GTFO is the Best Game That I Suck at Playing

If you regularly read what I write, you know that I don’t like a stealth game. Maybe it was my upbringing. I am just too impatient to properly sneak. Games that are well-loved by others simply slip over my head. Sekiro is as unapproachable to me as a trip to the moon. I know it would be cool, but I’m not getting there any time soon. I very much don’t like horror games where I’m forced to hide instead of fight. I like to go in guns blazing, devil may care, pedal to the metal. GTFO doesn’t let me do that. I should hate it, but it’s one of the most compelling games I’ve played this year.

GTFO is hard. It’s relentlessly hard. It is controller-throwing, drywall-punching, call-your-friend-a-vile-name hard. As far as I know, there isn’t even controller support, which makes throwing the controller an even more impressive display of anger. I had to get up and find where I put my controller just so I could throw it. Any other game that does the things GTFO does wouldn’t get written about. Our motto here is “positively spooky”, and if I didn’t have something positive to say about GTFO, I just wouldn’t write about it. The main thing GTFO does right is encouraging communication. I can play most multiplayer games without ever using voice chat. I don’t need to be called slurs by a 12-year-old to effectively capture a flag in Halo. In GTFO, if you can’t talk to your team, you don’t get to live.

In a game like Call of Duty, you might have 2 of your teammates run off to lay in a small spot somewhere and miss sniper shots the whole round. They’re essentially useless. GTFO doesn’t allow that at all. If you want to run off on your own, you’ve screwed over yourself and your team. There are no heart-pounding last-minute saves. One player can’t complete a mission while you bleed out on the floor. Teamwork is key. It is the only game I’ve played with such a focus on teamwork. I played with DreadXP Head of Production Ted Hentschke, fellow writer Rosy Joan, and beloved community member Spence. We talk all the time anyway, so communication wasn’t a huge problem. The biggest problem was the enemies.

Enemies in GTFO don’t care. The smallest enemy, crawling on the floor in a vain effort to scratch at your ankles, is just as dangerous as the towering behemoths that take your entire team to bring down. Every enemy is deadly. Whenever you enter a room with enemies, they’re in a dormant state. You need to shut your mouth, turn off your flashlight, and stop moving. These moments are always terribly tense. The first encounter and the last encounter are equally dangerous. You need to coordinate silent strikes on the enemies lest they alert others – or, god forbid, attack you. There are health packs, but not in the traditional sense. They barely heal any health, and they’re hard to come by. An encounter that goes sideways with as few as 3 enemies can leave an unprepared team deeply injured. Often, a found medpack will only have 1 or 2 charges; enough for a pick-me-up, but it won’t save everyone in GTFO.

Loadouts must be complimentary in GTFO. Special weapons such as a mine thrower or sniper turret have to be parceled out among the team. You don’t double up. I don’t care if you really like the mine-thrower. If your teammate already has one, you choose something else. This rigorous adherence to weird, unwritten rules should not be fun. None of this sounds fun while I’m writing it. I assure you, it is terribly fun. Why? Why is it fun? Most modern first-person shooters assault your eyes after each round. There are level-up bars, skin awards, new tags, new battle-plates, whatever. It’s everywhere. GTFO doesn’t even give you that. We beat a mission, and the after-action screen was essentially, “Cool, here’s a new helmet, get your ass back in there, it’s not been thoroughly kicked yet.”

GTFO has a very spartan approach to everything it does. Instead of having countless systems to interact with, you have just the one. It’s essentially “survive”: the game. No one relies on your as much as in a game of GTFO. I talked about it earlier, that in modern first-person shooters, you can kind of do your own thing and still win. If you do that in GTFO, you’re bound to get yelled at by your teammates. I think it’s funny that there is even an option for public lobbies. What a terrifying wasteland. I couldn’t play this with random people. Pubbies, pubbies never change. I can guarantee you’ll get matched up with the one guy who thinks he can solo the GTFO experience.

I made the mistake of trying to warm up by playing with bots while I waited for my teammates. Yeah, don’t do that. GTFO is a complicated game, and I wouldn’t expect the bots to be at the technological level to keep up with how frantic this game can be. So grab some friends, or people you like, and get into some GTFO. It recently exited early access into full release. It came out of the early access a lean, mean, friendship-ruining machine. It has no right being as compelling as it is. It builds a tension that you don’t often see in modern horror. It doesn’t care to scare you. It wants to worry you. Completing a mission isn’t expected. Enter with low expectations, and be surprised if you win.