GTFO drops you and three other friends, or random players(thanks to the newly added matchmaking system) in a hellish underground facility filled with creatures plucked straight from your nightmare.
It might be easy to compare GTFO to something like Killing Floor or Left 4 Dead, but the experience is far from the likes of those games. Instead of gunning down endless hordes of enemies, you will be forced to utilise your resources strategically and there is a huge emphasis on tactics.
The game doesn’t have any fixed missions or maps, but instead has a set of randomised objective that you must complete called the Rundown. In the Rundown, you have to select from a series of progressively challenging tasks as you go deeper into the mysterious hivelike building where GTFO takes place.
As I already said, teamplay is very important in this game, and it’s crucial that you have at least a team of 3 people just to progress through some of these objectives and optimally a team of 4 for the more difficult objectives. This is because GTFO does not scale with the number of players, and it is important that each member of the team carries out a specific role in order to ensure the team’s survival.
For example, visibility is generally very limited, and going in blind is a huge disadvantage. The bio tracker allows you to track enemies, and thus allows you to be more aware of your surroundings. Stealth isn’t always going to be viable though, and if you end up attracting an entire horde to your location, you are going to get overwhelmed sooner or later. The turret can help in this situation, and a well placed mine can also take out enemies. Thus it’s really important that the team has an optimal loadout in order to ensure that you are prepared for every situation.
A typical rundown in GTFO entails dropping down into the level, understanding your objectives and then planning your course of action. Typically objectives might require you to hack into terminals or fetch an object, and it’s up to you on how you want to tackle them. Should you split up into a group of 2? therefore covering more ground quicker or stick together in case you get attacked?
Stealth is usually recommended, and even then, blindly crouching your way through the map won’t work. Thick fogs cover some levels, obscuring your vision, and the zombie-like creatures that infest the levels can detect even minor movements when they pulse.
Weapons degrade over time and ammo is scarce, so your best chance at survival is to sneak around and give these creatures a nice little bonk on their head with your melee weapon when they are distracted.
When it does come to a shootout, the weapons feel well balanced and solid. You have a wide variety of weapons to choose from and each weapon class offers a different advantage. Shotguns feel powerful and a force to be reckoned with when up close but a SMG can cut through hordes when you get surrounded. Ultimately it depends on what playstyle you prefer.
The mission objectives themselves get kinda boring, and even though there is some decent variety in there, far too many objectives end up feeling like fetch quests where you blindly ransack through every container to find that item. I know the emphasis is on tactics and stealth, but a few more action oriented objectives might spice things up a bit.
One thing that GTFO absolutely nails is the atmosphere of the game. This game gives AAA horror games a run for their money with the absolutely nightmarish immersion that it creates. From the eerily abandoned labs to the dimly lit corridors, everything oozes a terrifying atmosphere. I always that the best horror game is one that makes you feel threatened even when there is nothing around, and GTFO starts on that right from the moment you open up the main menu. The sound design is just as terrifyingly terrific, with high pitched screams that will make your blood curdle and weird clicking noises when you suddenly find yourself separated from your team.
So is it worth it? That depends on whether you like co-op stealth horror games. There’s not a lot of games like this one out there in the market, so the closest I can get to is comparing it with Alien Isolation and the absolute feeling of hopelessness and dread it brought to the table. It is imperative that you work together with the rest of your team, and communication is absolutely necessary, so if you are a lone wolf, you are pretty much going to die the moment you step into the wrong room.
If you like atmospheric horror games that emphasize working together and want a genuinely interesting experience, GTFO is the perfect game for you. It is extremely polished for an early access game, and with more content slowly being added to the game, the future is promising to say the least.