Soldner - Secret Wars - PC - Preview 3
For anyone who’s read my bio, you’ll know that I am a big fan of FPS action titles. In this genre, I’m also a HUGE fan of war based games … WWII and modern … and have spent umpteen hours away from my family playing Battlefield 1942 and a whole host of other games that allow for FPS action and the use of planes, tanks, jeeps and so on. At E3, I got to do a quick preview of a game by JoWood called Soldner, and I was amazed at what they had done with it. Well, I now have played the beta version and I have to say that this is the game to take the throne of multiplayer war games as we know them … period.
Soldner takes place in the year 2010, when it’s cheaper and more effective to shuck military action in favor of smaller, specialized mercenary groups when faced with conflict. The player gets to take the role of one of the soldiers in a group, and has access to an arsenal that would make General Patton himself shake and cower like a 2 year old that includes real world weapons like the Desert Eagle, Stinger Weapon System, and the RG6 Grenade launcher (just to name three out of over 70 possible ones to play with). In addition, Soldner also contains over 50 land and air vehicles to reign destruction down on opponents like the A-10 Warthog, the Apache Helicopter, and the BTR-70.
While squad based combat gameplay is nothing new, there are a couple of things which set Soldner out from the rest of the pack which make it really, really fun. For starters, anyone who has played a multiplayer (online or off) combat game is familiar with “campers”. You know, people who like to get sniper rifles or something similar and sit behind walls and cover to pick people off while trying to minimize chances of them getting hit. Well, campers will be upset about Soldner, since camping can be one of the fastest ways of getting killed in this title. The environment (buildings, walls, fences, cars, etc) is fully destructible now, so players will have no definite cover to sit and relax in anymore. If you pop up in a window and fire off a shot and are spotted by a tank driver or someone with a rocket launcher, you can probably bet that you and the entire part or the building you are in will soon be gone. While it’s a nice addition to minimize player’s frustrations with campers in these games, it’s also really cool to take out the entire side of a building as well.
Another neat feature to Soldner is allowing players to fully customize every aspect of their character from their appearance to clothing to weapons and etc. so you can fully build your idea of the “perfect soldier”. Overall, there are like 60,000 different combinations to playa round with here, so you have a ton of creative opportunity to try and find the right combination for you.
Lastly (and the most impressive feature to me personally) was the ability to have one player signed on as the commander of the squad. While the title is kinda cool, the best feature of being the commander is getting to use real time satellite feeds to offer up laser guidance and information to your group to help plan the best route of attack. This also helps out players who may be newer to the game or who don’t have the best strategic minds (like myself) since the commander can assist in launching attacks or defending positions. Trust me … this was an incredibly killer feature that was added and it puts a lot into the overall fun of the game.
The final build of Soldner will also include five high tech character specializations, stealth, different character “hit zones”, first and third person perspectives, the ability for players to modify their characters looks (in addition to the 60,000 combinations already available) and the ability to modify their own missions aside from the CTF, Deathmatch, Hostage Rescue and Team Deathmatch modes that will be included. There have been off and online action shooters before, but Soldner blows them all away … hands down. This is without a doubt one of the “must get” titles of 2004.