GTFO (Get the fuck out!)… I don’t think there is a gamer who has not heard or yelled this phrase at least once in their life. Mostly when either they or their teammates have done something absolutely and astonishingly stupid. Be it standing in an area of effect boss attack, be it carelessly stumbling into a trapped room or just standing in the fire, while their health is slowly dwindling away. The amazing guys at 10 Chambers Collective have cleverly used this to their amazing, in my opinion, advantage when naming this somewhat underappreciated gem.

The four main characters in the GTFO game along with the text

And that IS a thing – if you don’t co-operate, you will certainly fail.

GTFO – an amazing hardcore 4-player co-operative shooter. Made from a team that worked on the Payday series (for the ones who don’t know – this is the Starbreeze studio Overkill) this game is one of the ultimate challenges in terms of co-ordination, teamwork, preparation and almost flawless tactical execution of plans. It is a punishing game that rewards careful, tactical advancement but has several high-risk – high-reward mechanics to reward the brave.

An alerted room in GTFO with a small striker

It really ain’t fun when you have the entire room chasing you. It could be worse, though – you could be the last man standing.

The game is still in early access but so far it has had 4 campaigns called Rundowns. The very first pre-alpha rundown was a single mission (called Expeditions in-game), which managed to get notoriety for its difficulty. Then, the beta Rundown had 2 expeditions. The third and fourth Rundowns had 6 and 10 expeditions, respectively.

The current (as of May 2020) Rundown 2 - Infection

The current campaign – Rundown 2: Infection. Consisting of 10 missions called Expeditions.

Each expedition is distinctly different from the others in terms of the overall objective, yet all of them share one thing in common – see what the Warden (the unnamed human or AI overlord) wants from the Prisoners (the player characters), get in, do the thing and GTFO. The objectives are deceptively standard – capture the flag type (bring boxes of cargo from point A to the exfiltration point), power up generators using hydrogen power cells, gather personal ID cards, establish an uplink via terminals or reactor management.

The reactor from the R2D2 level of GTFO

The reactor room in GTFO’s second Rundown. Spoiler: it is in R2D2

All objectives require pretty much a full team. In the cargo or power-cell expeditions, carrying the quest item makes you walk slower and you cannot use weapons unless you drop the item. In the ID gathering expeditions it is often necessary to split the team – one can scavenge for supplies, the other looks for IDs, the third defends while the fourth provides intel. In the uplink missions there is a minigame – one of the players needs to enter short passwords on a terminal, but they only have the key for the password while working at the workstation terminal, let’s say Y35. All other players see the keys and their associated passwords. One of them provides the password, the terminal-duty player enters it and the cycle repeats (between 3 and 5 times). All the while, an alarm blares and hordes of enemies keeps coming.

A Prisoner in front a Terminal in GTFO. The Prisoner is holding a sledegammer

A Terminal within GTFO. They can be used to find items or as parts of an Expedition objective

The reactor expeditions are by far the funniest and most difficult ones. They are similar to the uplink expeditions in terms of overall mechanics but it is done in a couple of waves, each of which takes a couple of minutes. During the downtime, new areas open and the team needs to go to each new area in order to get the password for the next wave. as well as stock up on resources, as the enemies keep on coming.

A wireframe of a brain with the text

A cool mind will be needed to perform the tasks ahead of you. Do not displease the Warden!

You might be thinking – “OK, so far so good, we’ll just blast any enemy away. Easy!”. Well, not quite. After all, you are Prisoners. You are not a commando unit, but a rag-tag group of misfits (an American, an Irishman, an Englishman and a Nigerian). Each and every one of you starts with a small arsenal, which is fixed for the expeditions. You make the selection at the start (before the drop, technically) and it is important for everything to be balanced as it cannot be changed while in the expedition.

Hydrostasis Unit from GTFO, prior to beginning an Expedition

You start here, every time. Woken from the Hydrostasis Unit (HSU) and dropped into the Complex.

Every Prisoner has a hammer as a melee weapon – very powerful up close. It can one-shot the small sleepers and the big guys can be downed in 3-6 fully charged hits. This is very important as almost every room has a number of dormant enemies (called Sleepers). When approached or being lighted by the flashlight (granted by default to all Prisoners) they will light up and eventually start throbbing. This is their detection mechanic, so in essence you are playing “Red light, yellow light, green light” for the most part. Movement, using firearms, hitting something with the hammer, crouching or standing up would wake a throbbing Sleeper. If you are quick, you might be able to silence them before they screech and wake up the entire room. THIS is what makes the hammer such a valuable piece of equipment! Then you have 3 other “slots” – a primary weapon, a special weapon and a tool.

