Posts Tagged ‘Digitalmindsoft’

Premature Evaluation: Call To Arms

Every Monday, Rob Zacny calls out to the assembled masses of Early Access games but only a few are brave and hardy enough to respond to his summons.

Call to Arms [official site] has a lot to make up for. Its predecessor, Men of War: Assault Squad 2, was one of the most bitter disappointments I’ve ever had with a game.

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Wot I Think: Men Of War: Assault Squad 2

Okay! It’s a sequel called Men Of War: Assault Squad 2, which is a name that will tell you the exact game it is based upon, if you think hard enough. What this means is that we have a new batch of multiplayer-facing missions (although some playable single player) in the fabulously vivid and brutal Men Of War engine. And the Men Of War setting. It’s World War II again, and let’s not forget that important thematic element. Men Of War has not changed. Perhaps it cannot change.

And so did Ass Squad need a sequel? And can I safely use that abbreviation in this introduction. Here’s Wot I Think.

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Hands On: Men Of War Assault Squad 2


Men Of War: Assault Squad 2, or MOWASTWO for short, is now available to those who buy into the ongoing beta. Full release is scheduled for the 20th of March. Needless to say, Jim dove in, headfirst.

I’ll admit that I’m a bit in love with the Men Of War games. It clouds my judgement. The series is flawed, even occasionally lame, but always so beautiful to my eye. Many games have attempted to sell us the idea of War, and even more the idea of Men, but it is only in Men Of War that these two ideas fused together, like desperate lovers, to produce a simulationist battlefield mutant that looks at us with terrible eyes and says: “Aim is in the reach zone!”

I’m sorry, it’s been a while since I wrote anything. All my metaphors seem to have become sticky from neglect.

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Far Too Many Men Of War: Assault Squad 2 Screenshots


Jim would approve of this post, I think. There are 22 screenshots of the recently announced return to Men Of War: Assault Squad 2 for all you tank lovers. 22! You’d need to be a polydactyl cat to count them all. Some were deployed post-announcement, while others have been rumbled out at Gamescom 2013, but all show war in sharp relief, showing off a fair variety weather conditions, and a mixture of urban and countryside battlegrounds for your tanks to mess up. More below.
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Tanks Very Much: Men Of War: Assault Squad 2


It’s true that I have special feelings about the original MOWAS, so to see a 2 put at the end of that strong, militaristic string of words makes a happy boy. The sequel was announced today with the promise that “Men of War: Assault Squad 2 features new single player style skirmish modes that take players from extreme tank combat to deadly sniper stealth missions.” Of course multiplayer remains at the heart of it, as DigitalMindSoft explain: “To truly bring the battles to life though there is the new 8v8 game mode designed for huge battles on spectacular maps.” Eight versus eight! Holy shit. That revamped engine had better optimise the hell out of proceedings, of there’s going to swearing at Rossignol HQ.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is scheduled for a “Q4 2013” release. My oh my. Where does that leave Call To Arms? We will have to ask.

Call To Arms Specular Mapping


The super-secret RPS data-surveillance project OBLONG has been of great boon to us over the years, and most recently snooped the news that a new Call To Arms tech demo video had been released to the “internet”. Having sent our agents in to observe the recording, we can now say that the modernised Men Of War really does now include graphical tricks such as smooth cascade shadows and high-poly baked normals. Underwhelming the though the video is, we are forced to ask: does this constitute a threat to our way of life? If the Men of War games were anything to go by, we would suggest that it does.

Now if only we could see some more gameplay.
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Face War Men Of: Call To Arms Gets Some Footage


Those meticulous fellows at DigitalMindSoft have released several minutes of footage of the tiny men of Call To Arms doing war in destructible maps. As we might well have anticipated, the game looks a lot like the Men Of Wars, on which it based. Still a bit of a way to go, judging by this, but I am keen to get my hands on this, because these kinds of fiddly RTS games are too few and far between.

Also: Tanks! BRING ME TANKS!
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Crowded Mind: DigitalMindSoft Explain Call To Arms


At the end of last year we were pleased and then surprised to find that DigitalMindSoft were making a “spiritual successor” to the Men Of War games set in the modern world. Call To Arms, as it is called, baffled us a little by kicking off with a crowd-funding appeal, which seems to have gained little traction. Concerned to learn more – because Men Of War is a favourite game series of mine – I thought it might be good to talk to the developers and ask about their plans: would they go to Kickstarter? And would the GEM engine be updated? I talked to Chris Kramer.
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War Of Men (And Physics): Call To Arms Tech Teaser


The spiritual successor to the Men of War games – Call To Arms, which is being developed in the same folks who did Assault Squad, in the same engine – is making… slow progress with its crowd-funding effort. Which is sort of a shame, because who wouldn’t want a modern version of the brilliant game of soldiers? But also unsurprising, due to a remarkable lack of assets and information to promote and accompany the pitch. The first of these have begun to trickle out, with a physics and dynamic cover video showing us a game that looks a lot like Men Of War with better voice acting, as you can see below.

We’re keen to find out a bit more about what is going on with Call To Arms, so expect an interview with developers DigitalMindSoft later in the week.

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Men Have War: Call To Arms Funding Drive


So here’s a bit of interesting news. If you are me, at least. Which I am, for some reason. DigitalMindSoft, who took over Men Of War from originators Best Way (who are now making Nuclear Dawn), are making Call To Arms. They claim that the game “the true successor of the Men of War series.” And yes, it’s going to be modern-era combat: “Similar to Men of War: Assault Squad, Call to Arms also includes our innovative “direct control” feature, a 3rd person action mode used to operate your unit’s aim and movement. Whether advancing with a Humvee, infiltrating with a Scout Sniper or crashing through buildings with a M1A2 Abrams, everything can be controlled by you!” But there’s a twist, of a contemporary flavour, of course: they’re crowd-funding. I think I might just back this one, despite the rather obvious lack of a pitch video – come on, chaps!

