Armour Too: Iron Front

By Jim Rossignol on May 15th, 2011 at 1:37 pm.


Our forward scout in the realms of war, Sgt. Stone, has pointed out to me that Deep Silver and X1 Software have announced their new game, Iron Front. What is interesting about this is that it is an all-encompassing soldier sim set on the Eastern Front in World War II, using the Arma II engine. Oh my. It’s going to have a big old campaign filled with infantryman experiences, but also – and the phrasing here made me smile – “Using their computers, tacticians will control tanks, including the famous German battle tank Panzerkampfwagen VI or “Königstiger” and the Russian Stalin tank JS2, or fighter planes such as the Focke Wulf 190 and dive bombers like the Stuka or the Petlyakov PE-2.”

The game is out later this year, and we’ll bring you more details on it when we can procure them.

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81 Comments »

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  1. SF Legend says:

    HOW MANY MONIES?

  2. Alexander Norris says:

    Invasion ’44 does WWII-in-ArmA2 for free, though.

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      How polished is 44 with Arma2? Last I played 44 was in OFP, but I can’t remember it being that great back then, though I imagine things have improved since.

    • Bilbo says:

      Well, it’s free if you own Arma 2, anyway. So it’s £15 or so. You kinda have a point, and the usual argument for games-that-look-like-mods is that they’ll be a bit better than mods-that-are-mods-and-mods in some respect. We know basically *nothing* about this new game, so it’s too early to start judging it against the mod alternatives.

    • Wilson says:

      True, but maybe these guys will be able to make deeper changes to the engine to better reflect some WW2 elements. Also, this is the Eastern Front rather than Normandy.

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      Agreed, I believe one of the problems with modding for OFP back in the day was that deep engine changes were needed to mess with number of gunners on vehicles etc, though I think these things were later added through patches and whatnot.

      Will be interested in getting this if it offers a polished experience.

  3. MiniTrue says:

    Words…cannot…express…how…much…want.

  4. pupsikaso says:

    I hope it’s a lot less boring than Arma2 itself was =/

    • Lord Byte says:

      Yeah I don’t know what happened after the Codemasters break-up but Bohemia seem to have lost their story guy in the process! While I love the multi-player to bits, their single-player campaigns all simply suck… (Yes the expansions too!) The first OP and Resistance were awesome… Sadly I never got to play the Red campaign :(

    • Dominic White says:

      I really don’t know what people saw in the original OFP campaign. I mean, it was fun, but it wasn’t well written or acted by any means. It was an excuse to put you in a series of realistic military engagements.

      Nobody complains about a lack of a gripping story in flight-sims. Why here?

    • Hazzard65 says:

      Dominic White with CM’s assistance OFP didn’t have a wonderful epic of a story but it was at least coherent. Since Bohemia has had to rely on it’s own story telling and voice acting it has become a shambles. The voice acting is just horrifying and the writing is painful. The ARMA’s stories are simply a series of random, disconnected clichés.

      Their multiplayer on the other hand has the potential to be something so much more if only they would focus on it.

      To be honest it isn’t just Bohemia. It seems everyone and their mother wants to tell me their half baked, jingoistic military yarns and quite frankly they are all turning out to be a bit of a joke really. I see it coming down the pike with Battlefield 3 as well. People will be mainly buying this for it’s multiplayer (the fans at least) not their war stories. If you want proof that BF3’s story is going to be just as ridiculous as anything else out there today just watch the preview videos. An earthquake in a war zone… FFS.

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      I haven’t played much of the multi as it isn’t that easy to get into (my own impressions).

      However I buy the Arma series pretty much only for the mission editor, in fact on acquiring operation arrowhead the first thing I did was load up the editor, place a few units and had a 1.5 hr session of great tense combat.

    • Bilbo says:

      I can hear it in the wire… I can hear it through the whine… but the irritating michael bay jingoistic slapfest… is still on the line

    • Bilbo says:

      Last comment was to the tune of “Wichita Lineman”, by the way

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t know, I’ve been quite enjoying the ARMA II campaign (Harvest Red) so far. I suppose it’s true that the writing and voice acting aren’t -amazing-, but I like some context to my manshoots and it provides that admirably.

