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Shock And Claw: Black Talons

I spend a lot of time in space. When I'm up there, dancing with the stars, I tend to indulge in the sort of sci-fi hobbies that the place is famous for. You know the sort of thing - commanding battlecruisers, meeting new alien lifeforms and pretending that Master of Orion 3 doesn't exist. One drawback of such a lifestyle is that I can't always remember which parts of space I've visited. Impressive as the cosmos is, one part tends to look much like another. I don't think I've played Camel 101's real time strategy game, Gemini Wars, but I can't be sure. Thankfully, even though the newly announced Black Talons is set in the same universe, it looks like a rather different kettle of space-plankton so no previous knowledge should be required. The first trailer is below.

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It's not the most informative minute and a half, is it? The accompanying press release told me a little more.

Persistent and customizable squads.

Deep campaign mode. The actions of the player directly affect the balance of power on the system. There is one main objective to achieve, but there's much more to do.

Customizable Battlecruiser. The Battlecruiser serves as the base of operations, and can be customized with weapons or infrastructures that will boost the squad numbers, teleport soldiers or even bombard the battlefield.

Squads! A campaign! I can see how this might play out. I'm not sure where the customizable battlecruiser fits in. At first I thought it might be little more than a base but if it intends to 'bombard the battlefield' then it's like no base I've ever known before. What else does Black Talons have for us?

Faction relations. There are a number of neutral minor factions in the game. These factions will have missions available for contract work. When the player completes missions for a certain faction, the relations will improve with that faction. On the other hand, completing missions against a faction will lower the relations with it. Having good relations allows the player to train or buy units unique to that faction. Having bad relations will make that faction randomly attack the player during missions.

Upgradeable and unique (per class) skill tree for all units.

Different unit classes with specialized roles: Recon, Tactical, Assault, Support, Engineer. Each class can carry a different set of weapons and has its own abilities. Powerful mechs can enter the battlefield with salvaged or bought equipment and weapons.

Classes and factions were hardly unexpected in a squad-based tactical game, but I rarely expect mechs, if only not to be disappointed when they don't show up. When I was a kid, I always expected mechs and every Christmas and birthday left me hollow and dismayed. I'm much more mature and sensible now, of course, but even so, I definitely expect to be meching my way to the shops by 2015 because it still sounds like a distant future date as far as I'm concerned.

5 worlds with different environments and weather conditions that directly affect the battle: rain, fog, snow, ionstorms and more insane stuff.

All games should have 'more insane stuff'.

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