Posts Tagged ‘Bulkhead Interactive’

Battalion 1944: a hardcore hybrid of noughties COD and Counter-Strike, with teething troubles

battalion-1944

“I wonder how long it will be before I get even a single kill in Battalion 1944“, I whinged at my colleagues earlier. I had plenty of time to whinge, because I was, on average, getting insta-killed within 10 seconds of starting a round, then having to wait 50 seconds before the next one started, at which point I would respawn.

The more capable players, meanwhile, spent their down and out time whingeing in Chat about how much people like me, who hadn’t instantly memorised all the maps and had the temerity to not make every single shot land in their very first match, were spoiling the show. World War II-themed multiplayer first-person shooter Battalion 1944 is not, at present, a particularly happy place to be. That’s not because of the solid and steely-eyed underlying game, but because this early access build’s long waits, disconnects and minimal player-matching mean tempers are short once people are finally in a match. Nonetheless, it’s very obviously and immediately meeting a need.

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Battalion 1944 is built on a different kind of historical research

Battalion 1944 [official site] blindsided me. I played a few rounds last week at developer Bulkhead’s studio in Derby and consistently came last in the leaderboards at the end of our team deathmatch battles. That’s partly because I’m not the best FPS player in the North West, let alone the world, and it’s partly because I was playing with the people who made the game. They know the maps, they know the weapons, they know the details of motion and gunplay. There’s a much more simple reason though: I was crouching and crawling and looking for the perfect shot instead of running and jumping and shooting anything that moved on sight.

The level I played, the Manor house, contains elements of the historic assault on Brecourt Manor, which you may remember from episode two of Band of Brothers. Visually, the cues are striking, but this is a traditional deathmatch game, with rapid respawns and movement rather than an attempt to recreate anything resembling reality. Battalion blindsided me because it is, aesthetically, very successful in conjuring up one kind of history but the way it plays is looking to much more recent historical references.

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Battalion 1944 is bringing the fight to EGX Rezzed

Battalion 1944 [official site] managed to get onto my good side within seconds of poring over the website for details. It does that by dispensing with buffs and unlocks, in an attempt to deliver a purely skill-based multiplayer shooter. It looks cracking too, with tight maps based on actual WWII locations. The proof, as ever, will be in the pudding though, and you’ll be able to taste that pudding at Rezzed next week. Square Enix Collective will be bringing the game and its developers, Bulkhead Interactive, to the show where you’ll be able to join in 4v4 matches.

I’ll be playing beforehand and will let you know how that works out next Thursday, both on the site and in person should you see me at Rezzed.

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Wot I Think: The Turing Test

Oh my goodness, if The Turing Test [official site] could have existed in a world that had never seen Portal nor The Talos Principle, it would be lauded, famous beyond belief. Then again, in a world without Portal and The Talos Principle, Bulkhead Interactive would never have made The Turing Test, so it’s a little academic. As it is, we’ve got here an often smart, never quite brilliant first-person puzzle game that neatly fits into the same category. Here’s wot I think:

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The Turing Test Now Available For Closer Examination

We are all familiar with the Turing Test, in which a computer and a man must engage in a freestyle rap battle to determine which one is “thinking”. But there’s also a videogame of the same name, which is out today. The Turing Test [official site] is a first-person puzzler set in a research base on Europa, in which you play astronaut Eva Turing as she tries to find out where everyone has gone. It’s part of Squeenix’s indie claw machine, the Square Enix Collective, and it looks like this.

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The Turing Test Gets Release Date, Asks Big Questions

It’s hard not to watch the latest trailer for The Turing Test [official site] and see all the stark parallels between Portal and The Talos Principle. A science fiction first-person game where a robot sidekick guides you through various chambers full of puzzles with themes of transhumanism? Still, despite those on-the-sleeve inspirations, I can’t help but feel drawn in by The Turing Test’s atmosphere and heavy philosophical rumblings. And late last week, a new release trailer revealed that we won’t have to wait too much longer, as The Turing Test is due out on August 30.

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First-Person Puzzling On Jupiter’s Moon: The Turing Test

While much of E3 is dedicated to the big guns, it’s always nice to see what the little guys have up their sleeves too – like The Turing Test [official site]. It’s a first-person sci-fi puzzle game from Pneuma: Breath of Life developers Bulkhead Interactive, and echoes the likes of The Talos Principle and Portal. I had a wee bash of it at Rezzed earlier this year and the short demo piqued my interest.

The latest trailer, shown at E3’s PC Gaming Show, goes behind the scenes with the devs. As such, The Turing Test has caught my attention again.

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