Guardians of Orion Preview

Guardians of Orion is a top-down perspective shooter filled with dinosaurs and robots. With a clear ambition (and a road map to match) this title is well on its way to glory!

Guardians of Orion Preview


Guardians of Orion is an offering from developer Trek Industries. The game is available on Steam through the Early Access program. The price is 17,99 euro but there is a loyalty discount for those who own Orion Prelude. According to the devs it will be completed by the end of 2016.


Given its early access status, when I initially launched the game I expected some serious issues. I mean it would have been understandable (if not expected). Happily even in this early stage the game surpassed my expectations and showed no sign of performance problems or game-breaking bugs. Sure, there was the occasional crash, sometimes the AI gets stuck in the rocky environments, and there is a weird bug where the player does a double teleport (leaving them motionless). 

The inconveniences are small and in no way brand the game a bad product. The frame-rate was pretty decent when I was playing the title at 1440p resolution (that is 2K!) and everything else maxed out. Although there were some FPS dips here and there, in general I was getting above 60. This shouldn't come as a surprise because the recommended specifications claim that a 1GB of video memory is enough to enjoy the game in the highest graphical fidelity. Turning on virtual synchronization will help a great deal with screen tearing. I am not aware if the issue was with a certain map, but that could have been the case. The last noticeable defect was that a couple of times the texture for the cactuses didn't load properly. The game does take quite a long time before starting each mission, specifically to load the textures on all objects, so it is odd that a problem like this occurs.  

Guardians of Orion 1 - gameplay

Co-op is how this game should be played:

Guardians of Orion was meant to be played cooperatively. Up to 4 players can participate in a single match and it is perfect that way. Having to coordinate with your team is very important. You will often end up being overrun by enemies while your Harvester goes down and has to be repaired. What keeps you on toes in this situation is that there is a time in which you can perform repairs. After the three minutes run out,you are out of luck and the mission fails. Time is of the essence. It makes distraction a viable (if not essential) tactic: one player draws enemies away as the rest of the players focus efforts on repairing the Harvester. 

Guardians of Orion offers quite a lot for a game under development. It has 3 character classes, with a few more already confirmed by David (Developer at Trek Industries). The existing ones are pretty basic: assault, recon and support, with a predictable assortment of weaponry. But it is the additional classes that make this game a lot more interesting. With the planned additional characters I believe everybody will find a role that suits them. So far the following extra classes have been announced: 

  • Rockeeter guardian (has a rocket launcher as his main weapon), 

  • Pyro guardian (flame thrower as main weapon), 

  • Demo guardian (light machine gun and proximity mines), and the one I find the most interesting, 

  • Tech guardian (carrying an SMG and a portable turret. Seriously, who doesn't like turrets?). 

Updates are planned on a monthly cycle, and the full release game is planned in 12 months time. The first expansion to the map roaster will be with a snowy map. The biggest update will come in the beginning of January, with a swamp-based map and a new game mode.

Guardians of Orion 2 - gameplay

What challenges can you see in the game?

There is only one game mode available at launch, and unfortunately it just doesn't show the potential of the game. It's survival. You have to endure eleven waves of enemy AI, protecting an interesting machine that harvests minerals across the map. Appropriately, this machine is dubbed "Harvester". Another feature that would have been nice to have available in early access is the collection of gear and having an inventory. When I think of an early access release, I assume that the core game mechanics of the title have been completed, or at least the fundamental ones. Not having anything to strive for in the beginning is definitely going to be a problem for most players. This doesn't mean you cannot spend over 30 hours in Guardians of Orion, but when you cannot customize your character in any way, it's a little disappointing. It makes it harder to justify spending time inside the game world. 

Guardians of Orion 3 - gameplay

The most feared creatures will hunt you!

Enemies are vicious and diverse. When I first tried out the game the I already knew I would be encountering dinosaurs. I have to praise the amount of detail in the models for the dinosaurs. They all look very well made. Raptors, Triceratops and the mighty T-Rex are just some of the enemies you will face – and they are scary. You will be attacked from the air and on the ground, you will feel like escape is impossible. That tension and challenge is what makes this game superb. Those aren't all of the adversaries you will face. The game also offers robots to destroy you. Drones can launch grenades with a large explosive radius. 

The harder the level is the more enemies will appear. Also as you level up, more difficulty modes will be open to you. Right now there is easy, normal, hard and ridikulous (it is spelled that way in the game). I have talked to players on our stream yesterday and I couldn't find anyone to have actually completed the 11 survival waves on the highest difficulty. From the info I've gathered, the number of adversaries could rise above 230 as you complete the waves. Talk about a challenge!


How do the maps look in-game? They aren't very different. On all three available maps you will have a rocky terrain with some plants. I would suggest you play only the first one at the moment because the vegetation truly shines there. It makes the game very enticing indeed. Also the minerals aren't in different colors on the maps. I did want to see some variety in the color palette but I am sure that Trek Industries had a lot more important things to work on.

