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Soldner: Secret Wars Preview
publisher: Encore Software
developer: Wing Simulations
PIV 1400, 256MB RAM, 32MB video card
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jun 22, 04 (released)
|» All About Soldner: Secret Wars on ActionTrip|
Soldner: Secret Wars, the long-awaited team-based tactical first person shooter, attracted enough attention, especially after its demonstrations at the E3 and ECTS shows this year. Next to a promising single-player campaign, this game strives to offer players a hefty slice of multiplayer goodness. Facing steady competition in the FPS multiplayer genre, Soldner should arrive in February 2004 to stake its claim in the market. Development team Wings Simulations and publisher Encore Software will be left to tackle with EA's highly anticipated FPS Battlefield: Vietnam. And not only that; let's not forget that mid-2004 is going to bring about new standards in single-player and multiplayer FPS gaming once Half-life 2 and Doom 3 are unleashed. Even with such heavy competition Soldner bears many promising features that could put it amongst today's top action franchises.
Soldner: Secret Wars brings forth an interesting storyline, which appears to provide a solid basis for an action-packed multiplayer FPS. The year is 2010, and after almost half a century of military interventions all over the globe Russia and the United States grow weary of their role as the keepers of world peace. Several drawn out military campaigns across the world began to significantly jeopardize the economy and stability of the two countries. This is why many smaller countries started to rely on groups of well-trained mercenary soldiers, sending them on a variety of missions in order to take out crucial military targets. Apart from being able to handle high-tech firearms, these skilled combatants also head off into combat in light-armored vehicles, choppers, and the so-called VTOLS (Vertical Take Off and Landing Airplanes).
As mentioned earlier, the game will allow you to play with one character in a dynamic single-player campaign. If you prefer, you may try out various maps, while playing in a 32-player online multiplayer mode. Gamers using a Linux server will be able to play with up to 128 players (Giddy - up!!! - Ed.), participating in diverse modes such as capture the flag, hostage rescue, deathmatch, assassination, and conquest. One of the first things players are bound to appreciate in this game are the large-scale maps, which were designed to give every contestant a great deal of freedom for roaming around in various land and air vehicles. Aside from their sheer size, all maps have been rendered according to real life satellite imagery, showing off authentic landscape around the Bering Sea, the area between Siberia and Alaska.
At the outset, you may choose from a variety of character classes; scouts, soldiers, engineers, snipers, and medics. The cool thing is that players will get the opportunity to customize the appearance of their characters to a certain degree before heading out to battle. Nothing special, but you can have some fun by decorating your character with patches or decorating his flesh with tattoos to create a unique model on the battlefield. (This is pretty much what players will be seeing in Battlefield: Vietnam as well. - Ed.) As the action begins, players will be permitted to choose a commander. Of course, throughout combat the commander is as vulnerable and open to enemy fire as any other unit. Basically, the commander is the key individual during each mission (check out the screenshots, he's the one waving his hand). Good positioning and appropriate battle tactics are his strong points. Setting laser waypoints for troops allows him to control a great deal of the action that goes on during the missions. The commander is also in charge of his team's bank balance and buys his team vehicles. Another interesting point is that players may call for a vote any time they feel a commander is not up to the task.
Playing Soldner will let gamers use many different firearms. According to the developers, the game is going to offer over 70 modern-day weapons, including the following: Desert Eagle, Heckler & Koch Mark 23, LAW 80 antitank rocket launcher, Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle, M4 carbine, AK-47, and more. That's a pretty fair selection and should be more than enough to satisfy multiplayer enthusiast that hunger for virtual death and destruction. While you stroll around the huge surroundings looking for someone to kill, you'll also come across several types of usable vehicles. For starters, you can go swiftly over the terrain using armored carriers, humvees, and even tanks (such as the Russian T-80 and the M1-Abrams).
Should you fancy a little fly, you'll be able to fit snugly into the pilot seat of a chopper (like the Ka-50, UH-60 'Black Hawk' transport helicopter, and the HIND helicopter) or the speedy F/A-18 Hornet and F-16 Falcon jet fighters. As far as air vehicles go, it's good to see that the development team threw in a few neat characteristics. Certain choppers, for example, posses a capacity huge enough to pick up land vehicles and transport them to remote parts of the map. (Again, another feature that is very similar to what we'll see in Battlefield: Vietnam. - Ed.) That should prove mighty useful on the battlefield, particularly when your team is in dire need of reinforcements. By the way, every time a vehicle is destroyed it respawns on a specific part of the map. Navigation throughout the map shouldn't be a problem. Gamers can use an intuitive little radar (or map) located in the upper-right corner of the screen. Also, you'll have the option to switch views from first person to third person at any time during gameplay.
The shinning aspect of Soldner, is the great level of interactivity, established with a commendable variety of destructible terrain and objects. Whether you're launching a rocket or lobbing a grenade, practically any structure can be demolished or damaged. One small point though: Probable destruction or damage wasn't based on true physics, which means that certain building parts may not necessarily get smashed up each time you fire at them. Trees, however, can be battered down as can other elements of wildlife (a tribute to Call of Duty no doubt). Other physics issues have also been taken into account, such as the penetrating power of small arms fire against various types of armor. For instance, your bullets will prove useless against heavy armored tanks, whereas you will be able to penetrate the armature of a humvee or the walls of wooden house. In addition to the solid physics model, the game seems to have been stuffed with enough details and textures to make for some decent looking environments.
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