Those of you who remember Black for the PS2 will likely recall the unbridled, unadulterated action and carnage that went along with that invigorating experience. Therefore, you may be interested to learn more about the game’s spiritual successor, known as Bodycount. Stuart Black himself is on the team at Codemasters Guilford, and he has assembled quite the group of talent for this new project; they’ve got people from Lionhead, Media Molecule and Black Rock. Black has called the team a “supergroup” of sorts and according to what he said during a recent IGN hands-on session, he’s seeking the “modern version” of the “emotional connection” he received when playing Black. It’s his belief that we just don’t have that in shooters so far this era, and he wants to provide gamers with an over-the-top, totally involving experience that’s an absolute blast from start to finish. Even the details are enough to put a smile on your face.
You will play as John Doe – fitting, no? – who represents a traditional, old-school hero who takes no prisoners and relishes every last second of his life-threatening endeavors. Initially, he’s a retired veteran of the shady organization known only as “The Network,” but for some reason, they feel the need to drag Doe back into combat…and against the man’s desire. See, they basically just take him back, drug him, and toss him out of a plane at ten thousand feet with the onscreen words, “Welcome to the Network. Your Safety is Our Concern.” So he may not be in the best of moods when he finally lands and it’s the foes on the ground that will suffer the brunt of his rage. Now, when he embarks on any given mission, he will have the option of approaching various assassination targets at his own discretion. Unfortunately, there will be hordes of elite military forces in his way; multiple classes will throw multiple obstacles in his path, and you’ll have to learn the weaknesses of each class. We just like the idea of choosing the order of our “marks;” it reminds us of Mercenaries.
Perhaps the most appealing facet of this presentation – besides the ceaseless, insane action – is the destructibility of the environment. Crates will believably disintegrate beneath a hail of bullets, for example, and entire structures may eventually collapse to pieces if the ammunition is strong enough. This will result in a continually changing atmosphere with tons of rubble and litter tossed across the screen at true-blue “blowup speeds.” If you’re one of those people who love awesome particle effects and an intricate attention to detail, you’ll just adore your explosive surroundings. Oh, and let’s not forget about the Kill Chain Multiplier, which will encourage you to nail as many foes as humanly possible within a certain span of time. The better you do, the more skills and abilities you will unlock, and those skills can include aerial support in the form of Helicopter strikes or access to hugely powerful weapons, like the mini-gun. Essentially, the faster and more effective you are, the more potent you will become. However, there may be times when you need to seek safety from overwhelming onslaughts…
Yes, we’re talking about a cover system. Strangely enough, it seems there is one, despite Black’s previous insistence that he really despises cover systems and would rather just run ‘n gun. It’s definitely here, though, as you’ll be able to snap into cover with a quick press of the left trigger (likely the L1 or L2 button), and you’ll even be able to move about while in cover, shifting about to locate the best possible strategic position. Last but not least is the inclusion of pop diva Lady Gaga. She’s featured “as a reference point” throughout the game and it was Black’s idea to bring her into the game. “The impact she had on me when I saw her at Glastonbury last year was quite profound. The game wouldn't have the feel and the tone that it's got now without that. It made me go back home and look at my game collection and made me realise they're just so beardy and so nerdy, and that we've got really lazy and insular as an industry. Something like that comes along and blows everyone away, so I wanted to capture some of that spirit.” Okay, it’s a little bizarre but we figure it fits with the game’s style.
Bodycount is slated arrive some time early next year. In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated with any new info that comes our way in 2010.
3/15/2010 Ben Dutka