    • Zarunil says:

      The story in Arma II was mediocre, pretty much standard for any military shooter. I have come to expect nothing more. The voice-acting, on the other hand, was so terrible that every time my squad leader spoke it was able to pull me out of the immersion and bang on my head while yelling “LOL THIS IS A GAME YOU SILLY MONKEY HEE HEE!”

      I hate when it does that.

    • malkav11 says:

      I have heard far worse. Look up videos of Michigan: Report from Hell, for example.

    • Premium User Badge

      wengart says:

      I often wonder if its not that the OFP story was actually better than the story in Arma 1 and 2, but that we’ve just become OFP/Arma combat veteran.

      I still remember the first mission of OFP, where you and your squad supported by some armor had to attack the town of Morton. I was in the middle of this battle and just couldn’t make sense of what was going on. The whole thing was just overwhelming, bullets zipping overhead as I crawled forward trying to make out a target, my squadmates moving and firing into the village, the thunder of the tank guns, how I fumbled with my rifle when I came face to face with my first Soviet soldier, It was one of the few times in a game where I can say I was scared. That feeling lasted through the most of the first campaign, although I became less scared and more sure of myself as I went on.

      I recall a Medal of Honor game that wanted to show you and your squadmates going from nervous young boys to hardened combat vets, Operation Flashpoint was the only game to let you experience that, and I think that is a bit of what made OFP so great and its something that they won’t be able to capture again, I don’t think.

      I also keep thinking off the 2nd or 3rd mission where you went on a patrol through some woods with 2-3 other guys, and halfway through you ran into some Soviets. For the most part that mission consisted of shift walking around the edge of a forest, absolutely no action whatsoever. I don’t think I would enjoy a mission like that now, but I remember when I first played it I was on edge the entire time.

    • Premium User Badge

      lurkalisk says:

      Why are people who play videogames so bad with words? A game cannot be jingoistic. It might reflect the jingoist views of it’s writer/s, but that’s it. Strictly speaking, the purpose of the word is more to describe a nation rather than it’s inhabitants anyway.
      Reminds me of “misogyny”, and how it just cannot seem to be used properly… Anyway, sorry for the rant. Iron Front looks interesting.

  5. westyfield says:

    *Drools*
    Have you procured any more details yet? I want, nay; demand information!

    Edit: Also, I just realised the pun in the title. Well played Jim, well played.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      RPS has best puns

      They use PunGenerator 2.0, which is hands down the best witticism creator since BonMot 1.3 was withdrawn.

  6. MMMMMONTYKILL says:

    You missed off the most important bit:

    ‘”Iron Front – Liberation 1944″ also includes an extensive mission editor, enabling players to intuitively create their own missions and share them with their friends online, thus guaranteeing that there will never be a shortage of new missions.’

    Here’s hoping this means we’ll get as free and open an editor as we’re used to from BI.

    • MiniTrue says:

      Let us hope just that. Now we can engage in the same massive front-spanning warfare on the Ostfront as we are used to in various 1980s island flashpoints! I want this game very much.

      Slowly, bit by bit, if more of these games come out, we can begin to chip away at the CoDs et al, and their unsavoury dominance. We’ll never overtake them in sheer popularity, but devs making games like this can release their titles for less investment, and can thus chase fewer sales. In that vein, anyone that pirates either this or Arma II needs to slapped in irons, and have their liver pecked out nightly. Whilst they watch Kotick maniacally laughing.

      That’ll learn ‘em.

    • Stranglove says:

      Here’s hoping it’s the same editor as in ARMA II CO.

  7. skurmedel says:

    Most pleasant news.

  8. Comrade Communist says:

    ArmA in WW2 setting?… Do want! I hope that it will be even better than Red Orchestra!

    • skurmedel says:

      And if it isn’t, we’ll soon get Red Orchestra 2 :)

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      wengart says:

      Even though they both share the same setting both games are different enough for it to be hard to call one the better Ostfront game I suspect. I’m guessing like Arma, Iron Front will lean far more towards simulation, while RO2 will be a leaner game focusing on solid infantry action in fairly close quarters.

