DigitalMindSoft’s CEO Chris Kramer recently got in touch with us to insist that we talk to him about recently announced co-op/skirmish semi-sequel Men Of War: Assault Squad. We let out a long sigh, to pretend we weren’t puppyishly excited, and then began our questioning. You can discover the results below.
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Posts Tagged ‘1c publishing’
1c and DigitalMindSoft have sent word that there is to be a new game in the Men of War series: Assault Squad. This is intended to be an expandalone focusing on the skirmish, co-op and multiplayer elements of the existing game. There will be new multiplayer maps, and 4-player online and LAN co-op. It’s also going to expand the feature set a bit for your little men, with hero units, “remote controlled bombs that can flatten entire residential blocks, airstrikes able to destroy incoming tank columns, special “For the Motherland!” charge attacks.” Even more interestingly: “the ability to buy individual soldiers to suit players’ needs the ability to buy individual soldiers to suit players’ needs.” Full press release below, and I’ll have even more details next week, along with some assets. Exciting!
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(Hmm, I completely failed to publish this post yesterday, but better late than never.) A 959mb demo version of the standalone expansion for Men Of War, Red Tide, is now available. It believe it features the first level of the game, which is a rather neat battle for a coastal village. The full game has been out for a while now, and you can read my thoughts on it here. Sadly I omitted to mention that the game does not feature co-op this time, which was one of the finest features of the original. Boo! Boo, I say.
Today on Obscure Russian Strategy Watch we’ve got a blinder in the form of Real Warfare: 1242. It’s a kind of Medieval: Total Russian Bloom, in which blurrily-lit real-time soldiers do strategy in each others pauldrons, unto death. Awesomely the game is based entirely on the life and times of one of Rus’ most splendid medieval heroes, Alexander Nevsky, who famously thrashed European invaders and negotiated a useful not-getting-pasted pact with The Golden Horde. The 1c announcement explains: “The player’s goal is to direct Alexander Nevsky through meticulously recreated historic battlegrounds and achieve the greatest of victories by repelling the attacks of Teutonic and Swedish knights, bringing Lithuania to peace and eliminating every single invader in 1242.” The first video of the game in motion is buried beneath the rich earth of this post.
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The original Death To Spies was seen as something like a poor imitation of the Hitman games, with a whole bunch of technical problems holding back its ambitions as a stealth action experience. The new game, Moment Of Truth, looks to be much more of the same disguise-wearing, back-stabbing action, but I think the test will be whether complaints about omnipotent AI and awkward controls can be dealt with. I’ve not had a chance to play this demo yet, so if you’ve got an opinion from your experience with Moment Of Truth you should carefully type it into the comments box below.
My favourite RTS so far this year will receive an expansion in the Autumn. It’s a 20-mission campaign in a standalone release. Russian publisher overlords 1c say: “Men of War: Red Tide has players take command of the feared “Black Coats,” the nickname given to Soviet Marines, an elite combat group specializing in engagements near the shoreline. The player has direct control of new game units including the Black Coats, new tanks, self-propelled guns, armored trains, landing craft, artillery and new enemy emplaced weapons to capture and use. New air support options include new fighters, bombers, hydroplanes; cruisers, destroyers and gun boats which provide naval fire support.” No word on multiplayer options, however. I hope it supports co-op, which is one of the best features of the original game. (Via Blues, and mysteriously absent from the 1c site.)
The other 1c game that turned up on our gam-o-scopes this week is this rather handsome-looking medieval turn-based strategy game, Empire: Time of Troubles. It comes with the most sedate and unhurried trailer I think I’ve ever seen (posted below) and seems to include a promising-looking 3D campaign map and a whole lot of menus, currently rendered mysterious (to me at least) by their encryption in cyrillic. The game apparently covers the period of 1350-1650AD in Poland, Lithuania and Russia, where dudes get chopped and stuff gets plague and is buried. You take charge one of the twenty six different factions involved in the region and attempt to lead them to victory. Expect micro-management, beards.
