Behind closed doors at E3 2018, Gearbox Software showed off an early look at their in-development shooter game code named Project 1v1.
Project 1v1 currently plays like a classic twitch based first person shooter, with some more modern inspirations like loadout building and super moves. Players begin by joining a queue, and watch each other compete to be the king of that queue. Those playing fight to win, and if they do they get to stay on and fight another opponent. The loser has to wait for their next turn, but gets the opportunity to learn by watching the player who beat them and everyone else who gets a chance to play before they do next. It’s an interesting lobby system that has been used in fighting games in the past, but this is the first time a shooter is making players watch and learn. The winner who stays on only stops play if they quit or lose, meaning players who are doing well could stay on and win better and better rewards. Nothing was shared about what sort of rewards would be given to players, but points towards the cards that make up a player’s custom loadout is a good guess.
Loadout cards are what makes Project 1v1 stand out from other classic arena shooters. Instead of picking up weapons from the map, players choose which weapons they go into each match with. They can also choose cards that offer powers like a double jump, pulling Excalibur from the ground, or turning into a giant fireball of death that kills an opposing player by running into them. During my time with Project 1v1 I didn’t get a chance to build my own loadout or look at a lot of different cards, but I got to try out 2 classes. The first was designed for max mobility, giving me a rocket launcher and a rail gun, whose rails I could ride for a quick escape if I needed to get out of a bad situation. The loadout also featured the aforementioned fireball ability, an ability that healed me slowly and increased my movement speed, and a rampage ability that increased my damage and my movement speed.
These abilities were on a cool down, but also required a card resource found on the map. Cards would appear occasionally on the map, requiring players to position themselves around them to secure them. Players can see how many cards their opponent is currently holding, allowing them to have some idea of what sort of resources the opponent would having during the next skirmish. Starving your opponent of resources seemed a viable strategy in the seven or so matches I played.
Project 1v1 is still very early on. Gearbox Software only provided the two environment screenshots you see in this article because of how much is changing on a daily basis for the project. It seems Project 1v1 is still a long way from getting into the hands of the public, but Gearbox is hoping players are willing to try out their different take on classic shooters once it becomes available.