Streamline is a dynamic and fun online game that really sets itself apart. Unlike other online games, Streamline aims to make spectators part of the game.
This streamer friendly title combines Twitch and their own Streamote platform to create a unique experience for players and spectators.
Streaming has become a massive industry in within the gaming industry. Sometimes because of skill, other times personality, but one thing remains the same: people love to watch gamers play. Streamline, developed by Proletariat Inc., was developed specifically with streaming in mind. On its surface, Streamline is a online multiplayer game where players navigate maps and use acrobatics to collect points. But unlike other online titles, Streamline aims to make spectators part of the game.
Steamline is a futuristic game that combines physical prowess and augmented reality. Players are part of the Streamline Pro League and use abandoned locations as arenas for their games. Players are either runners or hunters. Players attempt to collect as many points as they can while hunters try to eliminate them. Eliminated players are not out however, as they stay in the game and can help or hinder remaining players. There is not a lot of narrative here so much as explanation for why you are running around abandoned shipping yards or convention centers after glowing orbs.
Streamline has two main parts and the first is the traditional online gameplay. Players control very acrobatic avatars and navigate multilevel maps. The process to being streaming is seamless, so the only thing players have to worry about is the game. Gameplay is fast paced, but the controls are easy and respond well. That is a good thing because the the rules of the game can change at a moment’s notice. There are dozens of rules that affect players, environment, or special abilities. Players leap, slide, and wall run around the maps, collecting digital icons that have point values. The goal is to have the most points, but that is not your only concern. Players must avoid the Hunter, a randomly selected player, who has the power to eliminate other players. There are lot of rules and extras to learn, but you never feel overwhelmed with data. The frantic nature of changing gameplay styles and need to stay alive keep you engaged.
In order to play, you will need a Twitch account. Every Streamline game is streamed, but not every player needs to be a streamer. Players will need a Twitch account to access Streamote, a platform designed by Proletariat for Streamline. This platform is custom built with the purpose of allowing spectators to participate in games through Twitch chat and a voting system to affect the parameters of the game. If you do plan on playing and participating, I recommend a large screen or multiple ones. Having to switch between the two can be annoying.
Users signed into Streamote can watch the twitch feed live and vote to change the game. There are a long list of rules that can be applied to any game, and it gives the power to choose which are active to the viewers rather than the players. Viewers vote on which rule will be applied, and the rules change frequently. Players can also participate in Rule Bingo, where completing bingo cards based on the rules can win credits and in game items.
Players are also given the ability to gamble on match outcomes using Streamote’s native currency. This currency is earned through winning bets and participating in the community (such as watching matches). Before each game, when the list of players has been set, you are given the chance to place a bet on who will win. When the match begins, you will be given vital info such as player rank and what your payout will be. There is no way to pay for currency and it resets with every stream you watch, so it is debatable whether or not it is gambling. But it’s fun winning and betting can yield you in-game packs to unlock content for your characters. Both systems work together seamlessly. When you log back into play, any items you earned watching will be ready for you.
Streamline lives entirely online. The core gameplay and the spectator participation require you to not only be online, but also participating in the online streaming community. The game promotes participation within the streaming community by rewarding spectators not only with the ability to affect gameplay, but also in game rewards for their own games. Rewards come in the form of unlocked packs that hold unique gear. Similar to many other online games, the customization items have different levels of rarity and some are only available during special events.
The only frustrating thing about multiplayer is the leveling system. Leveling can be a grind with XP rewarded in small amounts and somewhat unpredictably. For instance, I finished 5th in two games back to back and received 20 points the first time and only 11 the next. In general, finishing outside of the top three players will have you grinding to level up. It would be a good improvement if there were more ways to earn XP.
Those familiar with Twitch wwill have no issue finding Streamline games, but Proletariat goes one step further with Streamote. The platform connects with your twitch account easily and gives you quick and easy access to watch Twitch streams of Streamline. Within Streamote, spectators can interact with the Twitch comments or subscribe to a streamer, as well as benefit from added game specific data like voting on rules or watching a player’s status. This does mean a longer wait time compared other online multiplayer games. The game dedicates about a minute and a half to betting and buying special abilities before the match begins.
The entire system works intuitively. Spectators can easily participate with their favorite streamer, and players can easily create or join matches. Streamers can, of course, also participate in Streamote activities by making bets or buying their own rules. All games are streamed however, so players do not have to stream themselves. Players who are not typically streamers can easily join the fun, but Streamline makes setting up a stream as simple as a few steps while the game handles the minutia of streaming.
Performance & Graphics
The game has a cartoonish animated style which creates an interesting visual, akin to Team Fortress, that is also easy on your system. Streamline adds digital visual effects to emphasize the augmented reality setting. The graphics experience artificial glitches and screen tearing while collectables follow an 8bit aesthetic.
Streamline Requires Only:
- OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
- Processor: Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz or equivalent
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000 or equivalent
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 4 GB available space
The game runs smoothly, even if you are streaming the match. I observed the occasional network hiccup, but there were never any serious issues joining or playing matches.
The sound engineering falls in line with the digital arcade style in the visuals. There are a lot of tactile sounds leaping off platforms, wall running, or using bouncing platforms. The game announcer seems very disaffected by the hectic nature of the game which adds an interesting contradiction to the chaos.
Streamline is frantic and fast paced. Although the goal remains the same the rules are always in flux and this means every game will be different. There is a learning curve with the veriety of rules players have to contend with however it is very accessible even for new players. Proletariat has created a unique platform that allows spectators to be involved in building a community. Although Streamote has been custom made for Streamline it is hard not to imagine its possibilities for other online games. The system works together seamlessly letting players create, join, stream, or spectate games quickly and with no hassle. Most importantly though, Streamline is a lot of fun to both play and watch. Its colorful and dynamic gameplay will keep you entertained for a long time.
Images © Proletariat