E3 2011

E3: Bodycount

| 9 Jun 2011 22:29
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Codemasters' spiritual sequel to Black is a little more futuristic.

After gun-porn game Black, many of its developers moved on to Codemasters to develop Bodycount. The game was finally available in playable form at E3.

Bodycount will also be "gun-porn," which isn't as dirty as it sounds. It means that the focus of the game is the guns and the impact of their bullets on the environment. Codemasters calls this impact "environmental shredding." Bodycount is set in the future, with two mysterious factions called the Network and the Target trying to shape the world for their own ends.

Players are members of the Network, and are given missions without knowing if what they're doing is for good or bad. One mission I played sent me into a Target base to upload a virus so it'd self-destruct. Black-armored soldiers tried to fill me with lead while I tried to do the same to them with my shotgun, grenades, mines, and assault rifle. White-armored soldiers I encountered could heal my foes. Another mission put me up against the Militia, a third faction that seems less organized, but are populated by brutal chain-gun wielding brutes. My goal was to destroy a SAM battery and then hightail it to the top of a crane for extraction.

Environmental shredding is currently available only with certain materials. You can shoot holes in a wall to make a new firing point, but enemies can also bust into your hiding place. AI will use tactics to surround you, or stray off if one of the other enemy factions attacks it. Players constantly pick up new ammo and "intel," which is used to power up abilities that heal players, make them faster, upgrade their radar, make them temporarily invincible, etc.

Bodycount doesn't feature a sticky cover system, but rather a "lean" system. When you're pulling the trigger to aim, pushing left or right makes you lean around cover. It was hard to get used to at first, but I see what Codemasters is trying to do. Sticky cover can slow the pace at times, and that's not what Bodycount's developers are aiming for.

I found myself wishing that more things could be shredded, and not totally blown away by the gun porn level of Bodycount. The title's strength looks like it'll be in its storyline and the ability of its designers to pump up the weapons and shreddable environments before release.

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