THE NAZIS ARE BACK, THE NAZIS ARE BACK!
Real Nazis of course, not those zombie/alien/mutated/alternate reality ones, genuine Nazis. In the context of a video gaming sphere, WW2 games have been gone for a long time.
CI Games have decided that, given the slew of future shooters and ‘modern’ combat games, it was time to revisit the events of the Nazi machine, complete with chain smoking commanders, and plop us down in the middle of resistance fighting in Enemy Front.
The concept is pretty easy to grasp, you’re an American newspaper reporter who is trying to get stories from rebels behind enemy lines, until you’re eventually more of a shooty-shooty sneaky-sneaky mercenary than a journalist.
I managed to get some hands on time with the game and bag a few words with Steve Hart, the executive producer of Enemy Front.
CI Games are of course no strangers to shooting things, having been responsible for the Ghost Warrior series. This game is set more towards the end of the war, exposing the German’s attempts at nuclear fission and splitting the atom.
This then sees you going from various different locals in Europe that, seeing as it’s been a while for a WW2 shooter, gives you a nice feeling of actually belonging there. The textures and overall feel of the environments – be they the French countryside, snowy Norway or the rubble of Warsaw – seem to escape that maligned browny-greyish tinge that so many WW2 games possess.
Thankfully this is something that the Cryengine tackles very well, along with the lighting elements.
“Each area has its own texture set,” Steve Hart told me. “We’ve got dynamic lighting passes for each level… They’re so far removed from any other WW2 title. It’s been in development now for two to three years… [the art team] have worked tirelessly on it.”
So a lot of effort has obviously gone in to the visual artistic direction.
Including the weaponry. Every weapon is lovingly recreated from the authentic guns complete with accurate reloading animations. It could be classed as a good historical document on the weaponry.
“The development team really pushed to get the bespoke animations,” Steve tells me. “The team are big WW2 nuts and military nuts and have put the extra effort into creating it.”
Why do a WW2 game though? Well, according to Steve, the market is ready for this now.
“People are after something like this now and CI Games (a Polish company) wanted to get across the whole Warsaw uprising story.”
The game isn’t just this run and gun shooting affair though, given the companies history of sniping games. The game gives you a HUD that incorporates a stealth system. You can, or at least attempt to, give yourself a sneaking edge and are given the tools to do so, such as binoculars and tactically tracking the soldier’s patterns, even a record player hiding somewhere for distraction (good luck if you can find it, I did – ner ner de ner ner).
Of course the one thing that some of you may have already guessed is that this is now a last-gen release, coming out on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC later this year. It will also feature the obligatory multiplayer modes we come to expect now. Graphically, the older consoles may struggle a bit more with the visuals, compared to the PC version but hopefully time will tell when we get closer to release date and see some more and play some more.
For now, it is a thoroughly enjoyable WW2 shooter and a return to a gaming environment long abandoned nearly five years ago, but now a bit overlooked and ready for a return.
Enemy Front by CI Games is due to be released on June 10, 2014 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.