  9. MiniTrue says:

    This thread has made me remember 8 years worth of passionately wanting Hidden and Dangerous 3.

    Thanks, RPS. Dem’s old wounds, y’all have just opened…. :(

    • Zarunil says:

      That would be swell. I remember playing H&D1 on LAN. Good times. H&D2 was good, too, but the first one was amazing.

  10. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    Using my computer, I’m able to comment on this piece of news the fact that I’m quite excited about this. The ArmA2 Engine is a muscle that needs to be stretched in more directions than modern warfare.

    (here’s hoping for a first person fantasy sandbox-adventure game in it)

    • Dana says:

      From my experience Arma2 engine is an unoptimized piece of crap.

    • dee says:

      A realistic first person fantasy sandbox-adventure.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      I wouldn’t be too quick to call it unoptimized. Given what it is able (or at least attempting) to do, I think it runs quite fine on a typical, modern gaming PC. There’s a lot more to this world simulator than graphical fidelity, which I think is why it should be used in other settings than “gritty realism”.

      Edit: @dee realistic… fantasy… wot? *head asplode*

    • GenBanks says:

      What do you mean by fantasy? I find it hard to imagine the Arma2 engine simulating anything other than 20th/21st century guns…

    • Coins says:

      Chance the skin of the gun and the sound effect, and boom, a magical staff. Piece of cake!

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Some solar-interplanetary scenario perhaps, similar to Battlezone 1?
      Steam punk vikings?
      Egyptians vs. Babylonians vs. Israelites?

      True the engine currently would be quite unfitting to model something like melee combat, but given that it worked in source with zeno clash, I’d not bet against the possibilities.

      Edit: Or just remake Magic Carpet in it.

    • Dinger says:

      Yeah, ArmA’s unoptimized. And I’m sure there are bits of code that have been there for the last fifteen years. I prefer to call it “amateur”, and I mean it in a good way. A professional game would at least limit the number of ways a mission editor (let alone a modmaker) could make the game run poorly. I mean, if the game runs at 10 FPS, chunders and bugs out, people will still blame the engine rather than the editor who decided to put 400 tanks in a football stadium and have them slug it out.

      The other part of that “amateur” approach is that to build effectively on the ArmA platform, you’ve got to really know the quirks of the engine, and know how to make it sing. In the OFP days, that meant mastering arcane knowledge, not just from the always-incomplete, and never-entirely-accurate documentation, but also from bulletin boards, wikis and just plain-old scientific experimentation. I haven’t had much experience with ArmA, but I suspect this still holds: it’s a challenging middleware environment. An amateur mod team can deal with it, because a modmaker will be willing to invest far more than is economically viable to make something work; but, at the pro level, the costs of getting something to run *really well* are extremely high, especially since that knowledge of the game engine is not transferable to other platforms. So, if you want to make money on it, you won’t go much further than a reskin with some effects.

      In other words, look for this to be a budget title. Enjoy it, if it comes out, but don’t expect to see a revolution.
      And fantasy world? Good lord. Who’s going to do all those animations?

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      The way the animation system works I highly doubt you will ever see proper melee based games in it, especially when it still struggles to identify animations when interrupted – like an enemy being shot while midway through a changing weapon animation, it will play out -then the death animation will trigger.

      The OFP to ArmA engine is a bit well, a bit crude. I loved OFP, and am extremely pleased that the formula still works tremendously well in its own way to this day, but man is the engine a mixed bag. I suppose it boils down to Bohemia’s resources, they don’t really have money to throw around for engine development.

    • Archonsod says:

      “A professional game would at least limit the number of ways a mission editor (let alone a modmaker) could make the game run poorly”

      True, but then IIRC ARMA is spun off from a professional military simulator rather than a game.

    • Dinger says:

      YDNRC. VBS spun off of OFP, not the other way around.

  11. GenBanks says:

    It hadn’t even occured to me to have a WW2 game on an Arma 2 sort of scale.
    But now that I’ve heard of it I’m incredibly excited… Like Red Orchestra but bigger, with squads and more vehicles? Nice.

