Developer Acquire has announced the third IP in its self-published portfolio—a real-time RPG that will reportedly transport players to a futuristic world in which fast-paced combat fuses to the fibers of a traditional grid-based RPG. If that’s the sort of gig you wouldn’t mind throwing yourself into, then buckle up; Scars of Mars will be heading to PC via Steam at some point in the next twelve or so months.
Introductory spiel out in the open, what more do we actually have to say about the intergalactic love letter to real-time RPGs? Will it be available on a myriad of platforms? Will there be a story to immerse in? Well, here’s everything we currently know based on the information provided by its creators to date. Let’s dive right in.
What Is Scars of Mars?
Let’s get straight to the point. What is Scars of Mars, and how exactly will it look to blend real-time combat with a classic grid-based system? Well, going by the elevator pitch that was posted by Acquire earlier this week, “Scars of Mars is a new real-time RPG. During combat and exploration, time flows, so you must make split-second decisions, execute precise commands swiftly, and vanquish enemies within a limited time. It’s a thrilling experience that captures the unique tension and satisfaction of the gameplay.”
Sure enough, there’s a lot we still don’t actually know about the upcoming game, much less about its storyline and lore. For what it’s worth, though, we do know that it’ll be set in the distant future, and within the airspace of Mars, no less.
Again, we don’t know every square detail about the story, other than its chosen locale and commanding heroes. Apparently, though, the plot will take place in the year 2158, and within a seemingly abandoned research facility on the surface of Mars. According to the devs, you will be in charge of a humanoid unit—a military faction that’s been sent out to investigate and assist whoever remains within the facility in question.
To summarize, in Acquire’s own words: “You take on the role of a commander of a humanoid unit, embarking on a top-secret mission to rescue survivors and escape from a research facility on Mars, which suddenly lost contact.” A vague description, for sure, yet one that we’re certainly eager to unravel nonetheless.
Although Scars of Mars is being billed as a real-time RPG, it has in fact shown various signs of incorporating some amount of turn-based gameplay. Outside of combat, players will need to keep an eye on battery consumption—a life-saving tool that will gradually deplete over the course of your journey. It’ll be your job, essentially, to make vital decisions over which routes to take, who to engage with, and which characters to put forward. According to the devs, all runs will be procedurally generated, so you’ll also need to devise new strategies for every time you take to the field.
“Engage in strategic combat where you control four humanoids in a 3×3 grid, making real-time decisions on their actions,”reads the description. “Every move counts as you decide which characters to control, when to attack, dodge, heal, or protect. The constant flow of time demands tactical positioning and precise timing, creating an immersive and strategic battle experience.”
“Battles, events, and route movements all consume time, gradually depleting your battery,” it continues. “To succeed, you must make precise decisions based on your party’s condition and remaining battery power. Whether you aim for defeating the boss at the deepest level or return midway for equipment and item collection, player wisdom and experience are vital for success.”
In case you skipped out on the initial announcement, Acquire first brought Scars of Mars to light earlier this week. It was said during the time of its reveal that, while the game has yet to receive a formal release window, players can expect to catch it on Steam at some phase in 2024. It will be the studio’s third self-published project, and will release in tandem with Ancient Weapon Holly, yet another rogue-like IP with strategy elements. But that’s a story for another time.
Acquire, for those who’ve yet to brush up on their history, has been operating for the best part of twenty-eight years—if not as a developer, then as a reputable publishing house. Its previous works include the likes of Way of the Samurai, Octopath Traveler, and Tenchu.
The good news is, Acquire has already gone as far as to release a brief trailer to outline some of the core gameplay elements. Need we say more? You can check it out for yourself in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Going by the press release, Scars of Mars will be launching exclusively on PC via Steam at some stage in 2024. Does this mean it won’t be on any consoles? As it stands, yes. That said, there’s nothing to say that it won’t be making its way over to the likes of Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and Switch at some point in the foreseeable future. One can only hope on that one.
As there is only the one platform in mind at present, it goes without saying that there won’t be any special or deluxe editions at launch. Still, you can get your hands on a copy of the standard edition over on the Steam handle here.
Interested in Scars of Mars? If so, then be sure to check in with the team at Acquire over on their official social handle for all the latest updates here. If anything changes ahead of its global launch date, we’ll be sure to let you know all the key details right here on gaming.net.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Scars of Mars when it releases next year? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.