Sunday, August 28, 2011

Preview: Bodycount

It’s your duty to track down and take out the ‘Target’ before you find your world totally shredded. The developers of Bodycount explain what is was like to produce an unashamed all out gun fest of a game...

Bodycount reboots the First Person Shooter with a single-minded focus on delivering best-in-class gunplay. Gamers will experience the intense satisfaction of spectacular close-quarters combat in a shredable world as players and opponents tear through cover to execute explosive kills.

Bodycount is being developed using the EGO Game Technology Platform, an evolution of the award-winning EGO engine, and it will be the first game from the Codemasters Guildford Studio.

Ensnared in a clandestine global power struggle that rages under the cover of conventional war zones in Africa and Asia, players must eliminate a relentlessly evil enemy known only as ‘The Target’ on behalf of the ‘Network’. After being dropped into chaotic areas of operations, gamers deploy a mouth-watering selection of contemporary firearms to tear through environments and enemies, chaining kills and earning power ups. Complimented by co-operative and multiplayer modes, Bodycount will set new standards for intense, outrageous arcade action and put the fun back into the FPS.

The new standards include:

• The gun, reloaded –
The core Bodycount experience is all about the bullet and its impact on the game world. Whether it’s the bone-jarring devastation caused by firing into an enemy or shredding scenery with a hail of bullets, the game perfectly crystallises the moment of pulling the trigger of contemporary weapons into a sensory overload of power, violence and exhilaration.

• Rip it up! –

Amplifying the core gunplay experience, Bodycount’s environment shredding technology lets players stamp their own unique footprint of destruction on the world, with unparalleled density and detail of the shreddable elements. The dynamically changing environment is a means of defence and attack, creating tactical options for players; rip through cover to get at the enemy or shoot through the environment to create unique escape routes.

• Every bullet counts, every body counts –
Players put together combat chains, skill kills and gather intel from dead enemies to earn and unlock abilities to wreak havoc on the battlefield. Devastating air strikes, powerful ammo upgrades and adrenalin shots all help gamers rack up their bodycount in both campaign and in multiplayer modes.

• Intense arcade firefights –
Combining best-in-class gun play, chain and skill kills and a class based enemy AI who will work together to hunt down the player, Bodycount’s core gameplay comes alive in exhilarating and intense firefights. Gamers complete multiple objectives amid the chaos of civil warzones with the choice to decide how and when to attack; light-up anyone and everyone who stands between the player and their target or use stealth to conceal movement across raging battlefields.

• Hunt The Target –
Ensnared by ‘The Network’, players become a powerful combat asset, greenlighted to eliminate targets with extreme prejudice. Players are drawn into the mysterious labyrinth of a covert conflict where operatives are encouraged to leave no witnesses as they pursue a relentlessly evil enemy – ‘The Target’.

• Multiplayer gun fun –
Bodycount’s shredding, intel and combat chain features combine to deliver unique co-op and competitive multiplayer experiences. Death Match and Team Death Match maps become dynamically changing killing grounds, which uniquely evolve over the course of each game as players shred through cover to eliminate enemies, create line of sight or peek holes and blast escape routes.

• It’s an EGOlution –
Being developed on the EGO Game Technology platform enables Codemasters' development talent to share tools and technology across Studios and Central Technology teams, empowering game designers to realise their creative visions across multiple platforms featuring cutting edge graphics, powerful AI, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.

Ulitimately, Bodycount puts the fun back into the gun with a focus on exhilarating and stylish arcade gunfights. From the chaotic battlefields of Africa to the dangerous streets of Asia and monolithic Target bases, which the player must infiltrate, Bodycount’s gameplay comes alive as gamers shred their way through destructible cover, and carve a unique wave of destruction through each level.

Equipped with a mouth-watering arsenal of weapons, grenades, mines and airstrikes players rip through cover and enemies as they leave no man standing. By performing skill kills, chaining kills and collecting intel dropped by downed enemies, players can unlock a series of upgrades and abilities,including an adrenaline shot, explosive bullets and radar. Every bullet and every body counts, with replayability extended by the scoring of a player’s skill in each level, which can be compared against online leaderboards in the game’s Bodycount Mode.

The core gunplay experience is central to Bodycount’s outrageous arcade firefights. Codemasters Guildford Studio team members explain how gun handling, VFX and level design combine to deliver a “crazy, over the top” experience, where players can shred through cover, blow enemies through walls, and perform spectacular stunt deaths.

“FPS fans are going to enjoy Bodycount because it actually feels impactful to fire a weapon. It’s got a consequence, something always happens. We’ve spent a lot of time crafting that and making it feel really violent,” says Andrew Wilson, Game Director.

“Firing a weapon in real life is a visceral, dynamic experience,” adds Chris Healy, Weapons Designer. “We try to emulate that as best we can through the synchronisation of things like rumble, pumping the field of view, rising the camera during the recoil. Really trying to get that sense of that punch, in the weapon coming through the TV , through the pad.”

Bodycount’s high-octane campaign is complimented by online co-operative and competitive modes where destructible killzones create new options for defence and attack.

Bodycount’s art direction, class-based enemies and setting come together to deliver the perfect platform for chaotic firefights. The key elements of this “different territory” includes cover-lean mechanics and AI,as well as shredding tech. And they all work together to deliver aggressive, distinct and exaggerated arcade gunplay.

“You feel like you’re really kicking the ass out of the world,” said Max Cant, Art Director. “There’s so much environmental destruction, you’re never going to get the same playthrough twice, each building will be different.”

Wilson added “Bodycount’s AI is completely class-based. On top of that we’ve got three factions, the army, the militia and the Target. Whenever these factions meet, they’ll fight in a completely dynamic way and that class-based behaviour on both sides will dictate how the battle plays out. It’s different every time, and it’s going to be a different experience each time you go in and attack.”

  • Michael Gordon is editor of Charged Middle East magazine, a leading Dubai-based gadgets and games title that provides news, reviews and features on the latest home and consumer electronics. For more about the magazine, visit its Facebook page after the jump. Check out this article and many more in the September issue.