More Deadlock leaks purportedly show off game’s MOBA-meets-Shooter style, shops, and more

Valve’s slow-paced releases have been an industry in-joke for years, but hero shooter Deadlock is already looming on the horizon. Like most big-name projects these days, it’s been prone to leaks, with the newest batch showing off a surprising amount of in-depth information on its mechanics.

Valve arguably invented the hero shooter genre with Team Fortress 2, and it’s now evidently looking for a repeat of that success with Deadlock. The game supposedly borrows mechanics and potentially even characters from Dota 2, which seems to imply that nobody at Valve remembers the fate of the last Dota spinoff. Even if it hasn’t been officially announced quite yet, there have been a few leaks showing off behind the scenes footage, including this most recent one today.

Dota 2 heroes charging at the screen.
Deadlock seeks to combine the MOBA elements of Dota 2 with the shooter elements of Counter-Strike. Image via Valve

This new leak comes courtesy of Reddit, consisting mostly of several out-of-context clips ranging anywhere from a handful of seconds to just under four minutes long. Much of it will look familiar if you’ve seen previous leaks, but there are a few new standout details that merit further examination.

First and most obvious is Deadlock‘s shop interface, which allows players to buy upgrades at certain points on the map. According to the leaks, throughout each match you’ll obtain currency known as Souls by stealing it from enemy players in a short window after killing them. These can then be used to improve your character’s skills, both passive and active, as well as being exchanged for temporary buffs and upgrades at any of the aforementioned shops. Most of the upgrades shown off were fairly pedestrian, such as larger ammo capacity or increased stamina, but it’s a good bet they’ll get more meaningful and diverse over the course of a match.

This may seem like a lot to extrapolate from a single six-second clip of the shop menu, but this in-depth information is actually courtesy of another odd feature of these leaks: the commentator.

A few of the shared clips feature informative voiceover from an unidentified speaker, breaking down systems and mechanics in an easy-to-digest manner apparently intended for those unfamiliar with the game. No one is quite sure whether these are bizarre tutorials or in-progress videos from a content creator, but some Reddit sleuths believe the voice sounds an awful lot like legendary Overwatch streamer and former pro Surefour.

Whoever the mysterious commentator may be, they’ve shed some light on Deadlock‘s previously murky MOBA-shooter hybrid gameplay. Much like your standard MOBA, Deadlock features players fighting for control over towers on a map split into lanes and filled with NPC enemies—if these leaks are true and Valve maintains these mechanics throughout the game’s development, that is.

The in-match leveling and economy system using Souls as experience is also straight out of your typical MOBA, as is the selection of heroes with a few unique active abilities each. Rather than the top-down view filled with particle effects, however, Deadlock plays like a third-person shooter. It’s an odd melding of genres that gives the player quite a lot of spinning plates to balance at any given moment with its multiple active objectives, layered upgrade systems, and the fact that the distance that allows MOBA players to reasonably consider these things is gone in favor of getting shot at in real time.

Concerns have already been raised about the idea of stapling MOBA mechanics to a shooter game, but this deeper dive into the mechanics makes it all the more worrying, not to mention impenetrable for the casual player. The experience looks like trying to do your taxes in the trenches of World War One, but Valve is known for playtesting its games to an obsessive degree, so hopefully it’s more user-friendly than it looks. At least the rail-riding system straight out of BioShock Infinite looks fun.

Regardless of its actual quality, the hero-shooter genre is the most oversaturated it’s ever been. Players might simply have already found “their” game, whether it be Overwatch, VALORANT, or something else, but then again, Valve has essentially infinite funds to throw at Deadlock thanks to Steam. We’ll see if the game’s unique blend of genres will be enough to make it stand out or whether it’ll end up another money pit like Artifact.

If nothing else, Dota 2 will always be there for you.

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