One Life is a multiplayer FPS that locks you out forever when you die

One Life

The asymmetric multiplayer stealth-horror game The Flock was built upon a unique interpretation of limited access: The game would have a limited population, (the titular Flock), and once that population had been killed off, it would stop working forever. One Life, which recently appeared on Steam Greenlight, takes a similar idea even further. It's a multiplayer shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world in which you'll literally have just one life, and once you eat a bullet, you'll be locked out of the game forever.

The inherent harshness of the concept is tempered somewhat by the "Domination" mechanic, which allows players to decide the fate of "defeated" enemies. The good news is that losing doesn't necessarily mean death. That is also, however, the bad news.

"Forgive, humiliate, finish off, take everything he has—it’s your choice. Saved [the] life of some loser? Take them captive and make them work [it] off. They will do everything to be free again. No other game will give you this feeling of power over other people," the One Life Greenlight page explains.

How fallen foes might "work it off" isn't clear, but the game promises "live communication" between players with voice and text chat, so victors can properly enjoy the "screams of rage and cries for help" of the vanquished. Based on the trailer, it will also be possible to take a digital piss on them if that's your thing. (And no, I'm not kidding.) And if they decide to simply finish you off, then that's the end of you forever: Your Steam account will be immediately locked out of the game, permanently.

It looks like a fairly conventional multiplayer FPS (aside from that peeing business) but going by the description it sounds more akin to games like Rust, with crafting, safe zones—relatively safe, anyway—and combat "hot spots," and of course plenty of dicks, although in this instance they'll be the people plotting your permanent removal from the game, and not... well, this.

One particularly interesting thing about One Life is that it's not free-to-play. Steam pricing isn't in place yet but preorders are being offered on the One Life website for $10. That's not a huge amount of money, but it's a pretty steep price for a game that could be over in minutes, or even seconds if you're especially unlucky (or bad). It's hard to imagine that this game won't give the Steam refund policy a good workout from the moment it launches.

There's no indication when that will be; the most recent update on Steam is from late last week, saying One Life had made it into the top 50 on Greenlight.

Thanks, Kotaku.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.