The Endless Mission, the new project from Never Alone publisher E-Line Media, was announced last week as a narrative-focused "sandbox-style creation game." James did a good job of describing what it's actually all about, but even with that the underlying concept was tricky to pin down: "It's looking to be an impressive, open toolbox for learning how games work," he said. But how will it hold up as an actual game?
The debut trailer released today doesn't completely clarify the situation, but it does make The Endless Mission look very much like a game—or, more precisely, a mashup of different types of games—than a learning tool. There's a gravity-defying cart racer, platforming action with a hip anthropomorph, a Minecraft-styled RTS, and then later on, elements from one crammed into the other: Foxy Eyepatch handles an army of RTS goons by transforming into some kind of battle car, for instance, and then grows Goliath-like to lay the smackdown on King Nosering.
The make-your-own-game elements of The Endless Mission really aren't on display here, aside from sliders that enable the adjustment of Captain Blackclaw's scale, speed, jump, and health. That's a far cry from "manipulating the essence of the game down to the very code itself," as the announcement promised, and that part of it is really what I'd like to see more of. A multi-genre crossover might be a lot of fun, but The Endless Mission's success will ultimately turn on whether or not the developers can make the educational side of it engaging and fun.
An FAQ and gallery are up at thendlessmission.com, but they don't currently get into anything that wasn't covered in the initial announcement. But there's also an option to sign up for future announcements, so if you're interested you'll probably want to hit it.