Bodycount E3 2011 Preview
While we can all agree that the first-person shooter genre is quite possibly the most overdone genre, it is also the most successful. The biggest trick is providing fans with something new and fresh. Bodycount might not be the most original out of the bunch, but it uses some very successful features that make it a blast to play.
The story revolves around you joining a faction called The Network that cleans up the world's messes. You're thrust in the middle of an ongoing faction war, though later a much bigger threat is revealed that is much more brutal than any enemies you face initially. A notable feature that was shown off is Environmental Shredding. Essentially, it entails shooting through different obstacles that can be used as cover to take out your enemies. Of course, enemies can use that same tactic against you.
The left trigger has now become synonymous with aiming down your sights in first-person shooters. Bodycount works the same way, but it has two separate settings. When squeezed lightly or halfway, you aim down your sights and you're able to strafe around; squeezing it fully will plant your feet in position, and the right stick will then bob your body left and right. This makes it easier to peek out from behind cover without having to expose yourself. It is definitely a technique that I didn't initially grasp, but it's handy and ensures survival from extremely ruthless enemies.
Your character is also equipped with abilities that can be accessed through orb pickups, which charge your ability gauge. Each skill has multiple levels that will increase its effectiveness and deadliness. Some skills let you gain speed and temporary invulnerability, explosive bullets, and air strikes to a radar, which at a higher level will also send out a pulse that eliminates surrounding enemies.
The game is very much an arcade experience. Through your level progression, the game tracks your kills and how creative you get with skill shots--much like Epic's Bullestorm. Whether it's a nailing a headshot or shredding through a piece of environment to score a kill, each of these moves are calculated at the end of each level, awarding an overall grade. These will then be posted to online leader boards, encouraging players to go back and replay the level with tighter skill shots and more creative kills to earn better scores.
An FPS wouldn't be complete without an online component, and Bodycount delivers the standard modes we come to expect. It also features a co-op mode that picks certain parts of levels and pits you and a friend against an onslaught of enemies.
You can look forward to playing Bodycount in August this year.