Anyone who was on Twitch in 2020 probably remembers the part of the year where just about everyone was playing Among Us. It was one of the defining games of the year, dominating Twitch viewership, kicking off an endless thread of Among Us content on YouTube, and bringing all kinds of streamers together to play the same game. It's uncommon to see a game totally dominate streaming in the way that Among Us did, but over the course of last year's quarantine, Among Us managed to stand out. Hubbub around the game has cooled down a fair bit, but the new Airship map might boost its popularity again.
The Airship map is a really big deal for Among Us. The game hasn't received any update this major since it first released in 2018, as Innersloth's work on this game went mostly unacknowledged until streamers discovered it. Before then, Innersloth was mostly known for the Henry Stickmin games, and it turns out that the Airship in Among Us is actually a reference to a particular entry in the Henry Stickmin series. The Airship update will come with all sorts of cosmetics also referencing these games, but the Airship itself remains the most important part of the update by far. It introduces new mechanics that totally change the game and hint at exciting possibilities for future Among Us maps.
There's two crucial new mechanics that the Airship introduces. One of them is that mobility isn't just a matter of walking around the map anymore. Among Us' Airship features ladders and flying platforms that players will have to use to get up and down heights and to cross gaps respectively. Players will have to think carefully about when and how to use ladders and platforms, since they're a convenient way of getting around, but they can also trap players with each other. The Airship's trailer suggests that an Impostor sabotage can disable the flying platforms, so Among Us fans should be careful who they travel with, or they'll get trapped in a corner.
Another extremely important mechanic is players' option of where to start in the Airship after meetings. Players have three choices after meetings: the Engine Room, Records, or the Main Hall. Different starting positions completely overhauls the Among Us player's need to keep track of player positions. Knowing where people started the round and where they went from there is crucial to deducing who the Impostor is, but now it's hard to know for sure where everyone is at the start of the round, and players might find it easier to be isolated in the late stages of the game. Because the Airship pushes players to think more critically about navigating the map and where everyone else is going, it ought to offer a good challenge to Among Us veterans.
Lots of inherent qualities of the Airship set it apart from previous maps. An Innersloth developer tweeted last October that the Airship might turn out to be the biggest map in the game to date, which would pair well with the Airship's multiple start locations. That size alone will offer a greater level of challenge to Among Us players. Fans should also be aware that the Airship's rooms are mostly unique. They'll have a lot of new Crewmate tasks to learn that haven't shown up in Among Us before, like taking out trash bags and polishing a gemstone. These new tasks will add even more to the learning curve of this large map full of new mechanics. Still, it'll be a big help to Among Us' longevity.
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