Inside the Den of Wolves: 10 Chambers unveils its new cerebral techno-heist FPS

10 Chambers showcased its new cyber-thriller co-op heist game Den of Wolves at the Unity office in San Fran, revealing what's to come from the FPS mavens.

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10 Chambers, the studio run by Payday creator Ulf Andersson, just announced a new sci-fi heist game at The Game Awards 2023. We attended a special event in the Unity building in San Francisco to learn more about the FPS thriller.

The devs at 10 Chambers are mostly known for chaotic shooters. The studio made their debut splash in the FPS genre with the horrifying GTFO, which pits players in teams of four up against fearsome monstrosities in a brutal battle for survival, but before that, studio head Ulf Andersson was pioneering the heist genre with the Payday series.

The next game is a bit different and takes the studio back to its roots. It's a high-tech FPS called Den of Wolves, and it's centered around futuristic corpo-espionage and high-stakes combat.

Den of Wolves Info

  • No release window
  • Steam early access like GTFO
  • Will start with PC, will come to consoles too
  • Built as a console-viable game from day one
  • Expanding world with DLC
  • GTFO is peer to peer, Den of Wolves will have dedicated servers, DLC will be paid to help pay for servers
  • Microtransactions no p2w, no gambling, no math-fuckery
  • One person who has DLC can host, others can join that do not have it
  • No elitist fragmentation via microtransactions - will be cosmetic only, if they're included at all

Gameplay

  • 4 player co op first person shooter heister game
  • Loot-based gameplay loop
  • Demolitionist and sniper roles mentioned
  • Players get weapon parts and can craft weapons
  • Heist themed, 10 Chambers believes there's "untapped potential in the genre"
  • Injecting sci-fi elements into the game
  • Full-on action as well as stealth - "Range of suspenseful missions and full-on action missions."
  • Fluid transitions between resource management and stealth as well as crazy shoot-em-up sequences
  • Designed to play with randoms and people that speak other languages
  • Drop in play
  • Matchmaking is a "horrible way to play GTFO", GTFO is made as a gauntlet of sorts
  • May have in-game social systems
  • Den of Wolves will have an official Discord server
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GTFO might be a hellish, mutated spawn, but it's still 10 Chambers' baby. The studio is sending GTFO off with Rundown 8.0: Duality, the last chapter in the free content lineup for the shooter. After Duality, GTFO's story will be complete.

As much as 10 Chambers loves GTFO, the game isn't enough to keep 10 Chambers afloat. The studio has grown from 10 to about 110 people in 3 years. Those kinds of numbers mean the studio has to up its intake to "feed the beast".

"GTFO could not sustain the company really. We were up for something bigger, something ambitious," said Simon Viklund, 10 Chambers co-founder, narrative director and composer.

Simon gave a lengthy 1-hour presentation during the event in San Francisco and discussed key elements of Den of Wolves.

Viklund says Den of Wolves is a "power fantasy type of game" that's spent 2 years in pre-production. It takes place in the year 2097, in the fictional city of Midway, a lawless metropolis ruled by corporations, greed, and high bidders. It's meant to deliver a realistic story of the dangers of late-stage capitalism and corruption.

You're a mercenary (wolf) working for various orgs--a gun-for-hire working to extract valuable info stored directly in human brains, battle hordes of robots, and try to infiltrate corpo buildings for digital loot.

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On the power fantasy aspect, 10 Chambers is aiming to give players back more of their direct agency and bravado control in the world. GTFO stripped players of certain powers and themes, banishing them to the darkness and making them cower before enemies. Stealth will be a big part of Den of Wolves, but the general feeling is that the game will be much more action-based than GTFO, a game that emphasized survival through horror-laden events.

Working in the darkness of GTFO took its toll on the team. Vikland was very excited to work on Den of Wolves, and he wanted to "be in the sun" again.

Den of Wolves has a distinct fluid style that cyberpunk fans will recognize, but also has dark overtones of something more sinister and cold. This is all by design.

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Midway City is described as a "unregulated innovation zone" where corps can test anything and everything, from weapons to experimental cybernetics--corporations are not bound by laws or ethical standards.

"It's not a dystopia, but it's a moral dystopia for sure."

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Viklund proceeded to show concept art that looked like a highly-industrialized Night City. The studio plans to add in squatters and abandoned construction sites to counter the glitz and neon glamor.

Den of Wolves is to deliver a "near-future, believable world," but Viklund assures us that it's "not Payday in space." Midway City is designed with a number of fake corporations, all with stylized logos and color schemes to make things feel alive.

"We want the city to have been lived in, to have sci-fi with a purpose."

Heat was a big inspiration for Payday, and the same is true here--Viklund mentions Robert De Niro's character in Heat as a direct influence for Den of Wolves. Other film influences include Inception and Strange Days.

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Den of Wolves won't be open world, though, and the team teases that the FPS carnage will take place in "massive indoor rooms" of the looming megastructures and skyscrapers.

Viklund also talked about the importance of creating lore around the corporations and brands. The team has created over 400 fake companies and brands for Den of Wolves, with Viklund saying that this history offers 10 Chambers a "livery of content we can pull from to create new expansions and updates."

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Story

Den of Wolves will have "several campaigns" that deliver standalone stories. The lore will focus on corporate espionage and competition

The campaigns will have different instances, and this was pretty important for 10 Chambers. Viklund says that he and Ulf Andersson, the creator of Payday, used to play Destiny a lot. The duo didn't like the non-instanced storytelling of Destiny, and wanted to allow players to jump in and play regardless of where they are in Den of Wolves' story.

"Let's just allow people to have fun together."

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The cyber-heist shooter offers non-linear storytelling and objections, requiring players to investigate further. This isn't unlike GTFO, which has players piecing together info in order to uncover the main narrative. Defection is a big concept for Den of Wolves, but it remains unclear exactly how this will work; can we negotiate terms and pit corporations against each other, making them bid for the highest payout?

Viklund made one point clear during the presentation: "You are the boss."

But that doesn't mean you're the hero. Far from it.

"You're not a good guy, you're part of the system, you're a pawn. You're not Robin Hood."

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Microtransactions

As for in-game monetization, 10 Chambers its over-promising and saying that Den of Wolves is planned to have microtransactions. But there's no guarantee the studio will add microtransactions into the game, and if they do, they'll do it in a way that's not obtrusive.

"Were not ever sure we will have them, we want to be over-transparent and just say we will have them," Viklund said.

And no, DLC will not be free for Den of Wolves like it was for GTFO. The studio says they are planning to launch paid expansions.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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