This upcoming 'extraction horror' FPS has a big twist: 2 player-controlled 'alien monsters' that are hunting the human squads

It's getting tougher for extraction shooters to stand out in a time of steady hits like Escape From Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown, the recent best seller milsim Gray Zone Warfare, and a high-budget challenger on the horizon in Bungie's Marathon. They cast a long shadow over a growing club of smaller extraction shooters that came and went, never finding a steady audience. It can happen to anyone, but if there's one out-of-nowhere contestant with a chance of finding an audience, I think it's Level Zero: Extraction, which got a new gameplay trailer today at the PC Gaming Show.

Level Zero: Extraction, a "multiplayer extraction horror" game from Ukrainian outfit Doghowl Games, is saying the sort of things that get me excited about extraction shooters. For one, it's not another modern military sim, thank god. But I'm most intrigued by the format: three squads of three play as human scavengers competing for valuable loot while two other players take control of "deadly alien monsters, hunting the humans from the shadows."

If your mind is going straight to 2000 Aliens vs. Predator, you're on the right track. Based on what I saw in videos from March's closed beta, the Xenomorph-like crawlers can sneak through vents, lay traps, and wipe out unprepared squads in seconds. The aliens' kryptonite is light, which players are smart to keep on-hand in the form of flares.

On the human vs. human front, I'm glad to hear Level Zero's lobbies cap out at three squads. One of the many reasons Hunt: Showdown kept me coming back for almost 500 hours was the predictability of its modest 10-12 player lobbies—enough roaming cowboys that you always have to watch your back, but small enough that you can easily track the progression of a match and take risks accordingly. If you know you heard two squads fighting to the east, for instance, there's a good chance nobody is watching the west. It also likely indicates matches are fairly short, which you won't hear me complaining about.

I do spy some yellow flags, too: the gunplay in closed beta videos looks a bit weak and I'm not looking forward to another "drag boxes from the left of the screen to the right of the screen" inventory system. Centralizing progression on a shared objective or bounty, instead of entirely on stuffing backpacks full of loot, is another Hunt-ism I wish other extraction games would borrow.

Level Zero: Extraction is coming to early access sometime this year, but its Steam page is live now.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.