- Scout - low health but fast fighter style ships. Faster at capturing outposts because of their speed
- Raider - medium powered, slower support style ships. Have a larger cargo capacity than other ships
- Frigate - large amounts of health and power but slow capital style ships. Excels at damage