Woods

Woods

Prisoner

Nationality: American

Dauda

Dauda

Prisoner

Nationality: Nigerian

Hackett

Hackett

Prisoner

Nationality: Irish

Bishop

Bishop

Prisoner

Nationality: English

Average number of bullets fired on an expedition. Data is based on maximum ammo capacity for different weapons and average loadouts.

The Warden

The Warden

Unknown

The entity that deploys the Prisoners on various expeditions

I really want to get out of here alive!

All Prisoners

Speaking of the hammers, you might as well check them. They are 4 types – a sledgehammer, a gavel, a maul and a mallet. They all do the same amount of damage and the difference is purely aesthetic (for now at least)

The primary weapons are somewhat unimpressive – you have a semi-automatic pistol (great damage when landing headshots, not so good against hordes of enemies), a machine pistol (a good Uzi-like weapon – low damage, but the sheer amount of rounds per second gives it enough of a stopping power), a sub-machine gun (which is your average pea-shooter – low damage, but good clip size and ammo capacity), a designated marksman rifle (DMR – semi-automatic, low rate of fire, high damage when you aim good), a burst rifle (fires in 3-round bursts, which can be a waste if you have poor aim) and lastly an assault rifle (best of both worlds when it comes to DMR or the SMG).

In terms of specialized weapons you have a shotgun (I don’t think it needs that much attention, besides mentioning its great damage and stopping power), a combat shotgun (terrible spread, but decent magazine size and fast reload), a machine-gun (great rate of fire, but it chews through ammo and has a vertical recoil), a revolver (beefed-up pistol – great damage, but you need to land the shot with almost surgical precision) and a sniper rifle (outstanding damage, terrible rate of fire and abysmally small clip size, as well as max ammo – everything you can expect from a long-range weapon).

And lastly we come to the good stuff – the tools. Not so many, but GOD they are so important! You can choose between a Mine Layer (which sets trip-mines), a C-Foam launcher (the futuristic version of superglue, which can be used to reinforce doors or freeze enemies in place temporarily), a Bio-Tracker (think the Motion Detector from the “Aliens” franchise) which becomes very important in later Expeditions and two types of sentry guns (a burst sentry, which is a clone of the sentry turret from “Aliens” and a shotgun sentry, which is exactly what you get – a shotgun on a tripod).

Now the real question – what do you use all this good stuff on? The developers have had no shortage of ideas on how to make the players’ lives miserable. You’ve got the average melee striker. They like to get up close and personal and lick you for a small amount of damage. Seems manageable, but usually they swarm on you so things can get a bit hairy.

The split-face small striker enemy from GTFO

The small striker enemy. You’ll see him a lot during the Expeditions.

There are also small shooters, which shoot small semi-homing charges at you. They can be dodged and the good thing is they don’t have a close-range attack.

The small shooter enemy from GTFO

The small shooter. Be sure to dodge the projectiles and you’ll do fine. Probably…

Then, there are the big fellows – big strikers, who can two-shot you and can soak up a lot of damage.  One if them is manageable, if you can gank up on him while he sleeps. 3 or 4 fully charged hammer hits to the spine and head will knock him on his ass.

A big striker from GTFO preparing to strike

An angered Big Striker. He is preparing to attack. If he lands it successfully it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt A LOT!

There the big shooters, too, who don’t have a melee attack, similar to their smaller counterparts, but they can annoy you with a lot of soaking power, as well as more beefed up ranged charges that they throw at you.

The Big Shooter Enemy from GTFO

The Big Shooter, also known as the Big (or Spiky) Girl. One of the enemies with the most health in the game. But you’ll love her!

All seems fine so far, but here come the hybrids – a mix between the big shooters and the big strikers. Not only they are fast and can kick your ass up close, they also have a minigun like ranged attack, which would be a blowjob from God for people used to “Dodge this shit” type of experiences.

The hybrid enemy from GTFO

If you’ve wondered how an infected with machinegun-like attack looks like – look no further!

There is also a Scout – a walking shooter that extends its feelers (leading to the nickname “Spaghetti-guy”) and if you touch them you are pretty much screwed in the short run – the scout screams, waking up every enemy in the room, as well as spawning a wave from a different room. Sometimes fun but mostly – not so much.

The

The dreaded “Game Over – you LOST” screen.

Last but not least, you have cysts on walls, which explode when you get near them. This causes you to get infected, which reduces your maximum health but can be cured via a special resource. There are, of course, several other enemies, but I will not spoil ahead of time.

A shotgun carrier charges into a room in GTFO

A shooutout happens from time to time. But be mindful – walk softly and carry a big gun!

