We're still getting to grips with this stuff but the potential is obvious; this is the arcade shooter that keeps you and your mates blasting long after the campaign, as such, is over.
It might not have has created something that's part twin-stick blaster, part sci-fi dungeon crawler, with all the looting, levelling and upgrading that implies.
This isn't a problem all the time, but when the going gets tough at the end of a level and you have to battle through endless baddies just to get back to where you died, the difficulty level can feel brutal. This seems to be the heart of Housemarque's long-term plan.
It says a lot for the game's addictive qualities that you'll keep coming back for more. Revives and healing capabilities can give you a much-needed second chance, while simply having more bods on the battlefield to watch your back makes the alien onslaught slightly easier to bear. Between a high level cap, procedurally-generated combat, random bounty and horde attack encounters - even optional player invasions and rogue operatives within your game - they've quietly built as an arcade-shooter with long-term, multiplayer appeal.
Beyond that, you're constantly acquiring new weaponry, giving you firstly more powerful primary weapons, then a selection of secondary weapons, including flamethrowers, rocket launchers, plasma shotguns, mini-guns and railguns.
aficionados might note the primary/secondary/heavy split, not to mention the way arms are ranked in terms of level and rarity.
What's more, you can even upgrade them, either by applying looted components or by (at a risk) spending components to re-roll their stats., but the important thing is that it works.
If it were just an addictive arcade game, pitting you against wave after wave of enemies, But Housemarque has other ambitions.
This time it's not after a short-term fling, but a full-blown, long-term love affair.
For a start, it's adopted an RPG-style character progress system, where experience points earned through blasting level you up, giving you the chance to assign new points to your various abilities.
While is always a test of speed and reflexes, it also knows how to challenge your timing, tactics and nerve.
If you provide the grace, Housemarque will lay on the pressure.
The original look more like a game from the mid-’90s, and with audio that is “tinny on purpose.” When players walk through the retro version of Tristram, they’ll be restricted to eight directions of movement and see about 25 percent fewer frames of animation, giving the game an intentional stutter.