Guardians of Orion 4 - gameplay

Guardians of Orion 5 - gameplay

  • Performance is good – no serious bugs

  • Skill tree raging up to 30 levels

  • Awesome character abilities

  • Dinosaurs and robots ready to make your life miserable

  • Support for gamepads

Guardians of Orion 6 - gameplay

Guardians of Orion 7 - gameplay


  • Lack of game modes

  • Skill tree is pretty identical for all characters

  • Maps aren't that different from each other

After spending a fair amount of time in the Steam Community hub for this game I got to see how the developers interacted with the community. I am more than pleased by how they were handling communication! Developers were very open about the state of the game, what they planned as updates for it and were taking  in the player feedback. I am happy to say I saw very little threads left without an answer. 

Guardians of Orion 8 - gameplay

Guardians of Orion 9 - gameplay

Guardians of Orion - Dual gameplay

David Prassels took the time to answers some of our questions directly in the chat during our broadcast and gave more fantastic information about the future of Guardians of Orion. Below is posted the exact copy:

Dprassel:David from Trek here

Dprassel:I can confirm that Silly Waves will come back via Redik modes

Dprassel:We already have a move for the Anky where it rolls forward like Sonic the Hedgehog

Dprassel:Rocketeer Guardian is coming

Dprassel:Has a Rocket Launcher

Dprassel:Pyro Guardian is coming

Dprassel:Flame Thrower + Napalm Grenades

Dprassel:Demo Guardian is coming (light machine gun, proximity mines)

Dprassel:so many more are coming

Dprassel:Tech Guardian has an auto SMG and portable turret

Dprassel:So if you like the rifle, youll love that SMG

Muppetmaker:Fuse from deadisland epidemic was nice to play just as an idea for a flamer

Dprassel:we have 1+ years scheduled already, the plan for this game is very detailed but also very open to community feedback as we kept that 1 year pacing a bit slower TO integrate community feedback

Dprassel:more maps are needed too, we scheduled an emergency update to get it in time for the Winter holiday

Dprassel:Originally the first update was Jan 2016 (Stegosaurus update)

Dprassel:but we wanted something sooner, we've been playing these maps so long

Dprassel:So now there is a Dec 2015 update with a snow map coming

Dprassel:The next new mode is inside the Jan 2016 Steggo Update

Dprassel:Itll be called Slaughter, and its about how long you can survive against endless waves of enemies

Dprassel:It supports 4-player online coop

Dprassel:AND 4-player local coop (same screen)

Muppetmaker:melee berserker also planned ? ~.*

Dprassel:Winter Update is coming with a snow map

Dprassel:Steggo Update (jan 2016) is coming with a Swamp map

Dprassel:Yes a brawler guy is scheduled to arrive

Dprassel:Archer*Sniper Guardiana few dueler guardians are scheduled

Muppetmaker:archer nice!

Muppetmaker:compound bow

Dprassel:PvP is scheduled for Summer 2016, subject to change

Dprassel:PvP will be in third person

Dprassel:ala gears of war

Dprassel:and its called VITAL

Dprassel:The best or worst part of me and orion is im the biggest fan

Dprassel:so I basically want to add everything, every time



Dprassel:Yes – gear, loot, drops

Dprassel:Those are all scheduled to come

Dprassel:Inventory, someone seemed to find it

Dprassel:We also have a future system planned called MY GUARDIAN

Muppetmaker:sounds good and some very good ideas

Dprassel:lets you create one, base mesh, ethnicity, gender, armor, armor color

Dprassel:weapon load out

Dprassel:voice type, etc

Dprassel:2 main developers full time, two testers, 10 contracters/content producers

Dprassel:small team

SpellshaperCZ:hi guys, is there a local co-op?

Dprassel:Guardians of Orion WILL be the shooter to own

Dprassel:Local Coop in Jan 2016

Dprassel:and monthly updates will make it easier

Dprassel:Even though small, we're quicker than 100+ people teams

Dprassel:in large teams you waste time and resources micromanaging

Dprassel:10% discount for ALL steam

Dprassel:50% for loyalty members

Dprassel:(owners of Prelude, $1 on Steam)

Dprassel:10% discount is one week

Dprassel:50% discount is two weeks

Dprassel:sorry no

Dprassel:50% discount LASTS two weeks

Dprassel:10% discount lasts one week

Dprassel:my bad
:u will have it hard -> HellDivers coming to PC

Dprassel:I liked Helldivers

Dprassel:they are the reason we made our muzzle flashes huge

Dprassel:but we have a lot more gameplay than them

Dprassel:even already

Dprassel:let alone in the future

Dprassel:3 fallen chances

Dprassel:can self revive (via kills)

Dprassel:or get picked up

Dprassel:after you go down 3 times, itll be just death and respawn

Dprassel:each chance of fallen has LESS time than the one before

Dprassel:two swords robot


Dprassel:If you're on Easy/Medium/Hard

Dprassel:he usually come Wave 7+

Dprassel:(all maps)

Dprassel:if you play Insane/Redik, he can spawn wave 1+

Dprassel:We have more creatures/dinosaurs/robots to add

Dprassel:And likely will get to insects, for any starship trooper fans

Dprassel:I have to hop out for a second, fiance is home and have to have dinner

Dprassel:I hopefully will be back

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