Speaking of the special resources they are sometimes few and far between. You have 4 types of packs – an ammo pack, which restores ammunition to your primary and special weapons (careful – it restores more to the special weapons and if you top yourself off – it’s gone for good), tool refill packs (which refill the sentries, C-Foam launchers or the Mine layer), medpacks (pretty self-explanatory) and disinfection packs (which reduce infection). You also get several consumables – lock melters, which are used to silently break a padlock or coded lock doors (it’s a small minigame but if you fail it emits a sound that can very well wake up everyone), glow sticks (light in the dark without waking the enemies), C-Foam grenade (instantly seals a door or freezes an enemy in place). The last two items are a long-range flashlight and a fog repeller, the latter of which helps remove the infection fog for a short while. Also known as the small brother of the fog turbine. Don’t worry – you’ll get the hang of it.

A wireframe of a brain with the text

Along with the “Expedition Failed” game over screen, you should be prepared to see this screen frequently.

The game can be incredibly fun if you find a team that coordinates well. The problem is that it is still in Early-Access and one of the things the developers are working on are an active matchmaking system. For the time being, if you don’t have 3 friends with whom you can play, you need to rely on the official GTFO Discord server, which has multiple Looking for Group (LFG) channels. For earlier expeditions, it is very easy to find a team, but for the deeper parts of the Complex you may need to wait a bit (up to 20 minutes). But if you click in – you’ll have a great time, trust me on that! Just be sure to notify them when you are waking up sleepers by firing a round and careful with the firearms in general – friendly fire is a thing. Which makes the Mine Layer from above a very interesting and risky choice.

The second Rundown intro screen

Prepare for the Infection!

Well, that’s about it, I think. If you are interested – be sure to grab your copy from Steam – at the moment it is 35 EUR, but it will provide you with many hours of entertainment. Thus – onwards to the Complex and stay safe!

UPDATE:

With Rundown 3: The Vessel, the guys at 10 Chambers Collective continue to surprise us. Several weapons have been retired (namely the Burst Rifle, the Machinegun and the Machinepistol) but a couple of new ones have been introduced – a Carbine (which is a 4-shot burst rifle with a holographic sight), a Rifle (a variation of the DMR with a green-dot sight, medium range and higher rate of fire and reload speeds, at the cost of somewhat reduced damage) and a Bullpup Rifle (a monstrous fully automatic assault rifle with better accuracy, magazine size and lower recoil, at the cost of the longest reload time in the game) fill in the primary weapon slots. I have to say that the Bullpup rifle can easily be named one of the best weapons, as long as not everyone on the team sports this gun, as you can easily get overwhelmed.

The Special weapons have 3 new additions. We now have a Burst Cannon (a small-magazine, 5-shot burst heavy weapon with a charge up time), which can easily mow through crowds or one-shot a Giant Striker. The downside is that it is terribly inefficient against hordes. There are also 2 HEL (hybrid electrothermal light-gas) weapons – a HEL Gun and a HEL Rifle. The HEL gun serves as an alternative to the Designated Marksman Rifle and has piercing rounds. There is a brief charge time between every shot but it can possibly kill at least 2 small enemies with every shot and it is possible to one-shot Scouts with it. Its sister weapon – the HEL Rifle, functions as a sniper rifle. The key differences between the “true” Sniper rifle is that the HEL Rifle sports a much larger ammo reserve, at the cost of slightly reduced damage output and a shorter range scope. It is still possible to one-shot a Scout with it but you can also use it for precision strikes against enemies.

Lastly, there are 2 and a half new enemies. One of them is an enemy known to veterans from the first Rundown – the black Chargers. True to their name, they close the distance to the Prisoners really fast and can dish out multi-strike attacks that can leave you stiff on the floor in seconds. Careful with them though – their week spot is the back, as their heads are reinforced. The second enemy is a brand-new one, colloquially known in the community as Birthers or Mothers. When engaged, they will spawn waves of baby strikers (hence the “and a half”) and also conceal themselves with non-infecting fog. They can be tricky to deal with, as the babies can overrun you fast and you need good coordination to survive. Luckily, there are only 3 such enemies in the entire Rundown and they are in pre-determined locations.

Just like last time – onward to the Complex. Adapt, overcome, survive and GTFO!

 

DoomMachine
Author: DoomMachine

DoomMachine is an amateur with over 20 years in the world of gaming (offline and online). His off-duty hours are spent either directly in the world of e-entertainment or in reading copious amount of articles and discussions regarding the state of the e-scene. His radical views have earned him the ire of many an offended SJW but that only seems to drive him forward.