Boundary is a multiplayer first-person shooter set in space. Not on an alien planet or inside a spaceship, but astronauts fighting in the cold vastness of space, floating above Earth in low orbit.

The game is developed by Surgical Scalpels, and we got to play a few rounds of space warfare with them at Gamescom 2019.

When I first watched the trailer above before heading to the convention, I was a bit skeptical. The graphics were rough, and it seemed that this soon-to-be-released title still needed a lot of work. But then I got to speak with the Boundary developer team, and actually play the game.

The Boundary demo I played ran on the PlayStation 4 Pro, revealing smooth, breathtaking graphics. The rays of sunlight as they shine over a spaceship’s metallic body are particularly convincing, and the astronaut models look almost life-like. It seems that Boundary truly pushes the Unreal Engine to its very limits.

The game is a Class-Based Shooter, similar to Team Fortress 2. There are six classes to choose from: Flanker, Medic, Recon, Sniper, Assault, and Support. Each class has its own unique set of weapons and abilities, which allow it to fill its role perfectly. For example, the Sniper can float in place while scoping a target.

Boundary space combat

The Sniper can float because Boundary takes place in outer space. You can move freely in every direction, whether it’s right, left, up or down. In other games that allow for impressive maneuverability, such as Titanfall 2, gravity is always there, which means down is always down. Boundary does not work this way; down is everywhere or, more precisely, nowhere.

Taking into account the vacuum of space and Newton’s first law, you could apply force to a grenade or a first aid kit, and they’ll keep going until they hit another object (or player). It opens up the battlefield to some unique gameplay opportunities.

The game equips you with a useful grappling hook to stop you from drifting off into the black void of space. It allows you to use any object as an anchor to grab hold onto or launch yourself for. That includes the space station you fight around, and the space debris floating about from the destructive environment.

Another tool at your service is the magnetic boots which let you walk on the spaceship outer surface as if it were solid ground, exactly as in every FPS.

Boundary weapons customization

The weapon and magazine customization system also stand out. You can attach different parts to your character’s main weapon, dramatically changing how it functions in a fight. Moreover, the player can arrange the order of the bullets in their magazine, choosing from armor-piercing to explosive bullets and electromagnetic bullets that interfere with the opponent’s spacesuit.

These two systems ensure you can always adjust your loadout to any situation, even when it changes rapidly. The number of loadouts you can come up with is nearly as vast as the number of stars in the sky. Well, we exaggerate, but you get the point.

At Gamescom, the developers neither confirmed nor denied a VR version of the game. In our opinion, the disorientating nature of the game could be a bit much for VR players. VR sickness is still a thing, so tumbling around in zero gravity might not be the best feeling to experience first-hand.

Boundary player

The current build of Boundary looks just awesome, and Surgical Scalpels intend to keep on improving it even further with more game modes. The devs mention classic multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch and Elimination, but also a mission-based mode.

Boundary is scheduled to come out on PC and PlayStation 4 in Q1 2020.

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