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'83 brings the combat of Rising Storm to the cold war front

Antimatter Games – they of the gritty Rising Storm series – are leaving the jungles of Vietnam behind in their next multiplayer shooter. ’83 is exactly what the title implies, a cold-war-gone-hot game of nuclear tensions and NATO vs Warsaw Pact violence. So far, it sounds like more of what people liked in Rising Storm, with uncompromisingly deadly combat and realistic ballistic modelling, but with one extra twist – a persistent global war-state that is affected by successes and losses in individual rounds. Take a peek at the debut trailer below.

While the trailer doesn’t tell us much about the game, Antimatter do claim that it’ll offer larger battles than most other team shooters. 80+ players on a single battlefield, and with respawns that should make for a more lively gunfight than most. My only concern is whether the objectives will be intelligently placed enough to avoid silly choke-points and meatgrinders. Battlefield One springs to mind, with many matches decided by an entire team hurling themselves at a single corridor until either someone gets through, or your team ran out of lives.

This being an alternate-history setting, the success of one side over the other (however narrow) will apparently drive ongoing development. Wins for NATO result in more maps set on the Russian side of the Berlin Wall, perhaps? If so, it could be an interesting way to drive player engagement, although with players liable to switch teams at any point, I’d expect win/loss ratios to hover around 50/50 if the maps are decently designed. I’m suddenly reminded of Nintendo’s Splatoon, although its conflicts (Mayo vs Ketchup springs to mind) were far more engaging than ‘Capitalism versus Communism’.

There’s no release date yet for ’83, and the studio will be talking more about it at GDC 2019 next week. You can see a little bit more on its very synthwave-tinged official page here.

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Dominic Tarason

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