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So I can barely even recollect the 2007 third-person fantasy RPG Dawn Of Magic (which was called something like “Blood Magic” in Russia), but that’s probably because it was deemed a bit rubbish. Undeterred by the picky Westerners, Russian developer Sky Fallen (who did Deathtrack Resurrection) is apparently working on what looks set to be sequel of sorts for the game, which will be called Time Of Shadows by new publishers Kalypso Media. Except no! We just got a press release thirty seconds ago announcing that Kalypso are calling it Dawn Of Magic 2, too. So what happens to Time Of Shadows now? No idea. They should probably just go for broke call it Blood Time Of Magi2 Dawn. Something like that.
Creepy, clunky Cryostasis now has a proper demo, and it’s available here for a modest 1.1 of your gigabytes. The demo seems to be somehow connected to Nvidia drivers or somesuch technical promotion. I believe it contains the initial chapter of the survival-horror FPS, which is okay, but not great, as I outlined in this Eurogamer review.
I’ve been playing through a number of the Men Of War levels again for a second time, trying to feel like I’m somehow closer to mastering the game. I wanted to break down how one of the levels plays out to try and explain the game to people who haven’t yet played it. This afternoon my level of choice was an assault on a German hilltop entrenchment, before an attack on a fortified base. It takes about an hour to play through, and my first time around it was one of the most chaotic gaming experiences I have ever known. After perhaps fifty hours of play I should now be a veteran of the game able to breeze through this early challenge quite easily. Right? Wrong.
This mod for current RPS strategy beau Men of War is a bit good: a dynamic campaign generator [FORUM DOWN AT THE MOMENT, you can use this link but the mod needs loads of stuff that is not detailed there, only on forum thread.], complete with a bunch of map packs. It allows you to build a sequence of battles in the skirmish mode, and populate them for attack or defence scenarios. The install process and required extras is a bit hefty, but I doubt that will be too much challenge for Men Of War enthusiasts. There’s also a realism mod out which is under continued development. There’s also some chatter about a native languages mod for replacing the English with Russian dialogue, but no sign of that at the moment. I’ve posted a video of the announced (but unfinished) Stalker mod after the jump, which is some kind of perfect collision between two games. Man!
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Men Of War, seriously, look past the name. This is a game that is at least as interesting for real-time strategy lovers as Dawn Of War 2. If you ignored the demo, please go play it, and understand that even that undersells the immense battlefield missions with hundreds of units, not to mention to vast scale of a game that has three full sized campaigns. Campaigns whose maps are also playable in co-op. I’m posting the videos after the jump with a sense of futility, because I know they don’t and won’t sell it to many people. Nevertheless Men Of War is second only to Empire in awesomeness for games I’ve played so far in 2009. It really is a fine thing. I recommend you take a look. The game is out now in Europe and will be out on the 17th in North America.
Update: you can steal the hats of your fallen enemies. Yes!
The Men Of War demo is here (250mb). The demo contains the first level of the game, which is a tutorial sequence in which you patch up a tank, invade a village, and then attack a German convoy. It does not show off all the best features of the game, but certainly encompasses some of the most vital, such as using the inventories on your little men, learning to use cover, and showing off the destructible scenery. It’s worth imagining, as you play this demo, what the escalation of the second (unfeatured) level is like; in which you have dozens of men, several tanks, and face hundreds of German soldiers and armoured vehicles. This is a game that is more than the sum of its demo. I’m certain we’ll be talking about Men Of War a lot more in the coming months, because it’s one of my favourites of the year so far. You should definitely play this demo.
One of the most intense Ukrainian games destined for our hard-drives in 2009 is Men Of War, which I’ve been lucky enough to have some time with over the past couple of weeks. It’s rather similar to previous games Faces of War and Soldiers: Heroes of World War II, but since that’s not exactly the most universal reference point I’ve written some impressions of the new game beyond the jump. They should give you some idea of why this particular RTS is so interesting.
This is a piece about Russia, Ukraine, and the future of PC gaming. It is about creativity, piracy, and thirteen tonnes of software every day.
A version of this article, which is based on my trip to Moscow and KRI last April, appeared in the May edition of PC Gamer UK. I’ve updated and expanded it for RPS, and broken it into two parts for ease of reading. Here’s part two.