previews\ May 27, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Soldner - Secret Wars - PC - Preview

E3 2002 - First Look

What will the hardware and technology of the armed forces look like in 20 years or so? That is the question that JoWood is looking to answer with the military sim Soldner.

The game was demonstrated at E3 2002 in Los Angeles, and while it still has some distant to travel before being ready for store shelves, what the game did show was a remarkable interactive environment and multiple weapon options.

This is a game that will be best played online. In fact, JoWood will have dedicated server support for up to 32 players, and up to 128 gamers on special provider servers.

For this game the development team Wings Simulators (creators of Panzer Elite) has created a huge game environment – 6.5 x 3.5 thousand kilometers. As mentioned, the environment is interactive. Players can shoot down a tree, and then hide in the branches of the fallen object.

While designed primarily as a team-combat multiplayer vehicle, Soldner does have a storyline behind it. According to the press release: “Failing economies and political infighting have forced the world powers to drastically reduce their military forces and rely more on secret, highly specialized mercenary units mobilized for specified operations. Wars are no longer waged by state-controlled armed forces, but by small, highly trained, well-armed mercenary units.”

The game features ground forces, tanks, helicopters and vertical-takeoff aircraft. The game uses line-of-site combat rules, and if you blast out a wall with a shell from your tank, the developers want that wall to blow apart, scattering debris and injuring (or killing) anyone hiding behind it.

If chosen as a team commander, you won’t have to worry about voice or typed commands to issue orders to your troops. All you have to do is point on an objective and click. The information is relayed to members of your team.

And yes, there will be a mission generator with the game.

Though Soldner has some development time left, the demonstration model was quite smooth. The polygonal characters did have some sharp edges, but the environmental elements – while not on the verge of blowing the doors off the genre – were well done.

This is a PC game that is slated for delivery to consumers in the second quarter of 2003.  

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