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This co-op survival game looks like a mad scientist's mashup of Lethal Company and Half-Life—and there's a demo out now

 Scientists fighting an alien in an office.
Scientists fighting an alien in an office.

Yeah, I know, there have already been a couple big co-op survival games released in just the past week, the record-smashing monster-managing Palworld and sprawling fantasy RPG Enshrouded.

But there's always room for one more, isn't there?

This one isn't taking its cues from Pokémon or using Valheim and Zelda as an inspiration: co-op survival game Abiotic Factor is more like a mad science mash-up of the original Half-Life and Lethal Company. It looks delightful, and ahead of its May 2 release date there's a new demo on Steam you can play right now.

As part of a group of labcoated science eggheads, you're working in a sprawling underground blacksite (think Black Mesa or SCP Foundation) when the thing that always happens suddenly happens. A science experiment goes terribly wrong and horrifying alien monsters from other dimensions invade our world. This time, you (and up to six players total) are not the heroic Gordon Freeman but one of the hapless nerds left behind to deal with the mess.

On the bright side, who better to start taking things apart and crafting them into useful sci-fi gizmos, gadgets, and weapons than the brainiest people on the planet? You can choose a specialty for your scientist in disciplines from genetics to physics to engineering, then start stripping the facility of computers and circuit boards to craft gravity guns, laser cannons, and more. You've gotta eat, too, so raid vending machines, build cooking stations, and… well, alien meat is still meat? Dig in. Just cook it thoroughly.

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

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Scientists fighting an alien in an office
Scientists fighting an alien in an office

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

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Scientists in a lab
Scientists in a lab

You'll need the nourishment because you'll be facing all sorts of enemies from interdimensional horrors to automated defenses to meathead soldiers arriving to cleanse the place with fire. You won't be escaping the facility so you'll need to build an operation full of crafting stations and protected by traps. There are all sorts of vehicles to fix up and commandeer too, from forklifts to SUVs, and naturally, teleporters.

The Abiotic Factor demo is out now and will last until the end of Steam Next Fest on February 12.