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Sharkmob’s Idea of Fun – The Apocalypse in Exoborne

Fantasy and video games are never too far apart, and when it comes to the realm of extraction shooters, Sharkmob is venturing into the eye of the storm quite literally with Exoborne, the Swedish studio’s latest project revealed at The Game Awards 2023.

Developed for both PCs and consoles, this is a tactical open-world shooter experience that doesn’t just contain threats from other players, but from the world itself in the form of fatal, inclement weather. Think massive tornadoes and lightning storms, all ready to rip unsuspecting players apart if they aren’t careful.

Not that the player is defenseless. Playing as the Reborn, survivors are capable of using enhanced suits called Exo-Rigs, which come packed with powerful weapons and useful abilities to make the most of the shared world. Grappling hooks enable vertical play, while parachutes make it possible to engage in aerial combat and ride the storms, whether players are going it alone or in teams. 

The option for teamwork is one of Exoborne’s unique selling points, said studio co-founder Martin Hultberg.

“The objective is to get in, achieve or resolve a mission and then survive and get out again. The fact that it allows for both collaboration and hostility is what makes these interesting watercooler-type moments that you’re talking about with your friends,” said Hultberg. 

There’s also a tinge of the unknown in the game because the way players’ paths unfold depends on the choices they make and the interactions they have in Exoborne.

“And now you have an unscripted experience. That is a real memory, a real memorable moment. So it’s up to you players, how you interact with these NPCs and how you engage with their missions. And in the end, there’s plenty of story and mystery here to be explored by the community.”

That PvE and PvP action will help drive the evolving narrative that Hultberg mentioned, both for main story quests and other side content. In between, there are also dynamic public events and group missions to engage with, while customization options and upgrades will be up for grabs when it comes to characters, weapons and Exo-Rigs.

“We really want to collaborate with you, the players on this game, through tests that we’re going to run before the game gets launched. But then, once we release, the journey, it is just starting for us, and together, we want to master the apocalypse,” added Brynley Gibson, executive producer at Sharkmob. 

The Malmö-based studio was first put together in 2018 by seasoned developers with AAA experience, with founders like Hultberg having racked up more than a decade at other renowned studios. After shipping its first title, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt, in 2022, the studio has turned its attention to original IP, with Exoborne the first of two projects that demonstrate Sharkmob’s continued belief in the idea that games are meant to be fun, and that the studio is there to make that fun real for others to enjoy.

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