    • Dana says:

      Red Orchestra but bigger, try Darkest Hours. It has quite big maps, and dozens of vehicles. Want bigger ? Try Battleground Europe, it has 30,000km2 game map :D

    • GenBanks says:

      Yeah I don’t know why I haven’t tried Darkest Hour yet, I really love RO.
      and I’ve heard of Battleground Europe before, but I’m ashamed to admit I’ve always been quite put off by the graphics…

    • Sweedums says:

      Darkest Hour is great, but I’ve found it hard to find lag free servers with enough people in for a good game… but yeah, RO on Arma’s scale sounds like a recipe for loveliness. Consider it bought!

      EDIT: for the record, darkest hour isnt really any bigger than standard RO, the maps are pretty much the same, but it seems the main difference is that a lot of the infantry based maps are bigger, but are stil only really the same size as many of the tank maps from normal RO

    • Dana says:

      What was the biggest map in RO ? I played on ‘Arad’ mostly, and for example, ‘Gran’ from DH is at least twice as big.

  12. Teddy Leach says:

    Focke Wulf.

    Also, do want.

  13. Circlesaw says:

    ARMA2 engine… Impressive that the Flashpoint engine has lasted for, what, 10 years when this releases, but seriously the age of it shows and the manshooter bits feel terribly lacking compared to modern ones, although the scale of it is still unrivaled.

    I also doubt a developer like X1, who’ve mainly done extra content for other games, will fix the issues of the engine, namely the terrible AI (it’s actually gotten worse since OFP), wonky physics (bounce tank, bounce) and the utter mess they call multiplayer – it’s just an utter lag fest in the island encompassing Warfare and Domination missions, the only missions that are still accessible without a clan tag.

    • Stranglove says:

      Echoing the tank bounce: the other day on the RPS server I managed to flip a tank by ramming it with a humvee, which is very entertaining, but somewhat un-realistic.

      Also, is domi really a lagfest? It’s really very playable on the RPS server (on which we welcome any newcomers), I get a very low latency.

    • MiniTrue says:

      I would say other modern manshooters feel terribly lacking by comparison to ARMAII, personally, but to each his own.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      terrible AI? Heh, no.

      And the lag is fine if you don’t play in a 150 entities (players, ai soldiers, vehicles) games like Warfare and Domination.

    • Dwarden says:

      sometimes i wonder if people claiming AI even took a minute to look on differences between OFP and A2: OA AI behaviour …
      ofcourse slapping N units next to each other in editor w/o single waypoint would be fail by default …
      use some monitor like one in UPS/UPSmon to monitor properly! activated AI, what they do, how, the lowlevel AI code and default FSM are quite powerful …
      now realize You also add own FSM/ edit the FSM http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/FSM
      plus then even more expand the AI behaviour on the SQF scripting…
      (so next to the default AI there are at minimum 2 layers You can modify the AI in new engine)
      so much for the urban myths of OFP AI being better ;) lol

    • DeepSleeper says:

      So the AI is better if you program it to be yourself?
      That’s fantastic.

    • Dominic White says:

      The AI is better if you actually give it orders. Of course it’s going to be stupid if you basically plonk it down in a total vacuum without any assistance. Do you have any idea how AI works? Those grunts in Half-Life didn’t navigate those levels themselves – they had a map of movement nodes drawn by the level designer.

  14. jonfitt says:

    I want them to fix 2 things with the Arma2 engine
    1) The AI. Aside from the driving things into other things, it goes from unaware rubber duck to X-ray vision laser robot at the flick of a switch.

    2) The control feel. When playing infantry I always feel as if I’m controlling a marionette. Everything is floaty and disconnected. Climbing a ladder, ugh.

    That said, I am hopeful for this game.

    • Basilicus says:

      It’s World War 2. Glitches are more historically accurate.

    • Mattressi says:

      Oh, I always assumed it was just that my PC couldn’t handle the game. Perhaps the unresponsiveness of my soldier was actually how the game is? It said I was running at 30 fps, so I thought it shouldn’t be so floaty (reminded me of mouse smoothing…but for every movement). Kinda like they tried to make you feel like you had momentum, except it felt like you were actually a man who thought it would be a good idea to strap lead plates all over his body.

