We take a quick look at Meridian: Squad 22, a new single player RTS currently in early access on steam.
What we know:
Meridian: Squad 22 is the sequel to Meridian: New World. In the sequel, humanity has attempted to colonize the planet Meridian but has lost all contact with the crew of the colonization mission. Because of this, a rescue squad is sent, after which a story-driven single player campaign unfolds.
Squad 22 is developed by Elder Gamers, which amazingly enough (just look at the screenshots and videos) is a one-man development studio. Sound design has been done by Hexany Audio this time around, and the game features procedurally generated missions.
What we saw:
We played the early access build of the game, which is pretty far in development but missing some of the campaign content. Since this is a real time strategy game that focuses on the single player campaign, there were no multiplayer modes to test.
What we thought:
We can’t help but be impressed by the coding skills of Ede Tarsoly, Elder Games’ lone developer. The game looks wonderful, easily able to compete with all but the very latest of high budget real time strategy games. It may not have the scale of Ashes of the Singularity of the polish of Starcraft II, but this is one heck of an indie game in terms of audiovisual performance.
In terms of gameplay this is a fairly traditional real time strategy game not too unlike the early Dune and Command and Conquer games. Base building and unit management go hand in hand and are the keys to winning. We’re not fully sold on the procedurally generated levels though, as they’re a bit hit and miss in how they offer up tactical opportunities. It may add to the replayability, but this feels more at home in a multiplayer setting than it does in a story-driven campaign.
Real time strategy games are a bit rarer these days, and Meridian: Squad 22 will be available for a relatively low price – and is already available in early access. If you’re a fan of single player campaigns in traditional real time strategy games and have 10 euros/dollars to spare, then you could do a lot worse.