LookRobot IMAGINARIUM: The Bomb Squad!

We all have ideas for games: I have one or two a day. Most of them are shit. Those which are shit and entertaining, or not actually all that bad, will end up in the IMAGINARIUM complete with sub-par drawings. This week – can you make an action title that only uses grenade-based weapons?

Elevator pitch: It’s a free-to-play game of team-based class-focused third-person multiplayer destruction, but all the weapons are grenades. All of ’em. Some of them just blow up: some of them impede opponents, some of them help your friends with shields, some of them are drone guns… it’s thrown warfare, basically.

Non-elevator pitch: Grenades, they’re shit-hot, right? I love grenades. Everyone loves grenades. So why not make a game where every single weapon is a grenade? It’s like Ghost Recon, but with all the guns taken out!

The obvious problem with this idea is that people would just run out of the way of the explosion, but hold on for a second, there. I’m not suggesting that you just use normal grenades, no sir. There’s more to this than that. I’m going to explain how combat works by detailing the five classes available for play in this over-the-top third-person action game. I imagine teams of four would be the minimum, with AI-controlled bots to fill in the gaps if needs be. All classes are referred to as “he” for ease of typing; they could fit into either gender.

(The story: “In THE FUTURE, guns are outlawed by decree of the GLOBAL PRESIDENT. Mercenaries everywhere suffer. But due to a loophole in the law, GRENADES ARE ABSOLUTELY FINE.”)

Hurtmaster Concept Art

Do you get handles on bombs? I dunno. Guess the Hurtmaster welded it on

HURTMASTER: The Hurtmaster hurts people. He runs at a moderate speed and his armour keeps him fairly well-defended against attacks (and he’s harder to slow down or stagger with explosions thanks to gravity dampeners built into his trousers), and his grenades hurt people.

There’s the standard run-of-the-mill Frag grenade (which pretty much everyone gets) but also long-range high-explosive impact grenades for “sniping,” massive burst grenades for crowd-control, and limited supplies of cluster bomb-style bastards that take out entire fields of players.

SABOTEUR: The Saboteur makes enemies less effective. His basic molotov cocktails set them on fire (which is bad for them, obviously) and block off areas of the battlefield.

Supplemental liquid nitrogen bombs slow them down, making it harder to escape from the explosives of others, and gas grenades confuse their controls and UI making them easier to pick off, or attack their team-mates due to suddenly incorrect team labelling and friendly-fire being temporarily switched on. Sapper grenades kick out NEGATRON WAVES which reduce either the armour, damage, or throwing range of baddies too.

Deformatist concept art

The Deformatist - surprisingly badass

DEFORMATIST: The Deformatist controls terrain. Like Red Faction, buildings can be damaged – most grenades will only chip a bit out of the walls and sustained combat will weaken them, but the Deformatist’s explosions rip through them like a hot knife through butter.

His breaching charges turn walls into one-shot weapons that dump heavy masonry on anyone standing nearby and open up routes for his team-mates to exploit; and, alternatively, his nano-powered reconstruction grenades can fix walls and build temporary barricades to keep enemies out. Bigger devices can vaporise or construct buildings wholesale, perhaps.

ARMOURER: The Armourer makes allies more effective. His basic grenade uses CONDENSED VOODOO or something to heal his friends by hurting his enemies (a secondary explosion, washing through terrain like an EMP burst, conveys healing on anyone in range) and he’s vital to maintaining extended assaults.

He can also use his nifty dual-focus powers to increase the attributes of his friends – electrical bursts overclock their systems and increase their speed whilst stunning enemies nearby, a deadly explosive gas increases the damage and radius of their weapons whilst slowly choking bad guys, and swarms of semi-sentient IRON WASPS increase their armour whilst buzzing around and stinging their foes.

Scientician concept art

Full disclosure: the art for the saboteur was kind of sucky, and I couldn't think of anything for the Armourer. Still. Robolepidopterae is now my favourite word

SCIENTICIAN: The Scientician hands out independent attack and defence wherever it’s needed. His basic grenade sets up a drone gun that, while it runs out of ammunition fairly quickly, can pin down a team or hurt them as they’re flushed out of cover with traditional explosions. As they establish direct attack vectors independent of their source, he possesses a unique talent.

Other powers include shield grenades that pop up a bubble of protection; it has hitpoints in a similar way to players but stops all incoming grenades from passing through it. Holographic grenades spawn insubstantial AI clones of your teammates and send them rushing at positions in an attempt to draw fire, and hovering ALUMINUM BUTTERFLIES launched from special canisters surround yourself and allies, giving a small boost to HP and delivering electric shocks to nearby enemies.

SO. Do you see where I’m coming from? This could be fun as HELL. Plus, aside from the Deformatist, you could make the entire thing as a mod for your PC game of choice. But do you reckon an all-grenades online action game would work? DISCUSS.