      I really enjoy realistic/sim type games, but I’ve always found games like Red Orchestra and Insurgency to be more… usable, than Arma. They felt like I was a person with mass, but I still felt like my movement more accurately reflected that of a soldier (reasonably agile, able to stop moving forward within a minute of deciding to) rather than a particularly obese man, likely quite confused about how and why he was dropped off in a warzone via helicopter, when he had only just been on the lounge watching TV and eating chips a few minutes before.

      Long rant short; was it really just my computer, or is that actually how Arma is for everyone?

    • Thants says:

      I asked this question before and apparently there’s a “Lag my aim a half-second behind my mouse” feature you can turn off.

    • Mattressi says:

      Hmm, perhaps there was a mouse smoothing (or similar, irritating default ‘feature’ that no one seems to like and everyone wonders why it’s there) on, but I would have checked for that straight away, given how much unresponsiveness in a game irritates me. Besides that, though, it wasn’t just the aiming that was horrid; it was all movement in general. It just felt like either my guy was a little ‘slow’ in the head or that he weighed so damned much that it took him a few seconds to get going and to stop (whether it was walking, running, crouching, going prone, aiming down the sights or even zooming in on the aiming down the sights). I wouldn’t be surprised if it was my rig – it can play most ‘modern’ (read, 5 years old graphics-wise due to being made for consoles too, but technically modern) games like FNV on high graphics with 30 FPS, but Arma does seem like a game which require more power than a 5 year old console…which my PC just doesn’t have. I’m hoping that’s the issue, ’cause I love the idea of being able to play Arma 2 smoothly (without the odd delays on everything) once my PC gets upgraded.

  15. LazerBeast says:

    Looks interesting. Still looking forward more to RO2.

  16. MiniTrue says:

    Hanomag Jousting Matches, anyone? ;)

  17. Peggle20 says:

    Finally, someone is creating a game in the woefully under-represented WW2 setting. Carry on, brave lads.

    • malkav11 says:

      The thing is, the only games that are like ARMA II are Operation Flashpoint and ARMA. Neither of which sport a WWII setting. So while I could do without, say, any more Call of Duty games set in WWII ever, a wide open sandboxy WWII game with a powerful editor, squad and strategic level command, and player-controllable vehicles? Yes please.

    • Peggle20 says:

      A fair point.

    • Om says:

      Its always good to see the Eastern Front getting some love

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I don’t think there’s ever been a WWII game that’s gotten the scale of the infantry combat right. Most of the battles of the European fronts of WWII were relatively long-range affairs, but games always seem to opt for the Spielberg-inspired close quarters combat.

  18. Turin Turambar says:

    “Yeah, ArmA’s unoptimized. And I’m sure there are bits of code that have been there for the last fifteen years. I prefer to call it “amateur”, and I mean it in a good way. A professional game would at least limit the number of ways a mission editor (let alone a modmaker) could make the game run poorly.”

    Yeah, you clearly have no idea of what are you talking.
    If that’s your frame of reference, then all the id and epic and valve engines are also amateur. They don’t have limits on the number of brushes, textures or polygons used in their editors, it’s something the map maker have to take care of.

  19. tziz says:

    I linked this in the Darkest hour comments, although I’d imagine you prob didn’t catch it there. There’s also an ARG being run by bohemia, hinting at either DLC or ARMA 3 based around the greece/turkey conflict:

    http://armaenigma.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

    • Deuteronomy says:

      You have to ignore the Arma ARG because it’s not from Valve.

  20. Captain Hijinx says:

    Oh. My. God.

  21. GadgetReviews says:

    how much is it, brother?

    Gadget Reviews

  22. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Excuse me for my ignorance, this looks/sounds good and all, But isn’t Red Orchestra 2 the same thing?
    Also yay more ArmA 2 Engine goodness, I love that game so much <3.

  23. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I can’t access the page right now, is this a company that has bought the license to use the ArmA 2 engine? Or are the ArmA 2 guys just that cool & shit?

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    MonkeyMonster says:

    That is the cleanest half track I have ever seen!

  25. tigershuffle says:

    Invasion44 mod ……..latest release 2.5 as April 2011
    http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=117585

    ;)

  26. LordCraigus says:

    This looks mightily interesting.