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New Shrapnel map to mix blossom and blood

The new map in vertical extraction shooter Shrapnel will be based on Japan, the project has revealed.

“That contrast of things like [Japan’s] cherry blossoms against the potential violence happening inside the Sacrifice Zone is very interesting to explore visually,” Shrapnel creative director Clint Bundrick said this week in a YouTube update.

“That’s a big part of why we picked Japan,” he said.

Shrapnel is still in development (a full version is expected at the end of 2024), and aside from building out a new region, developers are also currently concentrating on expanding the uses of sigma, the valuable space rock Shrapnel players fight to collect.

They are also working on adding valuable items other than sigma to the world, and spreading out where such items can be found over the course of a session, Bundrick said.

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Sigma’s not just for points

“Right now, the goal is to collect as much sigma as you can and get out,” Bundrick said. “It really is just a point-scoring system.”

“But ultimately, the idea is that collecting sigma actually powers up the gear,  it powers up your abilities and it creates this really interesting dynamic curve over the course of the session, where if you want to be there in late session, you need to have collected sigma and be able to use that effectively to stay in longer to collect more, to chase those larger pieces of loot.”

“That whole arc – that session structure – is the next big evolution of Shrapnel,” Bundrick said. 

New loot strategy

Shrapnel developers are also building a system that adds loot to the map over the course of an entire session.

“There’s an entire category of loot that only appears right at the endgame,” Bundrick said. 

“So if you want to be there to collect a piece of vanity – a new character, a new skin for your character, a new skin for your weapon – the only way to get that is to risk your entire loadout, stay in the zone, and survive long enough to get one of those last loot drops, and then get to the drop ship and get out with it.”

The new loot will also include magazines, ammo, armor plates, health packs and weapons. 

“There’s going to be a tonne of stuff to find in the world that are going to make players want to be able to get to that drop ship and get out with it,” he said.

Shrapnel is set in 2044, some years after a collision between a giant asteroid and the moon rendered a 500km-wide band of earth too dangerous to inhabit. 

A valuable compound, sigma, is eventually found throughout the depopulated region known as “the Sacrifice Zone” and the fight for sigma transforms the Zone into a war zone.

To understand more about Shrapnel, see the Polemos interview with Neon CEO Mark Long

Polemos staff

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