With E3 fast approaching, this weekâ€™s preview is one to watch and itâ€™s already being billed as one of the games of the show. The game in question is Codemasters Bodycount, coming to PS3 and Xbox360, which is the spiritual successor to BAFTA winning 2006 smash hit Black. So does Bodycount have what it takes to separate itself from the sea of other FPSs out there? Well, for a start it’s planning to rip apart the FPS genre in a ballistic orgy of bullets and destruction.
Game Lead Stuart Black was the team leader and the driving force behind Black and now he has joined Codemasters Guildford studios. He has assembled what he likes to call a “super group” and, in the same vein as BRINK, this development team is truly a super group, with talent from studios like Lionhead, Media Molecule and Black Rock. With this team he plans to put in the “emotional connection” that you got from Black, because he believes that it hasn’t happened in any shooter so far this era, and he wants to make an over-the-top, totally involving experience thatâ€™s an absolute blast from the first bullet to the last ricochet, the same way that Black was.
Bodycount will see you playing the game as a lone gunman who tells his story. You play as the hero, called Jackson, who is a mercenary hired by an organisation called the Network, a nefarious conglomerate that is hell-bent on taking over the world. The back drop to the games story will see the Network locked in a war with their rivals, The Targets, who are equally as nefarious as the network. So Jackson’s new employer, the Network, see fit to fire him into hostile hotspots to get info and to just generally carry out their dirty work. Though our Hero is alone on the battlefield, he is backed up with a support team made up of three “hot chicks” as Stuart Black likes to call them. These lovely ladies will be giving Jackson on the fly info and tactical Intel on his current mission.
The game will be powered by Codemasters Ego engine, which was last used to make Grid and Colin McRae: DiRT 2, and will be more than capable of bringing Bodycount to life. The games biggest trick is that itâ€™s going to feature destructive environments, but this is not just a superficial add on. With games in the past like Red Faction and Battlefield: Bad Company having this feature before, Bodycount isnâ€™t just going to let you blow up a house, itâ€™s going to let you use it as a key part of the game play. The game will feature over 20 different types of firearms from pistols to SMGs to sniper rifles and everything in-between and all of them will pack the ability to change the games environment, from blowing out windows to dropping the ceiling on enemies in the battlefield which is always evolving with you. A good example of this is if there is a building with enemies inside you can shoot them from outside before entering, so you never have to go into a situation without knowing who’s there.
Other key game play features will be the ability to chain kills together, which gains you Intel that can be traded to unlock new targets or abilities as well as mini-games. Get enough Intel and you can call in “pets”, these will be things like Predator drones, gunships and other sorts of surprisesÂ which will bring a world of hurt to the enemy.
The game isnâ€™t just a single player affair. It will have two player co-op as well as online competitive multiplayer. Co-op will have its own story line separate to the main games story, which will see the players fill the boots of generic Network or Target Troopers and will gain a deeper understanding into the events of the single player story, both before and after. The principal designer in charge of the online side of Bodycount is Steve Watt who is the man behind the sublime online side of Burnout Paradise. So things are in good hands.
So there you have it. A quick glance at Bodycount and how itâ€™s shaping up to be something special. It is definitely one to watch at this years E3. But for all the latest news and info be sure to check back in soon and donâ€™t miss the full and in depth review later this year.
Let the bodies hit the floor