Recently, I got the chance to play a few matches of upcoming browser-based F2P multiplayer shooter Offensive Combat, and all told, I had a nice enough time. I ran, I jumped, I beat a man to death with a hunk of ham. Everything – a basic array of weapons, modes, experience unlocks, etc – functioned pretty much exactly as it was supposed to. Problem is, that’s all it did. Even the game’s “zany” sense of humor came across as relentlessly calculated, seeking refuge in the evergreen arms of “pwning” (an actual game mechanic in which you dance over an opponent’s body for extra points), mash-ups of tried-and-true game settings, and pop culture references. U4iA CEO and former Call of Duty co-founder Dusty Welch, meanwhile, has no qualms with admitting that his latest project is steeped in business trends and careful analysis first and foremost. But he also adamantly contends that this style of game development doesn’t compromise creativity.
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