A Civil War: Assault Squad Online

It's screenshots like this that have Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell convinced all we ever write about on RPS is terrain

The judicious use of the words ‘assault’ and ‘squad’ and the attachment of Men of War co-developer DigitalMindSoft to this web-based, predominantly multiplayer strategy game had me thinking this was some new MoW spin-off. Assault Squad shares a World War 2 setting – i.e. there are tanks – but that’s about it. No dramatic 3D explosions or hat-scavenging here, simply hex-based battles between static units. Rather than immediately firing up the Stonesignal I had a quick sniff around its public beta this morning, and discovered it to be turn-based strategy in the vein of a small-scale Civ, but with a steely focus on all-out war.
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Men Of War: Condemned Heroes Breaks Free April 12th

Looks a little like the Zone

Court-martialed officers are given the chance to redeem themselves by signing up to fight alongside their fellow condemned in the bloodiest battles of a bloody great war. It sounds like it could be a science fiction concept, with electrified manacles, guns that are also handcuffs and remote controlled explosive dogtags that bark out orders in the abrasive tones of an angry prison warden played by Malcolm McDowell. No such thing. Men Of War: Condemned Heroes tells the story of a soviet penal battalion during World War II. To the Eastern Front then and a slightly more unusual story of that many-storied war to discover. Trailer below, game due on April 12th.

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Men Of War Assault Squad Gets New GOTY Demo


The team behind Men Of War: Assault Squad have announced that they’ve released a demo for their Game Of The Year edition, and you can get that demo here. They report that “It contains 3 playable missions (USA, Germany, Soviet Union) and 1 introduction mission.” This was one of my favourite games of last year – a multiplayer and skirmish remix of Men Of War that was eminently playable with or without friends. The GOTY edition simply throws in all the DLCs that came out for it, too. If you like tanks and using your mind to send tiny men to their deaths, then you should give this quite a serious whirl.

Men Of War: Assault Squad GOTY Is Worth Buying


In retrospect, I should probably have made more of a fuss over the superb Men Of War: Assault Squad, because it was one of my favourite experiences of last year. Yes, it was a co-op/multiplayer remix of the original, and all the DLCs meant the pleasure was sort of fragmented, but actually I spent many meticulous hours playing through this game both solo and with my MoW-playing friends, and the result is always one of the best RTS experiences I can think of. The original game and all the DLCs are now being bundled together in a Game Of The Year edition. 1c explain: “The pack totals 25 skirmishes, over 50 multiplayer maps, 5 playable nations, over 100 infantry weapons and over 200 vehicles.” It only seems to be on GamersGate so far, but I expect it will pop up elsewhere today.

I’ve posted the most recent devs versus game video below to provide the clueless with a taster.
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Squad Up: MoW:AS Getting Update, Sequel (!)

Is this tank...
Men Of War: Assault Squad’s men of development have sent word that they expect to fling an update at the game later this week. There’s also going to be more DLC to follow, and then more to follow that, if they word of DMS’ Chris Kramer (below) is to be believed. Which it is.

He also says: “we are discussing a new title for the series, which is an entire rework of the present game from the ground up”, which is quite, quite exciting.
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Hands On With New Men Of War DLC

These are my tanks. They will always love me.
PLEASING UPDATE: Ah, I got the wrong end of the stick. I have two of five missions to play with. There’s actually going to be one for each faction. That makes this 350% more exciting!

Ooh, I love a bit of Men Of War: Assault Squad, and now I have a bit more of it. Two new (as yet unreleased) skirmish scenarios have been dropped into my grasping hands by the chaps at DigitalMindSoft. Plenty more on this, below.

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WIN! Men Of War: Assault Squad


We’ve got ten Steam codes for excellent real-time co-op strategy Men Of War: Assault Squad to give away, courtesy of 1c and DigitalMindSoft. Not only that, but we’ll be arranging some co-op games for the winners, at some point, as well as for anyone else who wants to get a bit of Assault Squad going. In the meantime, if you’d like to explain why you should win a copy of Men Of War: Assault Squad – and we will need good reasons from everybody – email us at this address, with the subject, “To Win Some Men”, before the end of Tuesday 12th April.

Please make sure to read this, it’s the competition rules thing.

Men of War: AS Patched, Interviewed


Men Of War: Assault Squad just got a big old update, which you can download here. I took the opportunity to have a quick chat with DigitalMindSoft’s Chris Kramer about the launch of the skirmish and multiplayer-focused strategy title, which I reviewed here. Read on for Kramer’s thoughts on how the game was received, DLC, the problems with a large beta test, and what still needs to be done.
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Wot I Think – Men Of War: Assault Squad


A little bit of a world exclusive, this one. We were lucky enough to be the first publication to get our hands on the complete build of Men Of War: Assault Squad, and I’ve been reviewing the hell out of it. I’ve already been spending a lot of time on the beta, but now we’ve been able to look at the full thing. And it’s kind of awesome. Up front I want to say one thing: people who were worried about the skirmish and multi-player focus detracting from the single-player challenge have nothing to fret about. The fifteen skirmish maps are all excellent, and are close to constituting a new campaign in their own right. But there are some caveats to that, obviously. Here’s Wot I Think.
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