Gothic indie darling Vampire Survivors will be—please accept this pun—completely revamped after it receives a round of updates on August 17. That day, the roguelike bullet hell will receive co-op mode and the Steam version will move over to a new engine.
Reddit users who have tested the new engine in beta say it transforms Vampire Survivors into “a completely different game” in a great way.
“The game runs perfectly and flawlessly even with hundreds of levels on limit break,” one player said. “It doesn’t even stutter.”
“The performance gains so far are absolutely insane,” said another tester.
When Vampire Survivors sheds its original engine, Phaser, developer Poncle will add the aforementioned local co-op mode. IGN demonstrated how it works during its ID@Xbox Showcase on July 11.
Up to four players will be able to select their characters, stages, and methodically kill supernatural evils the way they would during a solo Vampire Survivors round. But it looks like the main benefit (or detriment, depending on how useless your friends are) of couch co-op is that the XP pool is shared. Though the level-up upgrades afforded by the XP pool alternate based on player order (you get skipped if you die), working with your friends to collect XP gems could still help you acquire upgrades much more quickly than you would alone.
Wide group movement is also shared; you can’t sprint away from your teammates if they’ve locked themselves into a dangerous corner, for example. But as long as one player is alive, downed players can regain health after a time-out in a coffin to re-join the game.
“There will also be a new item in co-op mode that we haven’t shown before,” Poncle’s update post on Steam says. The Friendship Amulet “can appear on the level-up screen and will level-up a random active weapon for each player. Players will have to decide if they tactically (or selfishly) pick a level-up for a weapon of their choice or give the whole group a round of random level-up.”
Before co-op is officially released, Poncle will hold a free hands-on preview in London “in early August.” The developer will release more details as the event gets closer, but it did kindly confirm that “if you don’t have friends [to play co-op with] then we can provide some.”